MGM Resorts is a leading force in entertainment and hospitality, bringing exceptional experiences to their guests across the globe.
Behind those exceptional experiences are MGM Resorts’ people – their extensive team of front-of-house staff, security personnel, and more. MGM Resorts realized that by leveraging emerging technologies, they could help their staff perform at their best. For this reason, they asked ustwo to define, design, and build a digital tool that would support their employees in delivering a differentiated guest experience.
So, ustwo built a VR security training program using 3D “Digital Twin” technology that transforms traditional employee training into a more positive, effective, and fun learning experience.
Immersive technology is often limited to use cases involving recreation and entertainment, but it in fact holds incredible potential as a powerful business tool to generate value and reduce cost.
As you’d expect, creating a best-in-class team requires extensive employee training. Staff must feel prepared to enter into diverse interactions with guests, as well as navigate the large physical spaces of MGM Resorts. This realization soon led ustwo to an essential use case for the client – leveraging immersive technology to support employee training for MGM Resorts’ vast security team.
ustwo knows that when you have fun, you stay engaged, and when you stay engaged, you learn better. By weaving game design into a VR training experience, ustwo enables security staff to learn more efficiently, leaving them better prepared for the complex interactions and demands of their job. Plus, well-prepared employees deliver superior guest experiences – the ultimate goal of MGM Resorts. As a bonus, the VR program reduces the resources spent on employee training, in both time and cost.
The Fun Stuff
By building a 3D "Digital Twin" of one of MGM Resorts’ key properties, ustwo created a training program that closely mirrored real life scenarios. A Digital Twin is a virtual representation of a physical object or system – in this case, a digital-world replica of The Aria, a flagship MGM Resorts property.
The Digital Twin allowed ustwo to simulate realistic scenarios for the purposes of security training in a safe, controlled virtual space. For instance, ustwo could expose trainees to common situations they’d confront on the job, including navigation, guest interactions, and de-escalation strategies. Building a Digital Twin is no small feat. The digital product studio began with a two-week immersion phase to gain deep perspective into processes and pain points within the security team.
The team made visits to the property in the dead of night, capturing it in excruciating detail in order to rebuild it precisely in the digital world. A few weeks into planning, defining, and research, ustwo developed a clear and holistic understanding of what the product needed to accomplish, and were ready to prototype and test.
After building the virtual replica of the physical space, ustwo populated it with hundreds of 3D bots. It programmed these “bot guests” with a simple human behavior AI system – they wander the casino, sit at tables, and walk towards restrooms and exits just as guests would in real life.
The studio then used generative AI tools, such as ElevenLab’s Speech Synthesis API, to give digital guests naturalistic voices capable of expressing a spectrum of emotion. This extra layer of AI-driven realism granted “bot guests” the lifelike ability to act out common guest interactions and carry convincing conversations with trainees.
As part of their security training, employees enter the Digital Twin of the Aria, moving around the VR space to both familiarize themselves with the location, and also practice various scenarios likely to occur on the job. As trainees test themselves across situations, they’re motivated by a points-based system that ustwo designed to align with MGM Resorts’ values and goals.
Depending on the choices they make while navigating interactions with meta-guests, trainees can either gain or lose points, eventually receiving a score card that measures their success and tracks their progress.
In essence, ustwo used game design principles, real-time 3D, and AI/XR tools to create a novel kind of security training program that feels more immersive and exciting. Rather than sitting through lengthy videos, winding passages of text, or multiple-choice questions, trainees can now directly test their skills in a fun, engaging space where they’re safe to fail, learn, and try again.