Take Control: Conflict Management is a single player, first-person adventure game for soft skills training. Set in a prototypical accounting firm / office environment, the game empowers the learner to gain critical insight into their own conflict style and enables them to develop the tools to effectively and successfully manage any conflict.  The learner analyzes the causes, costs and types of conflict, as well as the benefits of managing conflict and the value of embracing conflict.

Problem:  Accounting students and first year accountants need training in soft skills, particularly in conflict management. With the average U.S. employee spending nearly three hours a week in conflict at a cumulative cost of nearly $360 billion per year, conflict is a major economic and productivity drain in today's workplace. Employees are faced with conflict before having genuine experiential training in managing these issues.

Solution: A game-based learning intervention situates students in authentic workplace conflict and tasks them to apply their own conflict management style to effectively solve problems.   

Problem: Current training offerings include dry content with ineffective delivery techniques that force learners to spend hours in training with little engagement, persistence, or retention.

Solution: The game delivery modality is an immersive, inherently engaging platform that creates an emotional connection with the content. Because learners develop empathy for the non-player characters and their scenario-based problems, learner’s persistence in completing the game and their retention of the concepts within the game are greatly increased.

The game includes several layers of choice of how to complete the game, each with its own, unique consequence. Enabling adult learners choice in how they complete a task or learn a concept, as well as providing an opportunity for the learner to demonstrate their expertise, increases learner engagement.

Concepts are represented in a variety of ways, from dialogue, to text on the screen, to level mechanics, thereby effectively reinforcing content. In addition, gaming appeals to all learning styles. It gives visual representation to abstract concepts, which also enhances retention. The game includes various audio inputs, including sound effects and engaging dialogue opportunities from multiple sources. Learner agency is centered by sense of freedom of movement, a variety of methods of interacting with the game, and manipulation of level mechanics appeals that appeals to kinesthetic learners.

Concepts are supported with post-training level mechanics based on each of the four objectives. The spaced repetition and reinforcement of key concepts will ensure content retention.

Course Description

This course is based upon the Becker Communication course entitled, “Take Control: Use Conflict to Your Advantage.” The course content mirrors the Becker course as much as possible to enable a side-by-side comparison. Learners study the causes, costs, and types of conflict, the benefits of managing conflict, and the value of embracing conflict. During gameplay, a Conflict Management Styles assessment provides critical insight into individuals' own conflict styles while giving them the tools to effectively and successfully manage any conflict.