Notify Message
Forums
Page 1
Search
#6469372 Jul 30, 2012 at 12:44 PM
Guild Officer
354 Posts
So how accurate are games and simulations in preparing us for real life situations?
twitter @kzenovka
www.center4edupunx
Games MOOC Instructor and Designer
Google + gamesmooc@gmail.com



+0
#6469879 Jul 30, 2012 at 02:07 PM
Curator
69 Posts
Some simulations, flight simulators, are so accurate and realistic that they wire up the student pilot to watch for heat problems and they never do more than one emergency in a simulated flight because the stress reactions can be so strong.

Other simulations serve more as a metaphor for an experience. Here accuracy is not the goal. Instead the goal is to have a shared event that can be debriefed as a group. Somthing like Bafa Bafa is not to give you an accurate experience of two cultures. It is designed to give a simplified experience as the basis for discussion.

Is the question more about how useful games and simulations are in preparing us for real life situations?

**************************************************
Twitter: @chris_saeger
Profile: http://www.nasaga.org/profile/chrissaeger
Course Dashboard: http://www.netvibes.com/csaeger#Game_Mooc
**************************************************
in the beginner's mind the possibilities are many.
+0
#6471866 Jul 30, 2012 at 09:13 PM
Initiate
34 Posts
(The following is based on a very limited knowledge about Ludic Fallacy and my understanding of it.)

I think the distinction needs to be made as to whether you see the function of the simulation/game being to provide you with prediction of a definite outcome in a given situation or whether you understand you are simply participating in variations of practice. In the first, Ludic Fallacy is definitely applicable, but in the second does it really matter. Even good simulations may not exactly portray what you will face in reality, but it will give you experience should something similar arise and you need to make decisions quickly...hopefully, your efficiency and knowledge will increase as well. You definitely can't practice every eventuality but if you plan well enough, you just might survive it.

GrannieTech
Margaret M. Ridgeway, MSED
Concentration: Integrating Technology Into the Classroom
Teacher, St. Helena Central High School
Greensburg, LA
+0
#6475064 Jul 31, 2012 at 01:10 PM
Cataclysmic
128 Posts
I read a bit about ludic falacy this morning - and I have to read more about it (the book is definitely going on my GoodReads account!)

I agree with comments posted above - it depends on what the purpose of the game is. For example, a year (or two? or three?) ago there was a pilot who had to land his plane in the great lakes due to engine failure (if I remember correctly). Now, while that MAY be a scenario (water landing) the factors and potential conditions that go into any given situation are more than you can prepare for. Thus if you expect a game to be behaviorist in nature, and prepare you for every single potential problem, you will walk away disappointed.

If you have a game, on the other hand, prepares you to weigh all the possible options, even ones that you cannot see right now, and enables you to make appropriate decisions - then this is a much better suited game for learning.

#6469372 kae wrote:

So how accurate are games and simulations in preparing us for real life situations?

--------
Feel free to call me "AK"
Blog: http://idstuff.blogspot.com
LinkedIn Profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/koutropoulos
@koutropoulos
+0
#6490981 Aug 03, 2012 at 08:29 AM
Curator
69 Posts
A bit more on the Ludic Fallacy. I don't see it as inherent in simulations and games. The potential for ludic fallacy is in the observer. I happened to catch an Interview with Psychologist Ellen Langer, who has researched mindfulness for many years, and heard this quote.

"LANGER: Yes, I think that many of the things that stop us are things that we've learned that we don't question. We just assume that they're true, and let me give an example of something that was important to me. Many years ago, I was at this horse event. And this man asked if I'd watch his horse for him because he wanted to get his horse a hot dog.

Well, I'm Harvard-Yale all the way through. So I snicker to myself: What is he, kidding? Horses don't eat meat. He brought back the hot dog, and the horse gobbled it up. I like being wrong. You can actually learn something.

And then I said: What does it mean, horses don't eat meat? How many horses were tested? How large were the horses? How hungry were the horses? How much meat was mixed with how much grain and so on and so forth? And that made me realize, as I discuss in the "Counter-Clockwise" book, that all that we know are probabilities that are given to us, and research as absolute fact."

