Game Thinking 2016 Update

Simulation and Game Thinking

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Well, it has been a long time coming – but Simulation has finally broken free from Serious Games in my Game Thinking “framework”. It will take a while for me to update everything, but I wanted to share the draft entry for simulations in Even Ninja Monkeys Like to Play.

Game Thinking 2016 Update

Game Thinking 2016 Update

A simulation is a virtual representation of something from the real world, such as a flight simulator. Often this can be hard to distinguish from a game or a serious game, as they look very game like. The difference is that a simulation does not usually need gameplay elements in order to function and fulfil its designed intent. It exists to allow users to practice an activity in a safe environment.

Simulations are not a new phenomenon either, with military simulations in one form or another used since the start of organised warfare. The birth of modern wargames and simulations has been credited to Herr von Reisswitz, Prussian War Counsellor and his war game Kriegsspiel in 1812. This was a military game / simulation that each regiment was encouraged to play on a regular basis to test out strategies and tactics without having to risk troops.

Simulations can take many forms; physical such as board games or role-playing, digital like computer based flight simulations or business simulations, or blended where you have a bit of both as in augmented reality.

differences between games etc

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3 Responses

  1. GracefulRok GracefulRok says:

    had to share this on my site. Thank you!

  2. Yes, I agree simulations can be seen as a different category than games. Some simulations don’t have a defined game-like goal or challenge. I think these are clearly different from a game.

    However, when simulations also have a clear goal or (unnecessary) challenge, I think they are in the intersection, i.e., these would be both a game and a simulation.

    • That’s the issue I have had with simplifying the categorisations! In simple terms, they are very hard to distinguish from serious games! That’s the reason I didn’t split them originally.

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Andrzej Marczewski
About Andrzej Marczewski twitter facebook    
Gamification thought leader and evangelist, I love to write about it, talk about it and bore people to death with it! If you really want to get to know me, check out the About page.

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