Corporate Cartooning: The Art of Computerized Business Simulation Design


  • Jeremy J. S. B. Hall


"Business simulation design is a combination of art and science. And, although the science aspects are arguably domain specific this paper suggests that the art aspects are not. It argues that computerized business simulations are a sequential art form that parallels the strip cartoon or comic. And that this parallel can be used to explore the art of computerized simulation design and, especially, the tacit and instinctive aspects of simulation design that can be made explicit using the sequential art knowledge base. The paper explores how the relationship between the comic’s pictures and words parallel the business simulation’s models and interactions with learners. Using this parallel the paper argues that it is possible to classify and position simulation models in terms simplicity and stylization. And decisions and results (interactions) in terms of ambiguity and form. Beyond this, the paper draws a parallel between the comic’s panel or frame and the simulation’s period. And explores the parallel between the comic’s transitions between frames and the different ways the simulation progresses period-to-period. Also, just as the comic artist must consider how the gutter enforces closure, the simulation designer must consider how to ensure reflection. Next, the paper explores the parallel between the cartoon’s verbal/visual relationships the simulation’s model/interaction relationships. Finally, the paper discusses how balance between the clarity and intensity of a comic is replicated in the need for a simulation to balance learning and engagement. In summary, the paper explores the parallel between the strip cartoon or comic and the mathematical equivalent – the business simulation-game."