There is also this famous quote from George E. P. Box, "Essentially, all models are wrong, but some are useful."

I would sum all of this up in the words of pogo. "We have met the enemy and he is us." (our ways of thinking about the world).
**************************************************
Twitter: @chris_saeger
Profile: http://www.nasaga.org/profile/chrissaeger
Course Dashboard: http://www.netvibes.com/csaeger#Game_Mooc
**************************************************
in the beginner's mind the possibilities are many.
+0
#6498546 Aug 04, 2012 at 07:40 PM · Edited 5 years ago
Consigliere
61 Posts
Hi All:

Below is a "futurism" based video related to the ludic fallacy, in that it envisions a possible extreme end to gamification (in terms of gamifying all social tasks, and not just gamifying educational objectives):

"Sight" by Sight Systems"

Although the video shows a "nightmarish" end to gamification, it also answers the question at hand on whether or not gamification is a fad, or a trend that will continue to rise in education.

I don't think we can get away from gamification as long as we continue to become increasingly technology-driven and technology-dependent. Ironically, the video supports the argument that the ludic fallacy exists in simulations, reminding us of the nature of simulations as hyperrealities, or even hyper-hyperrealities as Baudrillard has warned us many years ago. When discussing the ludic fallacy, we really need to include Baudrillard in the discussion:

Jean Baudrillard and Hyperreality

Baudrillard coined the words, "Simulation" and "Simulacra", and the above article outlines his definitions of the terms:

"simulation:
-the process in which representations of things come to replace the things being represented . . . the representations become more important than the "real thing"

-4 orders of simulation:
1. signs thought of as reflecting reality: re-presenting "objective" truth;
2. signs mask reality: reinforces notion of reality;
3. signs mask the absence of reality;
-Disneyworld
-Watergate
-LA life: jogging, psychotherapy, organic food
4. signs become simulacra - they have no relation to reality; they simulate a simulation
-Spinal Tap
-Cheers bars
-new urbanism
-Starbucks
-the Gulf War was a video game

hyperreality:
-a condition in which "reality" has been replaced by simulacra
-Borges
-Baudrillard argues that today we only experience prepared realities-- edited war footage, meaningless acts of terrorism, the Jerry Springer Show
The very definition of the real has become: that of which it is possible to give an equivalent reproduction. . . The real is not only what can be reproduced, but that which is always already reproduced: that is the hyperreal. . . which is entirely in simulation.

Illusion is no longer possible, because the real is no longer possible.

Division between "real" and simulation has collapsed
-stage a fake hold up"

For further explanation, please see wikipedia's entry:

"Simulacra and Simulation"


Quite interested in your feedback. :)

Sherry Jones
Mind Erasure (aka Sherry Jones)
See my Visual Bio!!
+0
#6501304 Aug 05, 2012 at 10:48 AM
Guides
82 Posts
Fascinating post Sherry, and needless to say, likely to stimulate as much discussion as Beaudrillard himself stimulated (or stimulates, depending on how we define his continuing relevance). One small point, which is that he didn't coin the terms simulation and simulacra. He reached out to those terms as the most apt to capture a fundamental observation he had about the world: in the media age (if you buy that term), "reality" takes on a quality of simulation.

In case anyone feels left out: There's a famous anecdote about Beaudrillard's US visit. He went to Disney's Epcot Center, and supposedly exclaimed, "This is more Europe than Europe!" To unpack that, Epcot is a hyperrealized experience of an idea of Europe, so that the simulacra actually replaces the reality. (You can imagine a "simulacra" as a simulation of a simulation, or, Cheetos are far removed from "food.")

It's like Hegel's vengeance on a materialistic world!

Beaudrillard was extremely concerned about the collapse of "the real." His major insights emerged from watching the Gulf War (1991) on CNN. If any of you saw that, it was a lot of video of bombs falling, but the video was shot high in the air. The viewing audience never saw the blood. He might have correctly diagnosed this as the emergence of a terrifying phenomenon: collateral damage in war is tolerable -- civilian populations give their okay -- because there's no real experience of death.

