CfP: Temporality in Simulation Gaming: Methods, Applications and Added Value

Please consider submitting your proposal to the following S&G special issue of Simulation & Gaming: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Theory, Practice and Research. http://sg.sagepub.com/  – Full CfP: http://www.vibu.fi/cfp_time.htm

With this symposium (special issue) of Simulation & Gaming, we call on authors to prepare and contribute original and unpublished articles exploring temporality in simulation gaming. Research on time in gaming is becoming more common, but is still rare.  This is surprising considering that the majority of business simulation/games, for example, have a time dimension embedded in their virtual world.  For example, Goosen, Jensen & Wells (2001) argue that the content and structure of business simulations have basically remained the same since the late 1960s.  However, time within simulation/games is actually more complex than just real time or turn based (Elverdam & Aarseth, 2007, p. 5).

Resources in computing power have increased extraordinarily since those times, providing huge potential for developing more diverse, interactive and engaging possibilities to present virtual time.  The technological potential has certainly been applied in modern video gaming, but it seems that its meaning has not been fully studied and explicated in the literature.  It should be clear that embedding a richer time conception will increase the potential of simulation/gaming in many contexts.  As Zagal and Mateas (2010, p. 845) note, “any formal analysis of video games must account for temporality”. Further (p. 847) “a deep understanding of temporality in video games requires multiple simultaneous perspectives, including the purely structural as well as cognitive and sociocultural aspects of time”.

From other disciplines we find rich analyses of temporality, which are relevant for simulation game studies.  In organizational studies authors have understood that time is closely related to organizational productivity, and that time can be viewed as a resource to be managed.  For example, Lee (1999) presents six dimensions of temporality, which all potentially have influence on how to apply simulation gaming:

1.    The amount of time spent to complete a task or an activity;

2.    The location of activities and tasks at particular points over the continuum of time – when they take place;

3.    The order in which activities and tasks take place;

4.    The fixed time by which work is to be done;

5.    The periodic regularity with which work is completed repeatedly; and

6.    The alternation in the intensity of being busy.

The different classifications have clear implications for activities and decision-making in time-dependent environments like simulation games (Lainema, 2010) in terms of game authenticity: what kinds of problems can be illustrated and given to the learners to be solved, what kinds of phenomena a simulation game can illustrate, and probably also how meaningful a certain simulation game experience can be for a learner.  These themes are in the core of this symposium.  This symposium aims at both concluding the existing literature on simulation game time classification, presentation and processing but also representing new research on the time dimension of simulation gaming.  We welcome both theoretical, conceptual and empirical submissions.  This special issue aims at becoming the central collection, in which the existing knowledge is presented, upon which future research on the topic can build.

Possible topics of interest (not necessarily limited to these):

  • review of existing literature on simulation gaming time processing and presentation methods, with the most recent developments;
  • the nature of time during a simulation game and how it affects the gaming experience;
  • flow/immersion and time – how they are linked together;
  • what kinds of phenomena can be represented with simulation games that have different ways of dealing with the flow of gaming decisions and tasks;
  • how the time presentation of a simulation game affects the authenticity of the game;
  • problems of condensed and simplified simulation time – does condensation lead to potential problems and misunderstandings ;
  • studies on the relationship between the progression of events within the game internal world time and the progression of real-world time
  • how temporality affects the cognitive processes of the player
  • time in team based games – how temporality affects team processes, communication  and collaboration
  • temporal structures for arranging optimal game learning processes: when to motivate, brief, and debrief the game content and outcomes, How the participants change on the temporal continuum during this process (from newcomers to experts in the gaming context)
  • presentation and analysis of simulation games which aim at teaching future-oriented awareness of the players – learning about time, its horizon and future;
  • how various perceptions and notions of time influence the debriefing process.

Important dates:

  • Abstract Submission Deadline: summer 2015
  • Notification of Acceptance/Rejection: autumn 2015
  • Paper Submission Deadline: end 2015
  • Notification of Acceptance/Rejection: spring 2016
  • Final Paper Submission Deadline: spring 2016

For further information on Resources, Instructions for Submission, References and Further readings, visit http://www.vibu.fi/cfp_time.htm


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