When Japan Association of Simulation and Gaming （JASAG） was established in 1999, I was a charter member of the association. In this short essay, I described the reason why a young scholar who read at Oxford in the 1960’s the manuscripts of John Locke, English philosopher of 17th century, became an expert of quantitative analysis of politics and a founding member of academic association of simulation & gaming studies. At the same time I discussed in this essay the conflict between simulation approach and gaming approach, the difference between data-oriented people and model-oriented people, the problems in time-series analysis in social studies, and the issue how we should deal with the ‘value’ in model-building in simulation & gaming researches. I also look back on the initiatives and important roles taken by late Professor Hiroharu SEKI at the time of the establishment of JASAG.
The author’s personal journey regarding double loop learning methodology started over thirty years ago when he happened to realize how powerful microworlds could be for double loop learning. The metaphors created by computerized simulation enabled him to transform a stagnant university into a high-performance organization. Through extensive surveys, the author found that gaming/simulation could be most effective for double loop learning changing interpretative frameworks. Why were my computerized simulations so useful in dramatically changing the university through organizational learning? Are there any other technologies more powerful than computerized simulation? Why do they work? Can I create effective tools for organizational learning in loosely coupled environment? These questions were the starting point of my research work, The author created and ran over twenty policy exercises for Japanese companies, a national agency, and local authorities. He started to realize that the policy exercise was to be used in some larger training context and he developed several gaming/simulations for training in communication and leadership. These gaming/simulations have been continuously used for training core employees of the Keiyo Industrial Complex over 10 years. Total number of participants so far exceeds 300.
The purpose of this study is to review the short history of how game-simulations had been utilized as the research and education method of social psychology, and to discuss the future task of the game-simulation in social psychology. We explored the new research method to substitute laboratory experiment and survey research, and encountered with a sociological education game of SIMSOC. Then we modified the original rules, and developed SIMINSOC as the research method of social psychology. With SIMINSOC we could analyzed dynamic processes of leadership emergence, minority’s collective actions, and cooperation to solve social dilemma. Many game-simulations had been developed for the tool of environmental and disaster-prevention education, and then many social psychologists evaluated game-simulation as one of the main research and education methods. Our future subject is to develop a new game-simulation of citizen participatory conference for the NIMBY-type risk governance such as deep HLW repository, where social agreements among citizens are hard to reach from differences in their sense of values about the environment or economics.