The Game Between Game Theory and Gaming Simulations: Design Choices

Bill Roungas, Femke Bekius, Sebastiaan Meijer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
105 Downloads (Pure)


Background. The abstraction of complex systems, which is required by default when modelling gaming simulations, is a convoluted and time-consuming process. For gaming simulations to be efficient and effective, the problem of the real system they imitate needs to be narrowed down and simplified as much as possible. Additionally, even after abstraction of the real system, multiple design decisions need to be made and these may differ depending on the gaming simulation. Aim. This article proposes a framework for formalizing, and consequently standardizing, expediting and simplifying, the modelling of gaming simulations. Method. The proposed framework applies game concepts pertaining to game theory in the abstraction of the real system and the game design decisions. Results. Application of the framework in three case studies reveals several advantages of incorporating game theory into game design, such as formally defining the game design elements and identifying the worst-case scenarios in the real-systems, to name but two. Conclusions. Given the framework’s advantages in general, and the game design recommendations it offers in particular, it is safe to conclude that, for the cases presented in this article, the framework make positive contributions towards the development of gaming simulations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)180-201
JournalSimulation and Gaming
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • complex adaptive systems
  • game theory
  • gaming simulations
  • serious games

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