Solving the Simulation Paradox – How Educational Games Can Support Research Efforts


  • Christian K. Karl


"On the one hand, an educational game represents a realistic, experience-based teaching and learning method which aims at the gaining of insights through the experiencing - mostly in teams - of conflict- and problem-based situations. On the other hand, on condition that the displayed excerpt of reality is sufficiently detailed, an educational game can equally be a (supportive) research method, which - especially with the included time-lapse function - can achieve knowledge gains especially from the decisions and their resulting actions of the involved individuals and groups. The aim of this paper is to give a short introduction into a synergistic modeling approach to solve a disruptive effect, named by the author as simulation paradox. This describes the active influence through communicating the results of a data analysis after a simulation, which possibly leads to an adjusted behavior of the simulated individuals in reality and will potentially affect decision focused simulation studies negatively. Within this paper, a clear linguistic distinction between the terms simulation and educational game is essential. Already at this point it should be noted that within this paper a simulation and an educational game are not the same. "