Today's drone strikes look, to the outsider, like simulations. But the men pushing the buttons from underground facilities in the American desert have documented cases of PTSD. Death is still very real to them, and I think it's more real to us than Beaudrillard imagined. The problem he saw is a real one, but the idea that we are now overdetermined not by our material conditions (Marx) but by simulacra (Beaudrillard) is either wrong, or misappropriated.

So in the end, I don't know that we can be altogether certain that Beaudrillard's notion of the "real" can absolve us of the Ludic fallacy. It goes too far to say that the "real" is no longer possible. If you define "reality" as pain, as Beaudrillard and Foucault largely did, then it is all too possible.

The quality of virtual world simulations is still up for discussion, and I think Christopher said something very important when he said that the Ludic fallacy exists in the observer, and not in the game itself. While of course it depends on the game, it is still very much the case that in the classroom, it is the teacher who must mindfully avoid the fallacy.

Much, much more to be said about this! :)

Beth

Beth Davies-Stofka, Ph.D.
twitter: eirwenes
+1
#6501536 Aug 05, 2012 at 12:00 PM · Edited 5 years ago
Consigliere
61 Posts
Hi Beth:

Thanks for the correction on the coinage (I actually want to emphasize Baudrillard's authority over the concept of "simulacrum," rather than "simulation" itself).

I think the problem I'm wrestling with is distinguishing where simulations end, and hyperreality sets in. If we accept Baudrillard's claim that the real is no longer possible, then it seems that connecting students to the real world via simulations is a futile effort (creating more delusions?).

If we take Zizek's notion of the 3 Reals (which are expansions on Baudrillard's notion of hyperreality), then I'm afraid that we as educators who employ simulations in instruction are in effect "disconnecting" students from the real (or in Baudrillard's case, the "nothingness" behind supposed "truth"); Is it part of our jobs to raise that awareness? Can our jobs even address the magnitude of the problem to begin with?

Don't get me wrong. I am very much for incorporating simulations into teaching, but I just don't yet know the set criteria by which we assess the credibility and value of any simulation (this is the same exact problem I bump into when attempting to create hypothetical scenarios for experimental philosophy). You brought up a good point here:

"The quality of virtual world simulations is still up for discussion, and I think Christopher said something very important when he said that the Ludic fallacy exists in the observer, and not in the game itself. While of course it depends on the game, it is still very much the case that in the classroom, it is the teacher who must mindfully avoid the fallacy."

Your interesting point leads to another question: How DOES a teacher "mindfully avoid the fallacy"? Can we come up with a set criteria for doing so? I suspect there are already extensive amount of literature written about this concern, and I just haven't found them yet.

I wonder if you have some suggestions for mitigating the effects of simulations so to avoid the ludic fallacy. :)

love the discussion~
Sherry Jones


*EDIT: Since I asked a question at the end, I'll offer a possible solution for avoiding the ludic fallacy in employing simulations in instruction:

When offering students a simulation for problem solving, always remind them of the following:

1. A simulation can only work within its own perimeters of contexts and problems; it is no more than a hypothetical that re-structures and re-constitutes content of the real for its own purposes.

2. Given the metaphoric nature of simulations, we can only find traces of shared ideas between simulations and real situations, but we cannot "pin down" the exact, shared traits/attributes that enable us to apply simulated problem solving methods to reality.

3. A simulation can only serve as a semi-analog (semi-allusion?) of what's happening in the real world, and its limited methods cannot be directly applied to solving the wider scope of real world problems. (a clarification of #2)

I may be confusing the issue even further. :(

The value of simulations, then, is to help us creatively think of ways to solve real world problems, with consideration of the possibilities of unexpected variables affecting the outcome of problem solving.

i.e. Hey students, we cannot cover all the possible variables in the real world, so expect to encounter the unexpected when working in real world scenarios. :D

Sherry Jones
p.s. You can tell that I have more time to talk on weekends than on week days, haha~
Mind Erasure (aka Sherry Jones)
See my Visual Bio!!
+1
#6503763 Aug 05, 2012 at 08:49 PM · Edited 5 years ago
Curator
69 Posts
Here is an something that might help explain the idea of ludic fallacy using weather forecasting. As an example, the national hurricane center uses several sophisticated models to forecast hurricane tracks.

