Realism of Simulation Models in Serious Gaming: Two case studies from Urban Water Management Higher Education

09/22/2021
by   Darwin Droll, et al.
0

For games used in educational contexts, realism, i.e., the degree of congruence between the simulation models used in the games and the real-world systems represented, is an important characteristic for achieving learning goals well. However, in the past, the realism of especially entertainment games has often been identified as insufficient. Thus, this study is investigating the degree of realism provided by current games. To this purpose, two games in the domain urban water management, a subdomain of environmental engineering (EE), are examined. One is ANAWAK, a web-based serious game on water management and climate change. For ANAWAK, an analysis of the simulation model is conducted. Second, the simulation model of the entertainment game Cities: Skylines (CS) is analyzed. In addition, a survey among CS players (N=61) is conducted. Thereby, different degrees of realism in various EE subdomains are revealed. All in all, there are still considerable deficits regarding the degree of realism in the CS simulation model. However, modding as a means of achieving more realistic simulation models is more widely supported than in the past.

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