Simulation & Gaming:
An Interdisciplinary Journal of Theory, Practice and Research
Simulation and Gaming and the
Teaching of Sociology
Baker, A. C., P. J. Jensen, and D. L. Kolb. 1997.
In Conversation: Transforming Experience into Learning. Simulation & Gaming 28:6-12.
Bredemeier, M. E. 1978. Providing Referents
for Sociological Concepts: Simulation Gaming. Teaching Sociology, 5:409-422.
Bredemeier, M. E. and C. S. Greenblat. 1981.
The Educational Effectiveness of Simulation Games: A Synthesis of Findings. Simulation &
Broker, R. G. 1988. Truth as a Variable:
Teaching Political Strategy with Simulation Games. Simulation & Games 19:43-58.
Bruin, K. 1985. Prejudices, Discrimination,
and Simulation Gaming: An Analysis. Simulation & Games 16:161-173.
Bruschke, J. C., C. Gartner and J. S. Seiter.
1993. Student Ethnocentrism, Dogmatism, and Motivation: A Study of BAFA BAFA. Simulation & Gaming
Butler, J. T. 1988). Games and Simulations:
Creative Educational Alternatives. TechTrends 33:20-23.
Byrnes, D. A. and G. Kiger. 1992. Prejudice-Reduction Simulations: Ethics, Evaluations, and Theory Into
Practice. Simulation & Gaming
Chin, J. 1989. Review of SOCIOLOGY
LABORATORY by William Sims Bainbridge. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Simulation & Gaming 20:501-505 and Simulation & Gaming 21
(1990):96-98. See also, Teaching Sociology 16 (1988):93-94.
Coleman, J. S. 1989. "Simulation Games and
the Development of Social Theory. Simulation & Games 20:144-164.
Coleman, J. S., et al. 1973. The Hopkins'
Games Program: Conclusions from Seven Years of Research. Educational Researcher 2:3-7.
D'Antonio, W. V. 1983. Nibbling at the
Core. Teaching Sociology 10:169-185.
Davis, J. A., R. Dukes and W. A. Gamson. 1981.
Assessing Interactive Modes of Sociology Instruction. Teaching Sociology 8:313-323.
Debenham, J. and G. Smith. 1979.
Simulating Decision-Making in Marriage Formation. Teaching Sociology 6:147-160.
DeMartini, J. 1983. Sociology, Applied Work
and Experiential Learning. Teaching Sociology 11:17-31.
Dorn, D. S. 1989. Simulation Games: One
More Tool On the Pedagogical Shelf. Teaching Sociology 17:1-18.
Dukes, R. L. 1987. Teaching Statistics with
Nonsimulation Games. Teaching Sociology 15:184-190.
Elder, C. D. 1973. Problems in the
Structure and Use of Educational Simulation. Sociology of Education 46:335-354.
Gamson, W. A. and R. J. Stambaugh. 1978.
The Model Underlying SIMSOC. Simulation & Games 9:131-158.
Glass, John F. 1978. Prisoner's Dilemma: An
Exercise in Intergroup Relations. Teaching Sociology 5:275-280.
Greenblat, C. S. 1971. Simulations, Games,
and the Sociologist. American Sociologist 6:161-164.
Greenblat, C. S. and J. H. Gagnon. 1979.
Further Explorations on the Multiple Reality Game. Simulation & Games 10:41-59.
Groves, J. M., C. Warren, and J. Witschger. 1996. Reversal of Fortune: A Simulation Game for Teaching
Inequality in the Classroom. Teaching Sociology 24: 364-371.
Describes a promising, unnamed exercise that simulates how resources influence social
neworks. Contains rules, debriefing questions, and a post game questionnaire. Presents results
from 142 participants. Suitable for introductory sociology, social problems, race, gender, or other
course on stratification.
Harrod, W. 1983. Social Dilemma: A Teaching Game. Teaching Sociology 10:266-274.
Discusses a classroom exercise which is simpler than THE COMMONS GAME (Powers, Duus and
Norton, 1980) but which shares some of its characteristics.
Hazelton, W. A. and R. P. Maharin. 1986. External Simulations as Teaching Devices: The Model United
Nations. Simulation & Games 17:149-171.
This article examines the benefits of using the Model United Nations as a learning laboratory. Results
were based on faculty and student questionnaires. The authors found that the educational value of the exercise
was enhanced by extensive preparation.
Hope, C. A. and R. G. Stover. 1982. The Commons Game: An Exercise in Resource Allocation. Teaching
Sociology 9 :383-399.
Describes the transformation of a short-term laboratory simulation (based on Edney's exercise on Free
Riders) into a long-term classroom exercise which focuses on how structural features shape decisions.
Hunt, K. C. 1990. Review of the HEX GAME: A Game on Human Settlement Management by Richard D.