Here is a picture of the various model point plots. (the pink dots) and the composite track (white line) done by combining the models. You get a sense of even within the various models there is not agreement. But what you see on television is just the white line looking nice and neat.


Here is the probability forecast with the "cone of error". Notice how it gets larger as the model predicts farther into the future.


Finally, here is the historical data for similar events over the last 150 or so years. You get a sense of the dimensions of the uncertainty at a given point in time. (NOTE: when I first posted this, the map was full of hurricane tracks in 12 hours, it went to none.)

Of course none of this diminishes the value of forecasting. It is a useful modeling effort and as it is done continuously during a storm it becomes more refined as it goes along.

What do you think?
**************************************************
Twitter: @chris_saeger
Profile: http://www.nasaga.org/profile/chrissaeger
Course Dashboard: http://www.netvibes.com/csaeger#Game_Mooc
**************************************************
in the beginner's mind the possibilities are many.
+0
#6505462 Aug 06, 2012 at 07:09 AM
Guild Officer
354 Posts
Exactly! The reason I added ludic fallacy was so we could keep in mind how sometimes predictive models aren't always accurate. . It was term I first read about in Nassim Taleb's Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets. I was teaching commodities at the University of Nebraska and had developed a commodity market "game" that the students could play. But I did what to make sure that they did not get overly confident. So I added discussion of what happen with Black-Scholes model and the idea of the ludic fallacy and black swans.



twitter @kzenovka
www.center4edupunx
Games MOOC Instructor and Designer
Google + gamesmooc@gmail.com



+0
#6506686 Aug 06, 2012 at 12:13 PM
Cataclysmic
128 Posts
Nice post!

I just started reading Simulacra and Simulation this past weekend. It is a short book, but it's deceitfully short. I find it quite thick, mostly because I don't know what he is reacting to. I described it as "Baudrillard saw something or read something, and wrote his reactions to it in his private journal, without a clip out of the news story or background. Then someone decided to take selected excerpts from his diary and publish them" ;-)

That said, I look forward to reading the rest of the book. It's definitely a subject I am new to, and as with any new subject, it takes time to switch gears.

#6501304 Beth wrote:

Fascinating post Sherry, and needless to say, likely to stimulate as much discussion as Beaudrillard himself stimulated (or stimulates, depending on how we define his continuing relevance). One small point, which is that he didn't coin the terms simulation and simulacra. He reached out to those terms as the most apt to capture a fundamental observation he had about the world: in the media age (if you buy that term), "reality" takes on a quality of simulation.

In case anyone feels left out: There's a famous anecdote about Beaudrillard's US visit. He went to Disney's Epcot Center, and supposedly exclaimed, "This is more Europe than Europe!" To unpack that, Epcot is a hyperrealized experience of an idea of Europe, so that the simulacra actually replaces the reality. (You can imagine a "simulacra" as a simulation of a simulation, or, Cheetos are far removed from "food.")

It's like Hegel's vengeance on a materialistic world!

Beaudrillard was extremely concerned about the collapse of "the real." His major insights emerged from watching the Gulf War (1991) on CNN. If any of you saw that, it was a lot of video of bombs falling, but the video was shot high in the air. The viewing audience never saw the blood. He might have correctly diagnosed this as the emergence of a terrifying phenomenon: collateral damage in war is tolerable -- civilian populations give their okay -- because there's no real experience of death.

Today's drone strikes look, to the outsider, like simulations. But the men pushing the buttons from underground facilities in the American desert have documented cases of PTSD. Death is still very real to them, and I think it's more real to us than Beaudrillard imagined. The problem he saw is a real one, but the idea that we are now overdetermined not by our material conditions (Marx) but by simulacra (Beaudrillard) is either wrong, or misappropriated.

