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Friday, November 13, 2009

Sometimes It's Too Real

When creating simulations, one mistake novice designers and developers make is trying to have the simulation be too realistic. Trying to capture every element of the environment, trying to be 100% focused on the simulation aspects and not the learning aspects or the motivational aspects.

Admittedly, the goal is to have a level of realism but in many situations, the real environment in which the performance needs to take place is not all that exciting or motivational and doesn't have a direct impact on the person's performance in that environment.

So adding those parts into a simulation is not always a good idea. A simulation is designed to capture the essense of what needs to be learned, it is a model of a situation or a behavior and not a play-by-play realistic re-telling of what happens in a particular situation.

I think this video from The Onion underscores the problem:

Ultra-Realistic Modern Warfare Game Features Awaiting Orders, Repairing Trucks


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