Abstract for: Complexity-Based Gaming Approach to Improve Learning from Simulation Games

This study investigates whether a procedure in which games are played in an increasing order of complexity can improve game performance, conceptual learning, and transfer of learning. Using controlled experiments, we test whether playing simpler versions of a game in increasing complexity improves performance and learning as compared to playing the simpler versions in random order, or repeatedly playing the same complex game without any change in complexity. The results are not in favor of gradual complexity increase in terms of performance and learning, indicating that it is not straightforward to establish a gradual-increase-in-complexity method for improving performance and learning, due to subtleties related to task structure, game procedure and cognitive effects of the playing sequence. Subjects perform slightly better when they are first introduced with relatively simpler versions of a task, and when the complexities of consecutive games are close. Probable factors behind these results are discussed. In depth analysis of factors causing these results is a potential further research topic.