So in the end, I don't know that we can be altogether certain that Beaudrillard's notion of the "real" can absolve us of the Ludic fallacy. It goes too far to say that the "real" is no longer possible. If you define "reality" as pain, as Beaudrillard and Foucault largely did, then it is all too possible.

The quality of virtual world simulations is still up for discussion, and I think Christopher said something very important when he said that the Ludic fallacy exists in the observer, and not in the game itself. While of course it depends on the game, it is still very much the case that in the classroom, it is the teacher who must mindfully avoid the fallacy.

Much, much more to be said about this! :)

Beth

--------
Feel free to call me "AK"
Blog: http://idstuff.blogspot.com
LinkedIn Profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/koutropoulos
@koutropoulos
+0
#6506784 Aug 06, 2012 at 12:40 PM
Cataclysmic
128 Posts
I guess I will be spending more time with Baudrillard ;-)

I think that you hit a number of key points right on target. The main thing for me is that a simulation is a limited, and programmable, possibility of events and outcomes. While real life may be limited as well, the possibilities are endless in real life, at least as far as comparing them to a computer based simulation which does have specific finite endings. Thus we can't use a computer based sim as an analog to real life. It's just something that helps to prepare us for real life.

Even outside of the computer based sim - think of firefighter training. The training building that firefighters have can simulate a lot of scenarios, however firefighters go into a lot of different shape and size buildings to combat the fires; but that training building does not encompass all those possibilities. Thus it would be silly to expect that one sim would prepare firefighters for every eventuality.

#6501536 Mind Erasure wrote:


<<snipped>>

Your interesting point leads to another question: How DOES a teacher "mindfully avoid the fallacy"? Can we come up with a set criteria for doing so? I suspect there are already extensive amount of literature written about this concern, and I just haven't found them yet.

I wonder if you have some suggestions for mitigating the effects of simulations so to avoid the ludic fallacy. :)

--------
Feel free to call me "AK"
Blog: http://idstuff.blogspot.com
LinkedIn Profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/koutropoulos
@koutropoulos
+0
#6535467 Aug 11, 2012 at 10:24 PM · Edited 5 years ago
Guides
82 Posts
Hi Sherry!

Fun! And I agree that discussions this complex are better conducted on weekends (as you can see from my time stamp).

Here are a few comments based on your post below.

1. "I think the problem I'm wrestling with is distinguishing where simulations end, and hyperreality sets in. If we accept Baudrillard's claim that the real is no longer possible, then it seems that connecting students to the real world via simulations is a futile effort (creating more delusions?)."

If you want to find a borderland between "simulation" and "hyperreality," it shouldn't be too hard if you are a fan of Jean Beaudrillard. In his theory, hyperrealism is a psychological state, while a simulation is the material reality implicated in the psychological state. "Hyperrealism" is a state of consciousness in which the human being in question is unable to distinguish the simulation from the reality. In the example of the drone strikes, one might say that this is a very, very serious matter. In the example of a class that meets in Second Life, you will be able to assume that most students can tell the difference between where they are located physically, and where they are located virtually. Some will have issues, but then, most classes have a student of two with issues.

I think the long-term question is whether our sense of self ("identity") becomes so pathologized that we really lose the distinction, perhaps on purpose as in the film Surrogates. But I don't know the value in anticipating the pathology, unless you are doing research in neuroscience and/or artificial intelligence.

2. I don't accept the claim that "the real" is no longer possible.

3. I don't take the claims of Zizek seriously, except for the smell of fascism that he has recently begun to exude.

4. "...I'm afraid that we as educators who employ simulations in instruction are in effect "disconnecting" students from the real (or in Baudrillard's case, the "nothingness" behind supposed "truth"); Is it part of our jobs to raise that awareness? Can our jobs even address the magnitude of the problem to begin with?"

