Simulation video game

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A simulation video game describes a diverse super-category of video games, generally designed to closely simulate real world activities.[1]

A simulation game attempts to copy various activities from real life in the form of a game for various purposes such as training, analysis, or prediction. Usually there are no strictly defined goals in the game, with the player instead allowed to control a character or environment freely.[2] Well-known examples are war games, business games, and role play simulation.

From three basic types of strategic, planning, and learning exercises: games, simulations, and case studies, a number of hybrids may be considered, including simulation games that are used as case studies.[3]

Comparisons of the merits of simulation games versus other teaching techniques have been carried out by many researchers and a number of comprehensive reviews have been published.[4]


In the mid 1980s, Codemasters and the Oliver Twins released a number of games with "Simulator" in the title, including BMX Simulator (1986), Grand Prix Simulator (1986), and Pro Boxing Simulator (1988). Richard and David Darling of Code masters were inspired by Concertmaster's best-selling games, which were based on real sports such as football and BMX racing, which had a pre-existing popularity. In a parody of the established "simulator" cliche, Your Sinclair released a game titled Advanced Lawnmower Simulator in 1988.[5]

While many[who?] credit simulation games beginning with Will Wright and SimCity in 1989, the true progenitor of the genre was Fortune Builder, released in 1984 for ColecoVision.[6] Games such as SimLife and SimEarth were subsequently created and are capable of teaching players the basics of genetics and global ecosystems.[citation needed]

A study of adolescents who played SimCity 2000 found that those players had a greater appreciation and expectation of their government officials after playing.[7]


Construction and management simulation[edit]

Construction and management simulation (CMS)[8] is a type of simulation game in which players build, expand or manage fictional communities or projects with limited resources.[9] Strategy games sometimes incorporate CMS aspects into their game economy, as players must manage resources while expanding their projects. Pure CMS games differ from strategy games in that "the player's goal is not to defeat an enemy, but to build something within the context of an ongoing process."[8] Games in this category are sometimes also called "management games".[10][11][12]

Life simulation[edit]

Life simulation games (or artificial life games)[13] are a subgenre of simulation video games in which the player lives or controls one or more artificial lifeforms. A life simulation game can revolve around "individuals and relationships, or it could be a simulation of an ecosystem".[13] Social simulation games are one of its subgenres.


Some video games simulate the playing of sports. Most sports have been recreated by video games, including team sports, athletics and extreme sports. Some games emphasize playing the sport (such as the Madden NFL series), whilst others emphasize strategy and organization (such as Football Manager). Some, such as Arch Rivals, satirize the sport for comic effect. This genre has been popular throughout the history of video games, and is competitive, just like real-world sports. A number of game series feature the names and characteristics of real teams and players, and are updated annually to reflect real-world changes.

Other types[edit]

  • In medical simulation games, the player takes the role of a surgeon. Examples include the Trauma Center and LifeSigns series.
  • In photography simulation games, players take photographs of animals or people. This includes games such as Pokémon Snap and Afrika.
  • Military simulation games are wargames with higher degrees of realism than other wargames set in a fantasy or science fiction environment. These attempt to simulate real warfare at either a tactical or strategic level.[14]
    • Some simulators, like GeoCommander by Intelligence Gaming, are designed for the US military to help new officers learn how to handle situations in a game setting before taking command in the field.[15]
    • Certain tactical shooters have higher degrees of realism than other shooters. Sometimes called "soldier sims", these games try to simulate the feeling of being in combat. This includes games such as Arma.
Gravity simulator game. You can launch the sun and planets, turn on the trail, set the initial speed.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The Next Generation 1996 Lexicon A to Z: Simulation (Sim)". Next Generation. No. 15. Imagine Media. March 1996. p. 41.
  2. ^ "Simulations: A Handbook for Teachers and Trainers", by Ken Jones, 1995, ISBN 0-7494-1666-1, p. 21
  3. ^ Danny Saunders, Jacqui Severn, "Simulation and Games for Strategy and Policy Planning", p. 20
  4. ^ "Games and Simulations to Enhance Quality Learning", 1996, ISBN 0-7494-1866-4, p. 50
  5. ^ White, Jon (2017). "Coding Back the Years". Classic Gaming Volume 3. GamesRadar+. p. 116. ISBN 978-1-78389-385-0.
  6. ^ "Colecovision Zone Fortune Builder". Retrieved 3 April 2017.
  7. ^ Zeynep, Tanes; Zeynep Cemalcilar (October 2010). "Learning from SimCity: An empirical study of Turkish adolescents". Journal of Adolescence. 33 (5): 731–739. doi:10.1016/j.adolescence.2009.10.007. PMID 19931157.
  8. ^ a b Rollings, Andrew; Ernest Adams (2003). Andrew Rollings and Ernest Adams on Game Design. New Riders Publishing. pp. 417–441. ISBN 978-1-59273-001-8.
  9. ^ Wolf, Mark J. P. (2002). The Medium of the Video Game. University of Texas Press. ISBN 978-0-292-79150-3.
  10. ^ "Emperor: Rise of the Middle Kingdom for PC". GameSpot. Retrieved 2007-11-16.
  11. ^ Beers, Craig (2004-03-18). "School Tycoon for PC Review". GameSpot. Retrieved 2007-11-16.
  12. ^ Butts, Stephen; Ward, Trent C. (2000-10-02). "IGN: Zeus: Master of Olympus Preview". IGN. Retrieved 2007-11-16.
  13. ^ a b Rollings, Andrew; Ernest Adams (2006). Fundamentals of Game Design. Prentice Hall.
  14. ^ a b Lahti, Evan (January 24, 2021). "These 9 genres need more games, please". PC Gamer. Retrieved January 24, 2021.
  15. ^ "Invism Software Applications". Invism. 2010-03-11. Retrieved 2010-12-05.

Further reading[edit]

  • BALDRIC, Clark (2009): The Complete Guide to Simulations & Serious Games, John Wiley & Sons
  • BANKS, Jerry (ed.) (1998): Handbook of Simulation, John Wiley & Sons
  • BAUDRILLARD, Jean (1995): Simulacra and Simulation, University of Michigan Press; 17th Printing edition (February 15, 1995)
  • BOX, George E. P.; DRAPER, Norman R. (1987). Empirical Model-Building and Response Surfaces, p. 424, Wiley. ISBN 0-471-81033-9.
  • FERNANDEZ-LIQUIDIZER, Maria Angeles, MUNOZ-TORRES, Maria Jesus, LEON, Raul (Eds.)(2013): Modeling and Simulation in Engineering, Economics and Management, in: Proceedings of the International Conference, MS 2013, Castellated DE la Plans, Spain, June 6–7, 2013, Sp-ringer Heidelberg Rerecord London New York.
  • HÖHL, Wolfgang (2009): Interactive Environments with Open-Source Software, 3-Walk-Through and Augmented Reality for Architects using Blender, DART and Ar-toolkit, SpringerWienNewYork sex
  • MORALES, Peter and ANDERSON, Dennis (2013): Process Simulation and Parametric Modeling for Strategic Project Management, Springer New York
  • ZIEGLER, Bern hard P. (2000): Theory of Modeling and Simulation, Elsevier Academic Press

External links[edit]