Playing at Work Develops Real-World Skills

Plantville, an online video game from Siemens, is designed to simulate a real-world manufacturing plant.


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Future leaders of manufacturing enterprises might very well get their introduction to the field in the form of a video game. Plantville, an online gaming platform from Siemens that simulates the experience of being a plant manager, has become a lot more popular since its introduction approximately one year ago.

As described in the video above, the game involves monitoring and taking steps to improve key performance indicators such as on-time delivery, quality, energy management, and employee safety and satisfaction, among others. One goal of the game is to generate excitement in math, science and technology and to inspire a new generation of plant managers and engineers.

The idea of using video games as educational tools isn’t new. Back in elementary school, I remember chomping at the bit to get out of the classroom and into the computer lab. Driving a virtual wagon across the country in “Oregon Trail” sure beat listening to some boring teacher. Little did I know, however, that I was learning a bit about the harsh realities of 19th-century pioneer life in the process.

Plantville, of course, is a much more sophisticated offering for a much more sophisticated audience (also, there’s no risk of dying of dysentery). But the principle is similar, and in my view, this is a refreshing approach to addressing concerns that future generations have a distorted view of modern manufacturing and aren’t interested in careers in that field. At the least, it looks like fun. Register to play or just check it out here.