Duke and Associates. Ann Arbor, MI: Multilogue (321 Parklake Ave, 48103). Simulation & Gaming
The game models development in a third world country on local, regional, and national levels. It
focuses on interdependence between the whole and its parts. The game is complex, and it takes several hours to
play. It is an excellent exercise.
Kraus, S., J. Wilkenfeld, M. A. Harris, and E. Blake. 1992. The HOSTAGE CRISIS SIMULATION.
Simulation & Gaming 23:398-416.
Describes the HOSTAGE CRISIS SIMULATION, a three-person exercise modeled after the hijacking of
a plane bound for Israel from Europe that was forced to land in Egypt. The exercise incorporates a computer
program (POLNET) that guides negotiations. Thirty-two experimental runs of the simulation showed that
POLNET increased the success of the negotiations.
Lederman, L. C. 1984. Debriefing: A Critical Reexamination of the Postexperience Analytic Process with
Implications for its Effective Use. Simulation & Games 15:415-431.
Focuses on the communication aspects of debriefing. She argues that teachers should
cultivate five skills essential to effective debriefing: 1) tolerance for ambiguity, 2) ability to observe
and interpret behavior, 3) ability to form questions and listen to answers, 4) ability to select
appropriate directiveness, 5) a sense of timing and sound judgement.
Lundgren, T. D. and R. M. Loar. 1978. CLUG: The Spirit of Capitalism and the Success of a
Simulation. Simulation & Games 9:201-207.
The authors describe their use of Alan Feldt's CLUG (Community Land Use Game) over a six-
year period. They have managed to heighten the experience by fostering the spirit of capitalism
among the participants.
Makedon, A. 1984. Playful Gaming. Simulation & Games 15: 25-64.
Describes how gaming can be used as a vehicle for examination of sociological concepts such
as social change, socialization, utopia, education. Well argued rationale for use of games in
Meyers, D. 1990. A Q-Study of Game Player Aesthetics. Simulation & Gaming 21:375-396.
Forty-four students used the Q-sort technique to describe their favorite games. Criteria of fantasy,
curiosity, challenge, and interactivity were useful in describing computer games. Argues that the criteria are
useful for designing games and for choosing them for teaching.
Neubeck, K. J. 1977. Economic Inequality and Cultural Values: An In-Class Game. Teaching Sociology
Describes a game in which students choose and defend a system of income distribution, and in the
process they articulate their own values concerning inequality. Shows how the rules of the game influence the
values which emerge. Describes use in a variety of courses.
Nikkel, S. R. 1976. A Review of Urban Instructional Simulations. Simulation & Games 7:97-106.
Classifies and compares six urban simulation games. SIMSOC and STARPOWER focus on inequality,
CLUG and New Town emphasize land use, and Metropolis and Sitte focus on metropolitan politics. Discusses
the importance of these underlying features in matching games to course content.
Osmond, M. W. 1979. The Use of Simulation Games in Teaching Family Sociology. The Family
Coordinator 28:205-216. See also Journal of Marriage and the Family 40:49-61.
Describes a game that illustrates Blau's model of social exchange. Players learn how roles and resources
influence degree of fair exchange between partners. Discusses how variations of the game can be used to teach
the dynamics of conflict and exchange in counselor-client relationships.
Pahl, R. H. 1992. Finally, a Good Way to Teach City Government!: A Review of the Computer Simulation
Game 'SimCity.' Social Studies 82:165-166. See also, White, J. D. 1992. Review of SIMCITY: The
City Simulator. Simulation & Gaming 23:120-123.
Review of widely distributed computer simulation game about the development of a city. SIMCITY
received national television coverage as a teaching tool that has been used with inner-city students in Los
Angeles since the 1992 riot.
Petranek, C. 1994. A Maturation in Experiential Learning: Principles of Simulation & Gaming. Simulation
& Gaming 25:513-523.
An explanation of how to use games and simulations in sociology classes by a master teacher.
Petranek, C., S. Corey and R. Black. 1992. Three Levels of Learning in Simulations: Participating,
Debriefing, and Journal Writing. Simulation & Gaming 23:174-185.
Argues convincingly for journal writing as part of simulation and gaming in learning.
Randel, J. M., B. A. Morris, C. D. Wetzel, and B. V. Whitehill. 1992. The Effectiveness of Games for
Educational Purposes: A Review of Recent Research. Simulation & Gaming 23:261-276.
