Higher Ed Pros: Play This Video Game About Your Job

For a limited time, there is an excellent online distraction available that is totally relevant to your job in higher education, so even if your boss catches you playing you can say it’s research. Enrollment Growth Hero is an 8-bit throwback online game brought to you by Helix Education. I spent about ten minutes playing the game this weekend (I won! Yay!) and I’m sharing my thoughts in this post. There’s value in playing this game for the following reasons:

  • We all need to laugh at ourselves once in awhile.
  • New pros can learn from the conversation options in the game.
  • It’s a really cool example of how higher education could present learning material.
  • It reinforces the strong message from the Enrollment Growth Playbook.
  • If you commit to gameplay, there’s an easter egg that pays off.

Enrollment Hero to Marketing Director - "Can't you just make something go viral?"

Thanks For Making Us Laugh

Yes, this is a marketing piece—but it’s meant to be fun. Helix is poking fun at themselves, as evidenced by this amazing quote on the landing page from Eric Runyon, TechnicalDirector at the University of Notre Dame: “HA! Why’d you guys make this?” Some of it is down-right funny, some is cheesy…just settle in for the ride.

How To Approach Enrollment Growth Conversations

As you move throughout the game (if you don’t know what to do, just keep clicking) you have options of how to approach your conversations about enrollment growth strategies with the Provost, Marketing Director, Enrollment Manager, Student Success Dean, and even the head of IT. It could be educational for less seasoned employees to think critically about why you may choose one path or another. But since it’s a video game, you can also indulge your inner snark as well—no one will know.

Consider Other Applications For Game-Play Delivery

Don’t just play the game to learn about enrollment growth—play it to think about other ways you could be delivering co-curricular content to your students. What if we had role-playing video games that covered other tough topics like consent, time management, or job interviews? I think with the right creative vision, something like this could be used to effectively communicate concepts to students, alumni, and other constituencies.

Enrollment Marketing Messaging is Sound

The messaging in the video game is sound, as it reinforces the message of the Enrollment Growth Playbook, which I was already a big fan of. It’s based on solid market research and marketing strategy, and I’m hopeful we’ll continue to see more colleges and universities adopting this data-driven model of planning for enrollment growth.

Did You Say Free Stuff?

I’m not going to give it away, but if you click around long enough, you may find an easter egg that could come in handy next time you want to grab coffee with a friend or colleague.

Other easter eggs come in the form of the design of the game. I mean, why is this enrollment manager so obsessed with cats?

Enrollment Growth Hero in enrollment manager's office with cat on the bookshelf and framed photo of a cat

And were they trying to channel my husband (who works in IT) when designing the office of the IT Director? Because I’m pretty sure his office has looked exactly like this at at least one employer.

Enrollment Growth Hero in IT Director Office full of server racks and metal posters

Great Demonstration of Audience Understanding

I also like Enrollment Growth Hero because it is in itself good marketing. Many key leaders and influencers in enrollment management today grew up playing Nintendo and other 8-bit video games. They get us. Bravo for that, Helix. Are you demonstrating that type of audience understanding with your campus marketing?

But Wait, There’s A Trailer!

For your viewing pleasure, of course there’s a 50-second trailer for a 10-minute video game. 🙂

Sponsorship Disclosure

Helix Education asked me to promote Enrollment Growth Hero. I would not have agreed if I didn’t think it was a valuable and fun resource for the higher education community. If you use any link in this blog post to play the game, I may receive compensation. So, if I’m the reason you found out about the game, please use my link. If you have strong opinions about me promoting a resource as part of an affiliate marketing agreement, please email me. I’m writing this with the intent to be helpful, but if that is not the outcome, I’d like to know.

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