Hi all,

I have been tasked with conducting some research of the gaming industry for a potential use internally. Essentially we have a lot of fairly dry technical and legal documentation (policy/ procedures etc) that corporate banking teams internally need to go through and check against for client due diligence purposes [onboarding new clients as well as transaction monitoring and periodic client reviews.]

My first thoughts was for a multiplayer serious game that can be accessed through our own app store. Then after a few conversations with some vendors I started to think along the lines of a more simple gamified environment with badges, leaderboards etc. We have 6,000+ staff that potentially can get involved and we are having limited impact with more and more webinars, ebooks, eassessments etc...

We essentially need a safe environment for learners to practice identifying CDD risks such as tax evasion, fraud, money laundering, sanctions, terrorist financing etc and judgement skills in how to investigate and escalate appropriately.

I am now a little confused about what I need to report back on! Can anyone share with me some advice on what I should be considering as factors that can help me choose what level of sophistication I need in this type of situation.

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Hi Ivor,

A very interesting post and it's wise to give such consideration before heading down the game development path.  

A few things I would recommend perhaps considering that might shape the concept (i.e a more fully fledged 'game' or a gaming environment):

- The demographic of your audience.

- Their point of access (more traditional or mobile?)

- Any external regulation/compliance considerations.

- Any requirement for official testing/assessment.

- How the game might have different access points for different users e.g per region, per job role 

- Success/Failures of previous learning interventions (what's worked best for your learners so far?)

- Any technical constraints of launching a game (i.e IT security, firewalls, stable internet connection, etc)

There's many other things we would recommend considering as you shape your concept but these are some of the key ones that come to mind.  If you'd like to chat about this in greater depth I'd be happy to do so, you can reach me at nick.ramsay@junction-18.com or find me on LinkedIn.  

Hi Nick,

Appreciate the reply - some excellent points for me to consider and you are absolutely right to highlight technology and platform access. I'm doubtful we are personally ready for digital gamification or game based learning (at least from a platform perspective) + we are in 70 different emerging markets which gets complicated. 

I hadn't really thought about access into the game for the different team roles to be honest or how they should collaborate or compete. Thanks for this.

Let me share my initial research paper internally and see what the appetite is to move forward on this. I will reach out to you if we get a green light.

Thanks for your time Nick.

Hi Ivor

A serious game and a gamified environment are two very different methods which in my view will also lead to different outcomes. Very broadly, both can increase engagement with your learners but if you choose to go the game route you need got make sure the game will provide the specific change in behaviours or skills required to identify risks, whereas the gamified environment can be applied to many different types of learning (interactive videos, eLearning, apps, curated content) but not always with the focused feedback you are likely to require.

If your business objective is to enable staff to increase their success rate at spotting CCD risks then I would suggest a simulation that mirrors the required skills might work best. I think you need to consider:

  • Exactly what the business's objectives are and how they will be measured
  • the amount of learning delivery required, gauging the learners' existing knowledge and experience
  • If various roles and levels of hierarchy within the organisation are required to interact with the environment how will their needs be individually met?
  • How meaningful feedback can be given to each learner
  • Whether you want to create this environment as a 'real life' simulation or in a story/journey type where you intend for there to be fun as well as learning
  • The motivation (and flow) of your employees
  • How often it needs to be updated due to legislative changes. This may mean you choose a simpler environment that can be more easily updated (and in-house rather than paying external suppliers if possible)

If you want to look at a gamified environment that delivers curated content then I found Curatr to be a pretty good product from a consumer point of view, with points, badges, leaderboards, videos, audio, articles and lots of opportunity for users to interact. It's definitely a delivery platform and not a game. At the other end of the scale I also like Jane McGonigal's 'Super Better' game, which uses game elements and quests to motivate her players to carry out actions in real life that they can then record and progress from.


Thank you very much for your detailed, thoughtful reply. You have given me a number of things to think about including the type of feedback I should consider and made the distinction between gamification and serious games much clearer to me. I also have some avenues to research.

Thanks again!

Some great responses below from Nick and Simon so I just wanted to reiterate some of the points they've made.

With experience in CDD training from a traditional eLearning capacity, I have found that these topics are prime for a game based environment, rather than a gamified environment. The gamified environment may encourage people to learn because there is an added incentive, but it may not actually impact the transfer of learning. A game environment would do this. For example, I created a game spec styled on Fox's Anti Terrorist show "24" which allows people in a financial world to investigate and prevent anti money laundering. The narrative aspect of an actual game environment enhances the learning, especially considering how "dry" these topics can be.

You could look at possibly putting together a pilot "game" using standard eLearning software. If you have a look at places like eLearning Heroes for Articulate, for example, or some YouTube clips, you will see some examples where 2D style games have been created. This might be a cost effective way of testing the waters in your organization to see if the concept would be accepted.

Hi Sarah,

Great ideas! Yes I feel more aligned to an actual serious game approach and ideally we would look at CDD as only an aspect of the wider driver of increasing the client book. 2D is fine...but yes I take your point that a proof of concept makes sense especially given its relative newness in my org.

Thanks for taking the time to reply.

Hi Ivor,

I think both Nick and simon highlight some of the key points to consider when choosing your options. I agree with the comment Sarah made, based on the description you have provided so far that may be a safe environment for learning could take the shape of a serious game. I would then suggest to look at gamification for the real process with recognisable features from the game environment re-appearing to give feedback on progress and to pick up on potential red flags.

I work with a number of business partners for both gamification and serious games, if you want to explore your options further. Feel free to contact me directly an.coppens@gamificationnation.com.

Best of luck 


Hi Ivor,

There is a lot to consider here. I would agree with others that a serious game and using elements of gamification are different approaches and should be considered as such. They are certainly not interchangeable.

Another aspect is that with 6,000 users, you will certainly get a varied reaction to whatever you propose, so you may need to come up with a mixed solution in order to reach everyone. For example, I find games and gamification can be quite polarising, a bit 'marmite', so while some people would engage very well with a serious game, others may be completely turned off by it. You don't want a strtatgey that fully engages 50% while alienating the other 50%.

It is a brave call to adopt a completely new approach. if it were me, I would feel better with some evidence to back up my decision. Is there scope to develop some genuine prototypes and see how users react before you take the plunge? With 6,000 users, you have a large pool to select from for a pilto phase that would test whether a serious game, gamified environment or a blend of the two works best.




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