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Ready-to-use s/g

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 Ready-to-use games & simulations 

A much-valued section in S&G is the ready-to-use simulation/game that appears in every issue.  The section Editors are:

 Pierre Corbeil 

This page provides guidelines on writing the ms containing your ready-to-use game (RTUG).  Please contact the RTUG Editor before you embark on a review.  Contact details are:

Pierre Corbeil
690, 104e avenue Drummondville, QC J2B 4P9, Canada.
+1 819-477-3983
p.corbeil  at  cgocable ca

You need to obtain a ms ID before you send your ms.  This can be obtained from the RTUG Editor.  The ms system works like the ms ID system for ordinary articles, except that the letter g precedes the number, for example, "g096_v1_WRITING-GAME".  Note use of - and _.

The section Editor will read your draft ms and then make suggestions for modification.  You will then revise your ms (perhaps several times) and send it back to the section Editor, who will then forward it to the journal Editor, David Crookall.

Also, when you are given the go-ahead, post or fax a signed copy of the Sage Author Agreement.  Your ms cannot be published without this agreement.

Deadline.  You and your section Editor must agree on a deadline for having the final ms in the hands of the section Editor.  If for whatever reason you are unlikely to meet this deadline, then telephone the section Editor immediately.  Your ms will generally be published about 6 months after the deadline.

Ms length:  The general rule is that length should be appropriate to content.  See elsewhere in this guide for advice on good writing.

Content:  Give readers information enabling them to decide if they wish to use the simulation/game. Describe the game briefly - its subject, its purpose, and how it "plays."  You may weave in a short essay on an issue that the game raises.

Structure & flair.  See the notes on good writing and check list elsewhere in this Guide.  In addition:

  • Look at some ready-to-use simulation/games that have already been published in recent issues of S&G.

  • Then develop your ideas, including only essential description.

  • It is a good idea to have a clear structure.  The following is recommended:

    • Abstract.

    • Keywords.

    • Basic data (see below for detials).

    • Introduction.

    • Facilitator's guide, including debriefing schedule, times, instructions for making additional materials.

    • Participants' guide, including debriefing materials.

    • Conclusion - something more than a mere summary (interesting idea, question for thought, riddle, quote from participant in simulation, quote from author, any quote, warning, anecdote, short amusing story).

  • Throughout, write in a concise but popular (i.e., eminently readable) fashion.  See notes on good writing and the check list in this guide.

Content.  In most cases your ms will be a ready-tu-use simulation/game.  However, other ready-to-use materials are also welcome, and can be published.  Such materials can be evaluation procedures, debriefing materials, research questionaires or other instruments.

Format:  Recently published simulation/games in S&G will give you a good idea of how to format your MS.  It will also give you the headings that come at the start of your ms.  Some published simulation/games may be missing one or more of the above sections.  Include every section in your ms.  The following notes are important.

Whenever writing the name of the simulation game, use all capital letters even if the title is long, e.g, WHERE IN THE WORLD IS CARMEN SANTIAGO?  For sub-title, use caps & lower case, e.g., TALKING ROCKS: A simulation on the origins of writing.

Indent the first paragraph, and all subsequent paragraphs.

Background info about you: Please write a bio statement at the end of the ms.  Make this interesting!  This statement should not exceed 100 words.  It should follow immediately after the last paragraph of the text of your review, separated by an extra blank line.

In addition (not part of the 100 words), put your full address, including your country even if it is the USA, since this is an international publication.  Also indicate your phone, fax & e-mail if you wish. (See examples in the journal, or end of example ms in this guide.)


TALKING ROCKS: A simulation on the origins of writing

Robert F. Vernon
University of Simulation

Abstract.  See notes on doing an abstract in the example ms section of this guide.

Keywords.  See notes on doing a keywords in the example ms section of this guide.

Basic Data.

The third part of your ms contains a "basic data" block, giving essential information about the parameters of the simulation/game.  Look carefully at the sub-titles below to see how this section is set up  Set yours up with precisely the same indentations. Underline whatever is in bold (below). (Underlining is printerís code for italics.)

  • Instructional (learning) objectives (phrases beginning with verbs, e.g., convey, develop, experience, examine).

