The Fraud Examiner

How to Use Serious Games as an Effective Anti-Fraud Training Tool

Mikhail Ben Rabah, CFE     
Audit Manger
Presidency of the Government, Tunisia

People love games. In fact, humans have been playing them since 3100 B.C. Although it is widely accepted that most modern games are designed purely for entertainment, there’s another type of game that has a primary purpose other than entertainment, known as serious games (SGs).

Use of SGs has grown in popularity for education and training within professional organizations because they can improve the learning processes since games are motivating, challenging and competitive. In some circumstances, education and training programs delivered through traditional formats could be inadequate or less effective for attendees — especially when:

  • The primary purpose of the training program is to enhance competencies in root-cause analysis, problem-solving and critical thinking.
  • The training requires role-playing exercises and collective intelligence that emerges from the collaboration, collective efforts and competition of many individuals.
  • The education’s topic could not be covered well without considering the organization’s context and particularities. In this case, theoretical areas of education would be disconnected from reality, and of less interest, for training attendees.
  • The addressed issues are sensitive, given their direct connection with the organization’s culture and employees’ conduct.

Although the vast majority of SGs are delivered in digital or video gaming formats, they can take many other forms. If the training objectives are achieved in an effective and efficient way, the exact delivery format doesn’t matter as much.

The objective of serious games in anti-fraud education

SGs are well suited for education and training programs in fraud prevention and detection. In fact, for 2019 International Fraud Awareness Week, many organizations designed their own serious games for employees at their organizations in order to raise fraud awareness.

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