January 23, 2019
By Elizabeth Walker, Walmart Corporate Affairs
Next month, all Walmart Academies will incorporate a new learning tool into their curriculum – and it sounds super fun. Spark City, a simulation-style video game that puts players in charge of a Walmart dry grocery department, will help associates going through Academy training hone their skills. Already available in the App Store and Google Play, the game was developed by Daniel Shepherd, a Walmart associate. I sat down with Daniel to learn how this all came about – and what’s next for the game.
Elizabeth Walker: OK, start at the beginning: what is Spark City?
Daniel Shepherd: Spark City is an app that we’ve developed to help Walmart associates understand a day in the life of an hourly supervisor. Players design an avatar and then use that avatar to run a dry grocery department.
E: OK, but who would want to play a game about working at Walmart?
D: Well, lots of people. Spark City has over 104,000 downloads to date!
E: Oh, wow! So who is the game designed for?
D: Spark City appeals to a variety of people, including those already in the department manager supervisor role AND associates not in the role but who want to experience it – such as a cashier who works at a register but is interested in learning about working on the sales floor.
E: What about users outside of Walmart? What do they get out of the game?
D: First, it’s a fun game to play. Second, Spark City also appeals to people who don’t work at Walmart because it gives people the chance to learn skills that are not specific to Walmart or even to retail, such as general management skills. It has a 4.1-star average rating, so it seems like people are really enjoying it.