Simulations vs Games

Simulations vs Games

Simulations vs Games

Games and simulations are two things that seem talked about in the same circles. Sometimes they even get misinterpreted for one another. They do share some of the same characteristics; but games and simulations are different from one another.

Before we jump into what those differences are, let’s first define what we mean by games.

What are games?

Games are activities that have an explicit goal. There is a clear structure that guides players’ choices and experiences. Games allow players to interact with the environment, other players, or both. Finally, games have feedback mechanisms that provide players with a gauge for how their interaction affects their play.

One reason why players find games so engaging and addictive is because they create an emotional reaction in players.This visceral sense of accomplishment, triumph, or fiero, that players get when they play great games is what keeps them coming back for more.

What are simulations?

So how do simulations compare to games? Simulations can also be games. Games such as The Sims or Sim City even have simulation in the title. Simulations can also be serious games.Serious games are games that have been designed from the ground up for learning.

So what are some examples of simulations? Microsoft Flight Simulator qualifies for its ability to accurately recreate how one would operate an aircraft. Cytosis is a serious game in its ability to teach players cell biology. Chessis a serious game based on its ability to showinsights on how strategies might play out on a battlefield.

Simulations – unlike games – are supposed to be representative. They are supposed to be replications of what can be or has been. If you’ve ever seen Civil War reenactors, played the Stock Market Game in your high school economics class, or participated in a case study, then you know what simulations can be used for.


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