Sample Essay on Simulators: Is There an Impact on a Person?
Gamification and simulation-based learning are very popular nowadays. But it is hard to tell apart their positive impacts from the negative ones because not enough research has been done on the issue. This sample essay is designed to provide students with important insights on the topic and show in which direction to move if they want to write about gamification.
Simulation games are specially constructed applications that are designed to simulate real-life experiences. They are very popular among youth because these programs allow them to immerse in different worlds (like a role play, war or business environment) and control the main character by achieving certain goals. There is surely a great influence on users, and it is difficult to evaluate whether it is more positive or negative. That is why it is necessary to consider simulation games in terms of both.
As for the positive impact, games of such type involve a simulation-based learning. They motivate users to apply their strategic planning skills as well as engage their decision making to reach a certain goal set by the game itself. The main advantage also lies in the fact that they break down the complicated process and turn them into simple steps that players have to take. What is more, some of the important skills become automatic after the long use of such simulator games. Games make the process of learning faster to a certain degree because the user enjoys playing and perceives the information better.
However, not everything is as good as it sounds. Together with making things easier comes the oversimplification that simultaneously turns the real process beyond simulation hard to understand (the person has to be basically retrained). Furthermore, the accelerated pace may make the user accustomed to the immediate gratification or result. This way, in the real world situation, he/she will not perceive the value of the real-life challenge. The automation of some decisions can also lead to the decrease of critical skills effectiveness – the players used to the same case scenarios are not able to think outside the box and analyze the situation when it goes not the way it is planned.
There are other pitfalls of using simulator games as well like unrealistic experiences (e.g. saving the planet from aliens, piloting an aircraft without necessary skills and knowledge). But it’s already a question of whether the game is appropriate for the simulation-based learning or not (e.g. training on an aircraft simulator after going through the theory).
Overall, it would be not correct to identify simulator games as useful or harmful. They have enough lines of impact from both negative and positive sides. The most important thing is to use a gamification tool suitable for a certain learning session that has specific aims and skills to teach. The simulation games are already used for educational purposes at schools, but only time will show whether they are applied properly and how much benefit they will bring.
- K-12 education: concepts, methodologies, tools, and applications. (2014). Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference, an imprint of IGI Global.
- Mayer, I., & Mastik, H. (2007). Organizing and learning through gaming and simulation: proceedings of Isaga 2007. Delft: Eburon.
- Lateef, F. (2010). Simulation-based learning: Just like the real thing. Journal of Emergencies, Trauma, and Shock, 3(4), 348. doi:10.4103/0974-2700.70743
- Saunders, D., Percival, F., & Vartiainen, M. (1996). Games and simulations to enhance quality learning. London: Kogan Page.
- Klassen, K. J., & Willoughby, K. A. (2003). In-Class Simulation Games: Assessing Student Learning. Journal of Information Technology Education: Research, 2, 001-013. doi:10.28945/306
- Liu, T. (2014). Using educational games and simulation software in a computer science course: learning achievements and student flow experiences. Interactive Learning Environments, 24(4), 724-744. doi:10.1080/10494820.2014.917109
- Huebscher, J., & Lendner, C. (2010). Effects of Entrepreneurship Simulation Game Seminars on Entrepreneurs’ and Students’ Learning. Journal of Small Business & Entrepreneurship, 23(4), 543-554. doi:10.1080/08276331.2010.10593500