A SECTION FOR ENTREPRENEURS: Coming up fast - It's learning, Jim, but not as we know it

A SECTION FOR ENTREPRENEURS: Coming up fast - It's learning, Jim, but not as we know it - Richard Barkey, founder of Imparta, makes learning addictive by exploiting the lure of video games to produce interactive simulations of work challenges. Victoria Ho

by VICTORIA HOBAN

Richard Barkey, founder of Imparta, makes learning addictive by exploiting the lure of video games to produce interactive simulations of work challenges. Victoria Hoban reports

What do you get when you combine Tomb Raider with staff training? Answer: simulation game-based learning, which is a lot more fun than Powerpoint overheads in a conference room. And what do you get when you combine a strategy consultant, a hardware engineer and a glued-to-the-screen computer gamer? Answer: Richard Barkey, the 36-year-old CEO of Imparta, who with his advanced multi-media training materials aims to make learning no less than addictive.

If you believe the hype, e-learning is the new face of corporate training. With a predicted 96% growth in the next five years and dollars 4 billion European market by 2004, it will replace the classroom and cut costs drastically. However, only 8% of companies have fully incorporated e-learning into their training programmes. Could it be because much of this industry is simply selling old wine in new e-bottles?

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