When was the last time your employer told you to play a video game on the job? For many, the answer may be never, up until now. Recently, some top French companies, including Paribas, Orange, and Alcatel-Lucent, have been using role playing games to teach crucial management teamwork, and sales skills to their sales staff and managers; a very important skill to have in the competitive world marketplace.

The employees are learning how to better manage evaluation interviews and management roles in a virtual world, then applying it to real world situations. The game works by guiding an avatar through virtual meetings with employees and giving the avatar certain attitudes to particular situations encountered in a meeting. Sinking in the chair, crossing of the arms, and becoming nervous are all types of ways to reprimand the virtual employee.

The idea of e-learning is not new, but many employers realized that their employees were not reading the whole text. The main failure of e-learning is that the learner reads the text but it is not interactive or convincing. With a virtual avatar video game, it is interactive and the player can see consequences of actions, something not attainable in reading plain text. A division of Renault, which is a French automaker, organizes tournaments for employees and offers prizes such as an additional month’s salary for the player with the highest score.This tool would be a great way to help the new employee catch up on workplace communication skills, which in a recent study suggested that many new employees lack out of college.

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