I'm not afraid of this at all, because as i said, "the real" is possible whether your theory allows it to be or not! Nor do I think that the use of simulations is a problem of any magnitude whatsoever. The simulation we did at the Center for Edupunx kills the student and then torments them in the afterlife. They get lost in the simulation while engaged, but they don't lose track of reality! I guess someone could have a psychotic break in the middle of the game, but the odds of that happening must be larger than astronomical.

5. If you want to assess the credibility and value of a simulation, don't waste your time on Beaudrillard and Zizek, LOL! It's a misapplication of their theory, which is a critique of reality, not simulation.

6. You mindfully avoid the fallacy by remember the distinction drawn by Chris in an early post in this thread. Remind your students that the simulation is not real. Whatever you are simulating (war, surgery, moviemaking), remind them that the simulation will give them practice, and might prepare them for the real thing, but it isn't the real thing. Don't mitigate the effects of the simulation. Mitigate the effects of your own fallacies. That's always good advice for teachers, whether they use simulations or not! :-)

7. I like your three principles very much. I can't imagine a world in which they aren't incredibly obvious, and there's nothing to be lost and everything to be gained in stating them.

Fun!

Beth

#6501536 Mind Erasure wrote:

Hi Beth:

Thanks for the correction on the coinage (I actually want to emphasize Baudrillard's authority over the concept of "simulacrum," rather than "simulation" itself).

I think the problem I'm wrestling with is distinguishing where simulations end, and hyperreality sets in. If we accept Baudrillard's claim that the real is no longer possible, then it seems that connecting students to the real world via simulations is a futile effort (creating more delusions?).

If we take Zizek's notion of the 3 Reals (which are expansions on Baudrillard's notion of hyperreality), then I'm afraid that we as educators who employ simulations in instruction are in effect "disconnecting" students from the real (or in Baudrillard's case, the "nothingness" behind supposed "truth"); Is it part of our jobs to raise that awareness? Can our jobs even address the magnitude of the problem to begin with?

Don't get me wrong. I am very much for incorporating simulations into teaching, but I just don't yet know the set criteria by which we assess the credibility and value of any simulation (this is the same exact problem I bump into when attempting to create hypothetical scenarios for experimental philosophy). You brought up a good point here:

"The quality of virtual world simulations is still up for discussion, and I think Christopher said something very important when he said that the Ludic fallacy exists in the observer, and not in the game itself. While of course it depends on the game, it is still very much the case that in the classroom, it is the teacher who must mindfully avoid the fallacy."

Your interesting point leads to another question: How DOES a teacher "mindfully avoid the fallacy"? Can we come up with a set criteria for doing so? I suspect there are already extensive amount of literature written about this concern, and I just haven't found them yet.

I wonder if you have some suggestions for mitigating the effects of simulations so to avoid the ludic fallacy. :)

love the discussion~
Sherry Jones


*EDIT: Since I asked a question at the end, I'll offer a possible solution for avoiding the ludic fallacy in employing simulations in instruction:

When offering students a simulation for problem solving, always remind them of the following:

1. A simulation can only work within its own perimeters of contexts and problems; it is no more than a hypothetical that re-structures and re-constitutes content of the real for its own purposes.

2. Given the metaphoric nature of simulations, we can only find traces of shared ideas between simulations and real situations, but we cannot "pin down" the exact, shared traits/attributes that enable us to apply simulated problem solving methods to reality.

3. A simulation can only serve as a semi-analog (semi-allusion?) of what's happening in the real world, and its limited methods cannot be directly applied to solving the wider scope of real world problems. (a clarification of #2)

I may be confusing the issue even further. :(

The value of simulations, then, is to help us creatively think of ways to solve real world problems, with consideration of the possibilities of unexpected variables affecting the outcome of problem solving.

i.e. Hey students, we cannot cover all the possible variables in the real world, so expect to encounter the unexpected when working in real world scenarios. :D

Sherry Jones
p.s. You can tell that I have more time to talk on weekends than on week days, haha~

Beth Davies-Stofka, Ph.D.
twitter: eirwenes
+0
Page 1