Excellent review of literature on the effectiveness of games versus traditional classroom instruction for
learning. Considered 68 studies from 1963-1991 in social science, math, language arts, logic, physics, and
biology. Findings of effectiveness were strongest for language arts and math. In these fields greater specificity
of content and more effective use of computers created a clear advantage for the exercises over traditional
teaching methods. Twelve of 14 studies favored the games. In social science 33 of 46 studies showed no
difference. That is, games were at least as effective as more traditional methods. In 13 of 46 studies, games
were shown to be better. Furthermore, greater retention was shown for games, and students reported greater
interest in simulation and game activities than in more conventional classroom instruction. See also Van Sickle,
R. L. 1986. A Quantitative Review of Research on Instructional Simulation Gaming: A Twenty-year
Perspective. Theory and Research in Social Education 14:245-264.
Sanders, P. and J. N. Yanouzas. 1985. Experiential Socialization: Some Effects of Positive Personal
Reinforcement upon Socializing 'Rebellious' Learners. Simulation & Games 16:71-85.
Results of this research show that positive feedback from the instructor increases the degree of
participant acceptance of norms associated with experiential learning.
Schindler, J. V. 1993. Review of SIMLIFE: The Genetic Playground. Simulation & Gaming 24:252-256.
See also, Thiagarajan, R. 1991. Review of SIMEARTH: The Living Planet. Simulation & Gaming
SIMEARTH, SIMCITY, SIMLIFE, and SIMANT (yes, an ant colony) are a series of successful
computer simulations. The first two are appropriate for sociology. As Schindler says, "I never thought playing
God could be so much fun--or so challenging!" Players set parameters and put the simulations in motion.
These exercises are widely available at software stores. They are distributed by Maxis, Two Theater Square,
Suite 230, Orinda CA 94563-3041.
Seidner, C. J. 1976. Teaching with Simulations and Games, pp. 217-251 in N. L. Gage (ed.), The
Psychology of Teaching Methods. Chicago: National Society for the Study of Education.
A comprehensive review of the literature on simulations and games as instructional techniques. Provides
an excellent overview of findings on effectiveness versus unsubstantiated claims. Discusses variations in
outcomes by demographic and other background characteristics of participants.
Slesnick, T. 1983. Creative Play: An Alternative Use of the Computer in Education. Simulation & Games
An introduction to eight simple computer-related activities. Although these materials were developed for
seven- to twelve-year-olds, the exercises are basic to computer-aided instruction for students of any age.
Splevin, G. 1979. Directed Discovery in Debriefing. SIMAGES (Fall):17-21.
Presents debriefing of a simulation game as composed of two parts--clearing the air and clarifying
principles. Provides a guideline for maintaining the focus of affective debriefing and a systematic procedure for
focusing the learner's attention on a specific principle. This principle can be combined with others to develop
higher order generalizations.
Splevin, G. 1979. Handling Emotions During Debriefing. SIMAGES (Spring):11-13.
This article provides a guideline for undertaking the affective component of debriefing. Contains a
checklist of debriefing issues.
Steinwachs, B. 1992. How to Facilitate a Debriefing. Simulation & Gaming 23:186-195.
Systematic explanation of the debriefing process. Includes preparation for debriefing, dealing with large
groups, description of what happened, and application of what was learned to real life. This issue of Simulation
& Gaming is devoted entirely to debriefing, and the issue is available separately.
Stolovitch, H. D. 1990. D-FITGA: A Debriefing Model. Performance and Instruction 29:18-19.
Presents a model of debriefing that is made up of the following elements: decompression, factual
information, inferences, transfer from the exercise to the real world, generalizations, applications.
Szafran, R. F. and A. F. Mandolina. 1980. Student Evaluations of a Simulation Game: Patterns in a Large
Introductory Sociology Course. Teaching Sociology 8:21-37.
Reports on student evaluations of SIMSOC.
Tamminga, H. L. 1977. Moral Education Through Gaming-Simulation in Sociology. Teaching Sociology
Emphasizes the implicit link between simulation games and values education. Argues that values are
always taught when gaming.
Thatcher, D. C. 1990. Promoting Learning Through Games and Simulations. Simulation & Gaming 21:262-
Applies David Kolb's Experiential Learning Model to the use of games in the classroom. Presents
debriefing as the keynote to teaching with games and simulations.
Theobold, D. M, , S. H. Huntsman, and J. R. Supra, Jr. 1995. WORLD SYSTEM SIMULATION: A
Generational Perspective on Global Systems. Simulation & Gaming 26: 249-260.
Presents computer simulation exercise the object of which is to sustain the word system.
The exercise models the interrelation of economy, agriculture, population, resources, and pollution.
Thorson, E., ed., 1979. Simulation in Higher Education: Papers from Denison Simulation Center at
Denison University, Granville, Ohio. Hicksville, NY: Exposition Press.
This book is a report on a large, three-year Simulation and Learning Project at Denison.
Wentworth, D. R. and D. R. Lewis. 1973. A Review of Research on Instructional Games and
Simulations in Social Science Education. Social Education 37:432-440.
An early, general review of the field.