The recent discussions on the classes made me reconsider the connection between game and simulation and what are the roles that they could play in real life.
Video game and stimulation shares similarity in the sense that they are all the extension of the real life. Video game, in most of the case, is the variants of real-life activities. They are either imitation of what people enjoy doing, such as sport and adventures, or imaginary worlds where people can exceed the physical constraints. Yet, even in those imaginary worlds, the players still has to follow some of the basic physical laws or fundamental values. On the other hand, stimulation is reproducing real life. They are essentially both the digital version of the physical world with the different focus: entertainment or accuracy. Therefore, it raises the question that if it possible to create a digital system that has the same features as real life but also entertaining, and more important, it is capable of help solving real issues in the world. Moreover, the further question that if simulations could be integrated with the real world, so as to beautify the physical world by making some part of it become attractive and even addictive games. Instead of a piece of code in computers, stimulation could create a virtual reality on the real physical world, with vivid graph, sound and tactile sensations. In the video about the game addiction, it is proved that while children encounter lots of discouragement and failure in schools and family, they tend to look for achievement from video games, which is an important cause of game addiction. A well-designed simulation game may be able to solve the problem.
Jane McGoing, a game designer, once discussed the possibility of using the game to solve real issues in a TED Talk called Gaming can make a better world. She thinks there are several factors that make game so attractive: Urgent Optimization, Blissful Productivity, Epic meaning and Tight Social Fabric. Urgent Optimization means the challenges in video games are designed according to players’ level, which give gamers a reasonable hope for success. Blissful Productivity means that as people are happier playing games, they are also more productive. Epic meaning refers to gamers loving to be attached to awe-inspiring missions to human planetary-scale stories. Tight Social Fabric refers to the fact that people feels better about each other after playing games. This explains why so many children are addicted to games, especially when their parents do not know how to develop the relation between children and family. However, what if, in the future, the family life is formatted into a game and people could get +1 on their skill if their actions are favorable to the relation with other family members. The advantages of games are that it is well-designed by experts, gives players clear goals about what is the right thing to do, and people could switch between games to choose the one they like most. Games could play the similar role of good textbooks for teachers. Even if the some teachers don’t know how
to structure their courses, the textbooks offer solutions and ensure the qualify of educations. In term of educations, parents have poorer knowledge than teachers. When parents do not know how to educate their kids, games know! Moreover, different from educational video games in a screen, simulated virtual reality games are directly related to the issues. Players are guided make correct actions the time they face issues, instead of learning in front of computers, then practicing in real life!
Achieving this goal has high requirement on professional education knowledge and game designing skills. However, it would be a new and revolutionary form of education!