You must have seen teenagers spending hours on their computers or Smartphones shooting terrorists, defusing bombs, or rescuing hostages in the game Counter Strike. What exactly is this game all about? It is a first-person shooter game in which a player is free to join either the terrorist team, the counter-terrorist team, or become a spectator. Each team attempts to complete their mission objective and eliminate the opponent. The objective of the game depends on the location you choose to play in. The most usual objectives are defusing a bomb, rescuing hostages, and escorting VIPs to safety. These objectives become more challenging with each level.
Wondering what a shooter game has got to do with safety training? Let me not keep you guessing anymore. The strategy used in this game can be utilized to develop a highly effective online gamified safety training program. How? Read on.
1. Create a virtual environment of the organization
Like the landscapes of different places shown in the game, you need to create a virtual environment of your organization. This need not be a 3D model; it can also be a 2D map of the organization with detailed route maps of each floor, with all entry and exit gates, departments, hazardous areas and such details. This helps employees choose the safest evacuation route during a crisis.
2. Divide emergencies into different levels
Various emergencies can occur in and around organizations such as the horrifying Texas City Disaster of 1947, where a fire started in the Port of Texas City. The fire ignited almost 2,300 tons of ammonium nitrate and the consequent chain reaction of fires and explosions killed approximately 581 people. Similar disastrous situations could occur in any organization. Employees must be aware of the guidelines to follow during such cases. So for the game, you must list all such emergencies and categorize them into various levels based on their seriousness.
3. Have a virtual collection of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
You need to be equipped with adequate Personal Protective Equipment to ensure safety in hazardous situations. However, not all PPE is appropriate for every situation; there is always a specific PPE for a specific hazardous situation. So, you must have a virtual collection of all the personal protective equipment that your players can choose from to handle hazardous situations.
How to actually play the game?
Starting with level-1, have a smaller emergency and provide only those PPE that are useful to tackle a level-1 emergency. Within each level, have sub-levels which offer different challenges for the same emergency. When the learner completes a level successfully, unlock the PPE that is required to complete next level as a reward. But, let the learner choose the required PPE and in case he chooses the wrong ones, then he would be unsuccessful for sure. After his loss, explain why he was not successful in tackling the emergency.
For example, the learner may be in a level where he has to exit the building due to a fire. In each sub-level, he must start from a different department or floor. On successfully completing all the sub-levels, PPE required for the next level must be unlocked. The next level must be more challenging than the previous. So, it might be rescuing employees who are stuck in the building during a fire. The learner must choose the necessary PPE required for the task and in case he selects the wrong ones, he would fail. Here, you must educate him why he could not complete the task successfully and what is needed to do it right.
This is how we can develop game-based online safety training similar to Counter-Strike. Such gamified experiences allow learners tackle hazards in a risk free environment. It makes them panic less and aware of the steps to be followed while tackling these hazards in real life. Hope you find this blog helpful. Share with us through the comments if you have any such ideas to covert boring online safety training into game-based online safety training.