System formalization serves as a common basis for modeling gaming simulation as well as agent-based social simulation. This article introduces a series of system concepts related to agent-based social systems so as to provide a ‘modeling literacy’ firmly based on formal system theory to young researchers and designers. Firstly the basic concepts of systems are introduced, and then the term agent is defined as a goal-seeking system. Followed by explanations of two different classes of agent concept—an agent (rational agent) and a cognitive agent (bounded rational agent). Several kinds of social systems consisting of these two kinds of agent are shown as examples, such as theoretical games, hierarchy systems, hypergames and poly-agent systems.
In simulation and gaming field, a game is understood as a tool to help a group of learners share experiences and communicate through “multiloguing (Duke, 1974),” and a group or analog game is often used. Studies in this field set up higher-order objectives such as rule finding and problem solving. On the other hand, in educational technology field, games are studied as a type of Computer Assisted Instruction; therefore, the word “game” is understood as a personal game or a digital one. People in this field introduce games into individualized learning in order to motivate the learner. Their main objectives are the acquisition of knowledge and skills and training in rule application. I am interested in unifying the results of the studies in these two fields concerning the educational use of game and gaming. The games that my team has developed for the education seek to cultivate the higher order objectives. I also think that individualized learning is important, since the results of group learning may be greatly dependent on the combinatory qualifications and abilities of group members. Therefore, I am trying to establish a method to facilitate automatic gaming through the collection of the detailed log data of game play. In order to achieve this goal, I think that the integration of the model of the target world and the model of the learning process is necessary. Moreover, I believe that we require new design principles for instructional materials, ones that differ from those of traditional educational games.
This paper elucidates the distinguishing features of group decision making in business-gaming simulation experiments in Japan, China, and Hong Kong. The subjects of the gaming simulation experiment were master’s degree program students in Japan, China, and Hong Kong, most of them were also working at companies. Our data comes from two approaches of quantitative analysis of the game outcomes and survey results. To elucidate the group decision making systems of each country, we attempted comparison of groups categorized by agent, strategy, and population of agents, employing a framework of complex adaptive systems. We employed Hofstede’s cultural dimensions framework for analyzing agents.
As the internet use has spread in recent years, there has been much discussion about the issue of cyberbullying and how to deal with this problem. This article reviews game-based educational materials and the practical and theoretical literature on the use of games for cyberbullying and bullying prevention. Based on this review, issues and prospects for a gaming simulation for cyberbullying prevention are discussed.
Educational assessment is the documentation of changes in understanding that result when new materials are presented to subjects. The examination of these new teaching materials is critical if the use of simulation, games and experiential exercises are to be accepted as valid teaching tools. Over the 38 years of ABSEL’s existence there have been many attempts to show that business games are effective teaching methodologies, but most of these attempts have fallen short. Most of these attempts used student perceptions of how well they learned-using data collected from them immediately after their business game experience. The author believes the reason for the assessment failures lies largely in the design phase of gaming methodology. Until quite recently most business game authors did not include specific information of what would learn from playing their games. Often there were general statements about learning, including what students would learn about business, but seldom were any specific learning objectives mentioned. Generalities are extremely difficult to assess. This paper concludes that business game designers and authors should be specific about the learning objectives of their games and should include steps for assessment and actual assessment tools in their game design. One of the tenets of good game design is to first decide upon what the game is intended to teach and to assure that players understand the lessons taught.
Gaming for development comprises both gaming/simulation applied to development issues and gaming/simulation applied in the context of developing countries. The first category might be really tempting with its popular games, international profile and state-of-the-art technology. The second category is lesser known with its niche games, local content and down to earth technology. Nevertheless, the social contribution of this second category might be the highest, as well as its relevance for gaming professionals. We will focus on this second category here. The main challenge for gaming in the context of developing countries is the lack of resources: gaming expertise, access to technology and funding. On the other hand, expertise on local conditions is high, crafting is widely spread and local labor is relatively cheap. The real challenge is finding the right balance in this mix of opportunities: developing games that can be applied in developing countries. Software firms paved the way in developing applications to be used in different countries, languages and cultures. They introduced the concepts of localization and internationalization. Localization is adapting a product to a specific context (country, language, culture). Internationalization is making a product independent of a specific context and easy to localize. Although a certain analogy of games and software applications might be evident, there exist huge differences as well. In general games pay much more attention to the user experience and apply a range of multimedia to improve that. This makes localization and internationalization of games quite complex. Gaming for education and training can have a great potential for developing countries. It can make learning more attractive, efficient and effective, both for children and for adults. Localized games are indispensable to realize this potential. Internationalized games are indispensable to level efforts, expertise and costs.
Simulation games are often promoted as tools that offer a safe environment for participants to experiment with new behavior or new routines. Hijmans et al. (2008) have investigated the phenomenon of safe environment and they have made the distinction between two aspects of this concept. In the first place, there is safety, referring to the systems safety: wrong choices while playing the game will not directly affect the real life situation. So participants can learn from poor decisions or misjudgments, without having to bother about consequences for the actual situation. The second aspect they distinguish is the psychological safety, or security as they call this aspect. Participants have to perform in a simulation game, i.e. a situation they are unfamiliar with, and they have to learn from their performance. But there are many possible factors that may make participants feel uncomfortable in this learning situation, ranging from the time pressure in the game, the behavior of other participants, the confrontation with their own lack of competences, to (expectations of) the consequences for their performance in the real life situation. And although a certain level of unbalance or discomfort is required for an effective learning process, it becomes a problem if these feelings of discomfort or insecurity become large and dysfunctional. In this paper we will investigate a number of elements that may influence this psychological security, ranging from the game design, the game in action, to the debriefing phase. We will look at tools and mechanisms a game designer, a facilitator or a debriefer may use to handle the aspect of the psychological security of the participants.
In this paper various interconnections between the methods of Gaming Simulation on one hand and the field of Ethics on the other hand are discussed. The paper refers to a discussion started by Jan Klabbers on analytical and design science approaches of Gaming Simulation in order to reflect on and to classify some main issues and questions of the topic and to describe some implications for Gaming and Simulation Associations.
Organizational transformation requires double-loop learning that changes interpretative frameworks of the organization. From my gaming experience in Japan, I claim that the process of developing and implementing policy exercises can be one of the most effective approaches in enabling such organizational learning as to develop their ability to adapt to changes in their environment. Based on the well-proven theories of Polanyi and Argyris, we induced hypotheses about the reasons as to why policy exercises work for organizational learning. These assumed reasons were (1) enlargement of interpretative frameworks, (2) expansion of the learning horizon, (3) acceleration of the learning process, (4) provision of a risk-free environment for trial and error, and (5) facilitation of shared experience. To clarify these points further, I developed about twenty policy exercises for organizational learning. Several utility companies, a national agency, and several local governments in Japan used these policy exercises and found them effective in organizational transformation.
This paper discusses ways in which simulation and gaming have been applied to the field of psychology, in general, and to social psychology, in particular, in Japan, where they have been applied as a research tool and as an educational tool. In general terms, social psychologists started to use games as a research tool in the 1980s and later expanded their use to the field of education in the 1990s. During the 2000s, research and educational uses were integrated. Moreover, research into group dynamics introduced gaming approaches to social psychology. Although educational applications were initially limited to higher educational settings, efforts to expand these applications to elementary or secondary education have been, and are still, ongoing. Additionally, the movement towards such fusion has been characterized by an interface between academia and practitioners. In other words, the future of this field seems promising in view of the ongoing incorporation of gaming into the real world.