Social simulation and serious games

ESSA Special Interest Group SSSG – Social simulation and serious games

Session chairs:
Melania Borit, University of Tromsø – The Arctic University of Norway
Harko Verhagen, Stockholm University, Sweden

This special session focuses on the interplay between social simulation and serious games. We wish to bring together researchers working on both fields to a crossroads at which synergies will be created between the two areas. In SSSG, we investigate how the fields of social simulation and serious games are linked. In particular, we focus on the following topics:

  • Serious game design. Which level of abstraction is chosen for a serious game? Will it be close to a strict simulation or will it incorporate extensive metaphors? What are the factors based on which this choice is to be made? Which (serious) game mechanics are useful?
  • Modelling the social situation. Which approach captures the situation with sufficient granularity? How should a choice be made to include specific theories and models that describe the situation? For example, using a data-driven methodology, how can the steps be made from data to theory to application (and game mechanics)? For agent-based modelling, how can artificially intelligent agents be made that act according to a specified model?
  • Example implementations. Stories of success and failure: which elements in a serious game that includes social interaction turn out to be useful and which are counter-productive to the game’s goal? Which elements of social simulations can be used in the design of serious games?

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