Simulation Game

For the video game genre, see Simulation video game.

A simulation game attempts to copy various activities in "real life" in the form of a game for various purposes such as training, analysis, or prediction. Usually there are no strictly defined goals in the game, with players instead allowed to freely control a character.[1] Well-known examples are war games, business games, and role play simulation.

From three basic types of strategic, planning, and learning exercises: games, simulations, and case studies, a number of hybrids may be considered, including simulation games that are used as case studies.[2]

Comparisons of the merits of simulation games versus other teaching techniques have been carried out by many researchers and a number of comprehensive reviews have been published.[3]

Practical applications

There are countless examples of simulation games being used for both entertainment and real-life purposes. Will Wright opened the Sim series with SimCity. An unprecedented success, and the herald of the city-building game genre, SimCity and its successors have been used to model and study a variety of behaviors. Certain games such as SimLife and SimEarth are capable of teaching players the basics of genetics and global ecosystems. A study detailed the use of SimCity 2000 regarding adolescents' perceptions of how their home-city works.[4] The study showed that the adolescents who played the game along the lines of the study had a greater appreciation for, and expectation of, their own government officials.

Another example of popularized simulation games can be found inTemplate:Copy edit-inline the company Kairosoft. While not primarily geared towards education or training, they have found success in the entertainment market.[5]

The University of Washington's Center for Game Science proposed a project that would use a previously untapped source of processing power. Initially called "Rosetta@home", this application would incorporate a distributed computing program and accomplish feats faster than any single computer could. The purpose of Rosetta was to use special protein structure prediction algorithms to discover the native structures of various proteins. In May of 2008,[6] Foldit was released. Foldit is an interactive form of Rosetta, which enables users to attempt to find solutions to these "puzzles" themselves. One of the most notable achievements[according to whom?] was the deciphering of the Mason-Pfizer monkey virus. This AIDS-causing monkey virus had stumped scientists for 15 years. However, after only 10 days the users had solved it.[7]

Although accidental, the game World of Warcraft briefly served as a simulation of a global pandemic. On September 13, 2005, the Corrupted Blood incident took place and affected the entire gaming world. The plague acquired its name from a spell cast by a boss that did damage over time, and could be spread to other players via proximity. The part scientists[example needed] found fascinating, however, were the player reactions. Epidemiologists found a striking number of parallels to real world behavior in such situations. While more virtuous, high-level players took it upon themselves to set up healing stations in city centers, others took a more sinister approach. Much in the way Typhoid Mary Mallon and Gaëtan Dugas operated,[8] certain players would intentionally infect clean areas in an attempt to spread the plague even further.[8] The most unexpected and noteworthy event, however, was curiosity. Some brave players would break into quarantine to see the pandemonium, but hurry before becoming infected themselves. This behavior was equated to journalists, who rush towards the event to cover it, and then immediately get out.[8]

See also

Video Game portal


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