- This page is for information about the Games and Simulation Topic Area.
- Better results require better games
- Ambition and Professional development
- Intended Audience
- Defining games, game-simulations and simulations
- Feedback & Contact
Better results require better games
- Games and simulations are serious business with many serious applications. They are being used in more and more public and private realms and have a marked affecting on "real world" affairs.
- There is a growing demand for knowledge about the design and application of games and simulations, especially for serious applications. This demand currently far outstrips supply, because the knowledge is dispersed over many organizations, business and academic disciplines, because it is strongly individualized, and because it often is anecdotal in nature lacking clear and consistent guidelines explaining design or application.
- This topic area aims to improve this situation by creating a platform that brings this knowledge together and makes it more accessible. Hopefully this will improve the effectiveness, validity and utility of game technology and simulations.
Ambition and Professional development
- Development of Standards and Best Practice
- At any time that a new technology or science is discovered, created and developed standards will eventually evolve about concept and languages to discuss it, as well as about the best practices for building and creating new stuff with these technologies or sciences.
- Games and simulations have been around for a very long time, and have been seriously used for at least 200 years now. We believe that by articulating and sharing knowledge and experience will push the "state of the art" in design an application of games and simulation models. Especially as the use of games and simulations grows exponentially and as results are applied to real world problems.
- This topic area is created to foster, facilitate and support the development and evolution of the state of the art in gaming and simulation, and perhaps in particular in the evolution game-simulations that combine the two in serious applications.
- At the moment knowledge and experience in game design and application is dispersed over many different user communities, design companies, and academic disciplines. If we want to really raise the state of the art in game design and simulation we need to bring together this vast amount of knowledge and experience. Our ambition is to support and improve the development and evolution of: standards in design, applications, and science of entertaining and serious games, simulations and game-simulations. In this manner we intend to become the premier Website for collecting, sharing and transmitting knowledge and experience about the "State of the Art" in gaming and simulation. We will facilitate, support and improve access & utilization of the knowledge and experience available through this topic area. At all times it will present the "State of the Art" in gaming and simulation. We expect to support this effort next year with the establishment of a Peer Reviewed Journal.
- The topic area on Gaming and Simulation is intended for a broad audience including; Practitioners, Educators, and Researchers involved in research, design or application of games, game-simulations, and simulation models. At this stage of development we need the multiple perspectives that this broad audience will bring in order to build a comprehensive, relevant and useful knowledge base for developing and improving standards.
- For Game Designers, the topic area will show best practices in game design, the latest technological solutions, and the latest requirement standards for each application domain and purpose.
- For Developers of Computer Technology, the topic area will show the latest standards in game and simulation technology, together with the latest requirements for technology put forward by users, designers and or researchers.
- For Educators, the topic area provide information on what students need to know and what skills they need to acquire for successful design and successful application of games and simulation models, for each application domain and purpose.
- For Practitioners, the topic area will show best practices in the application of games and simulation models.
- For Researchers, the topic area is about the state of the art and developing knowledge in the design and application of games and simulations.
Defining games, game-simulations and simulations
- Games and simulation is a broad topic with many elements covering many disciplines. To improve the state of the art in game technology and simulation models, we need to understand what the composing elements of games and simulations are and how they fit together in games and simulations and how they affect behavior of games and simulations. These composing elements form the fundamental & standard building blocks of each and every game and simulation. By focusing on these building blocks we can accomplish two things:
- We are enabled to cover and debate each design and application, establishing effective architectures, design specifications and user-requirements.
- By focusing on the standard building block we enable, support and facilitate the evolution of a standard vocabulary for the effective exchange of knowledge and experience. In this manner it will improve the standard in the science and art in game design and application.
- This can be illustrated by a car metaphor. We all know about cars, we see them everyday in all kinds of shapes and colors, and many different types (lorry, fire-engine, police car, ambulance, etc). To understand how all of these cars work we do not need to understand each and every type. What we do need to understand are the elements that constitute a car, and further, how we can adapt each car to its purpose. For the first we need to understand the building blocks of a car (wheels, engine, frame, body, seats, steering wheel and gearbox) and how these can be fitted together. Secondly, we need to understand the application domain and the functions that the car needs to fulfill. Together these two knowledge area's enable us to discuss the design and application of cars for any application.
- Figure 1 shows a graphical definition of gaming and simulation as presented by Richard (Dick) Duke and later expanded upon by Ivo Wenzler and Swen Stoop. It shows that game and simulations are abstracted representations of reality, the level of abstraction being depended on purpose we aim to achieve. The orange circle in the middle shows the game-simulation and its application environment. To the left and right we see the 5 most basic building blocks of games and simulations. These are:
- Content (what and who): describes the topic area of games and simulations, about what and who is represented. Each topic area, or each domain in which it is used, may result in additional (dedicated) requirements for game and simulation design and application. The element 'content' includes the scenario's that are used in the game or simulation.
- Purpose: describes the goal for which the game or simulation is made. For example, entertainment, education, research, training, decision making, planning, socialization, communication, etc. Each category of purpose may result in additional (or dedicated) requirements for game and simulation design and application.
- Games: are about the nature of the interaction between players and between players and the game, usually described in the game-rules. This also includes knowledge about interaction-mechanisms and their effects.
- Simulation: Provide a representation of real world objects and or processes that behave like their real world counterparts. In games simulation models are used to create a dynamic environment (i.e. models of objects, and processes) in which game-play will take place.
- Media Technology: Is about the environment in which the games and simulation are represented and played. For example: carton board and paper or plastic playing pieces in a board game, or metal figures and model buildings in table top games, or virtual worlds and figures in a computer game. For digital games Media Technology includes all kind of digital technologies like software programming, video technology, digital animation, network languages etc.
- There is a growing fuzzy overlap involving games and simulations forming something we identify as game-simulations. are blurring, particularly with serious application in education, training, research and innovation. In these cases the concept of more appropriate. Still, the concepts of game and simulation are used because they relate to different aspects. Games are activities that are mostly oriented at improving human cognitive and tasking skills, while simulations are activities that are mostly oriented at representing reality as good as possible. Here the concepts of games and simulations help us understand and communicate the capabilities, functions and utility of games and simulations.
- At DS Online the topic area Games and Simulation is about games and simulations in a digital environment. We would also like to focus on distributed online games and simulations and on standardization.
Feedback & Contact
- We want your feedback and comments on this topic area, its content and format. The success of this topic area relies on the development of a community that reads and contributes to its development. The development of standards for game technology and simulation models depends on practitioners, designers, educators and researchers communicating and sharing knowledge and experience about the best practice in design and application.
- Please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org