The New Research Focus: An Analysis of the Simulation Game User


  • A. J. Faria
  • R. O. Nulsen, Jr.


" From the time that the first business simulation was designed and implemented in a classroom situation, the primary focus of most research efforts has been on justifying the simulation as a meaningful learning tool. Simulation usage is not new to our contemporary educational setting. The business simulation has been around for 25 years or more now. However, it still remains unique with respect to traditional teaching/learning methods. As such, the current research emphasis plods on and on in an attempt to justify simulation gaming as a meaningful adjunct to the educational system. To date, reams of material have poured into various conferences and journals highlighting the educational experience via simulation usage. In light of this research, it is surprising that no acceptable results have been obtained indicating that simulation gaming is a teaching tool superior to any of the normally used, more traditional methods, or an even adequate teaching tool. One simply has to scan the material, examine the research that’s been performed, read the analytical sections of most papers, and view the conclusions to realize that most authors cannot reach valid conclusions as to the results of their studies. One wonders if, in fact, we haven’t been beating our heads against a brick wall for the last 10-20 years trying to measure something that is non-measurable. Even in light of these inconclusive research findings, however, the business simulation has become a very important element within the curriculum of many business schools. "