Simulation games: everything you need to know

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There are situations that you might not live long enough to learn from your experience. Situations like flying an airplane, performing critical surgery, on the battlefield and a host of others. To teach students critical skills in these terrains, highly immersive simulation games are deployed.

Learning is experience. Everything else is just information.
– Albert Einstein.

What are simulation games?

Simulation games are educational tools that provide students the opportunity to learn through the application of theory and decision-making to a simulated real-world scenario. They deploy an active learning methodology and challenge users to analyze available information and make critical decisions based on theoretical and practical knowledge to solve real-life challenges (Harvard Business School, 2011).

Simulation games are growing in popularity because they are supported by technologies that can be improved upon, easily, as life demands and adapted to the best fun ways students’ learn/role-play and business people analyze.

You can have a game that’s not a simulation and a simulation that’s not a game, but
when you get one that does both, it’s a real kick-ass situation.
– Elliott Masie

Types of simulation games

Flight Simulator

This a major shapeshifter that revolutionized the air transport industry. Within the confines of a training facility, prospective pilots are taught the robes of piloting and flying all manner of aircraft with carbon copy cockpits. They have subjected to all sorts of situations and scenarios. Pelted with ‘what-ifs’ in terms of weather, location, flying conditions, time of the day and technical/mechanical difficulties without risks to flying pods or human lives.

Defense simulation games

The military uses this type of games to train new recruits on the acts of war; sharpen their mental might in the field of battle, arm them with split-second decision-making capabilities, train them on how to work together as a team, infiltrate the camp of the enemy in stealth mode and a host of others. Here the theories of warfare can also be put to test without having to deal with real life hostilities.

Worth mentioning also are medical simulation and life simulation games.

Finally, some real-life situations assume the form of simulations.  A case in point is the man seated within the comfort of his flight console, a thousand miles away, and causing havoc with the aid of tactical drones in another planet. Sink half of the world without as much as stepping out of his workstation.