  • Simulation/game objectives.  (These are not the learning objectives.  They are the objectives of the participants inside the the simulation/game, e.g., "to win", "to gain a maximum number of points", "to do as many rounds in a given time", "to exchange as much information as possible", "to build three models in article, following instructions and a plan", "to find the missing element", "to buy as much property as possible".  You may, of course, have several objectives.  Give as much essential information as possible, without saying how the game is played.

  • Debriefing format(s).  Indicate such things as: discussion, essay writing, questionnaires, reading, participating in another simulation/game, doing a presentation, doing a group project, doing some research.

  • Target audience (ages, specializations, interests, pre-requisites, competency levels, etc.).

  • Playing time (total time, indicate if breaks are possible or preferable, etc.).

  • Debriefing time.

  • Number of players required (min & max totals, number of groups, etc.).

  • Participation materials included (handouts, texts of labels, etc.).

  • Debriefing materials included (questionnaire, OHT text, etc.).

  • Computer/internet configuration (e.g., type of computer, web-only participation).

  • Other materials/equipment required (blocks, pens, scissors, etc.; instructions for making these to be included in the facilitator's guide).

Introduction.  The introduction is not a decoration. The introduction tells the potential users what model and what situation are being used to construct the game. The user should also have a broad overview of how the game functions and what the participants are trying to do. Some would say that a good simulation/game is first of all of game.  A good simulation/game should have action and decision rules, some kind of internal feedback and a clear identification of end situations, such as someone winning, or attaining a certain level, or finishing a certain task.  Use the terms facilitator (not game director or other) and participant (not player).

Facilitator's guide.  Use simple, direct, active language.  For example: You should do thisYou should do that.  The facilitator needs clear indications on all important points - indeed on all points.  These include such items as refereeing the game, clarifying the inevitable ambiguities and dealing with overly inventive participants. What is needed is not so much very long or detailed rules, but rules and guidelines to help the facilitator construct a sort of game tradition. Your game is like a judicial precedent, but many facilitators will be using it to build a simulation and learning universe.

Participants' guide.  Use simple, direct, active language.  For example: You should do thisYou should do that.  The participant need not know exactly all the thinking that went into the game design, but must know exactly what the steps, actions and results are to be carried out, performed and integrated into the game. Never say <<act like a fool>>. Write a rule that says something like "Phase 2:  You may initiate actions that are not intelligible to the other participants".  The bane of some games is contradictory instructions. An important aspect of the game that will be verified by the editors is its feasibility, i.e., does it really work? can even a beginner participate in the action?

Conclusion.  Space in the journal is at a premium. Additional text must help the reader or participant understand the game.  A personal statement, explaining the author's interest, is excellent, but preaching that the game should end in a certain way is superfluous. This is valid for business games as well as for political or intercultural games.

End matter.  Include the usual bio-statement and contact details, as indicated in the example ms.


Your format must model this exactly, with one exception.  Items which are in italics in the example you should underline in your manuscript. Underlining is standard code telling the typesetter to put something into italics.

Use a lively, personal, direct style of writing. Try to make yours easy, informal, as though you are right there talking with your reader.  However, make your review elegant in expression, crafted and a joy to read.  See the section on good writing.

Check list Enclose a copy of the check list, crossing out the items that do not apply to ready-to-use simulation/games.

Thank you, on behalf of Simulation & Gaming, for your time, ideas and your simulation/game.

Author agreement

You must send a signed copy of the publisher's author agreement.  When the section Editor has your final ms in hand, she or he will ask you to send the author agreement directly to Sage.  Include a note saying "for S&G".  The address is: 

Sage Publications, 2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320, USA.  Fax +1 805-499-0871.

Send the Editor a note when this has been done.

Proofs.  Later, you will receive page proofs to correct.  Send your corrections back to the publisher immediately.  (Sometimes they send the proofs to the section Editor instead.)

Unfortunately, if you do not do both of the above things (send the agreement and send back your proofs), your article will be pulled from the issue.

Many thanks for your understanding and help, and for contributing to S&G.

Ready-to-use simulation/game Editor
Pierre Corbeil  p.corbeil cgocable ca