Abstract for: System Dynamics and Serious Games

This paper deals with the relationship between serious games and system dynamics. Games have been used in SD since the beginning. However, the field of serious gaming also has its own development. The purpose of this contribution is to provide a broad overview of the combination of serious gaming and SD and discuss the state of the art and promise. We first define serious game, simulation and case study and then point out how SD overlaps with them. Then we move on to define the basic components of a game and continue with an outline of important decisions and challenges of game design. After reviewing different possible purposes of SD-based simulation games, we discuss various approaches to game design with specific attention paid to learning effects. We also review the evolution of the interest for serious gaming in SD over the past 40 years. Our conclusion is that interest has oscillated between rising and declining, but that serious gaming is being recognized as an important component not only in educational settings, but also in policy design. We finish by offering important research questions for the future.