Simulation & Gaming: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Theory, Practice and Research
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Call for papers
for a synmposium, issue of
Simulation & Gaming: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Theory, Practice, and Research
on the theme of
Artifact assessment vs. theory testing in simulation/gaming

Guest Editor
Jan H.G. Klabbers,  jklabbers  AT

Following the special issues “State of the Art and Science of Simulation/Gaming”, Volume 32, Number 4, December 2001, and “Simulation and Gaming: The art & science of design”, Volume 34, Number 4, December 2003, I am preparing a special issue of Simulation & Gaming on “artifact assessment vs. theory testing.”

The field of gaming and simulation is positioned both in the design and analytical science tradition.  Both domains pursue different research objectives, and have established different criteria of success.  The analytical sciences develop, test and justify theories. Their power to make valid predictions is a key to success. The design sciences build and evaluate artifacts for well-defined contexts of use. Their usability is a key to success.  As a research method of a traditional discipline, gaming maintains both a concern and a methodology that function under a centripetal force (disciplinary unification) whereas the quality of its design and use requires a centrifugal force (a trans- and meta-disciplinary approach) that defines the quality of the design in a way that is as multifaceted as possible. Gaming, from that viewpoint, needs a cross-disciplinary dialogue between the analytical and the design sciences, in order to enhance an adequate and fruitful conversation over quality. Evaluating games from the viewpoint of an analytical scientist is distinguishable from assessing games (artifacts) from the position of a design scientist.  Design scientists (game designers) build their artifacts to function in well-defined contexts of use. The artifact should be assessed from that viewpoint, in principle taking on board the option of "causality from single cases".

The aim of this special issue is to examine typical research methodologies of both domains, and publish empirical studies that can serve as models (“exemplars”) of how to do gaming and simulation research in the analytical and design sciences. Authors are invited to pay special attention to research methodologies that advance their fields of inquiry: either to develop and test theories such as in multi-agent modeling, cognitive sciences, social psychology, etc., or to build and evaluate gaming artifacts that function in contexts of use such as in public and business management, information (systems) science, multi-media science, health care, urban management, education, environmental policy, etc.  Those, who are involved in various forms of impact assessment, usability engineering, and action research, are invited as well to enlighten methodological questions that are relevant for gaming and simulation.

My intention is to engage in a constructive dialogue with authors so that the final product will reflect the highest standards for work in the gaming and simulation tradition.

Please send a one- to two-page outline containing the following items:

• A working title.

• Your name(s), address, phone, fax, e-mail, etc.

• An abstract, with a set of objectives and an outline for the proposed paper.

• A working plan and time schedule.

• (Possibly one or two off-prints of previous papers that might be relevant)

The outline should not exceed 750 words, including the paper’s title, full name(s) of author(s), and should be emailed to Jan Klabbers by early 2005, preferably as a Microsoft Word document email attachment.

Send your outline to:
Jan H.G. Klabbers
E-mail  jklabbers  AT