Games in Education
- Abt, Clark C. Serious Games. New York: Viking Press,
- Although dated, this work is an excellent survey of many aspects
of games, from their abstract conception to their concrete application.
In regards to education some important chapters include: Improving Education
with Games, Education Games for the Physical and Social Sciences, Games
for Planning and Problem Solving in Industry and Government. [TD2]
- Bowen, K.C. Research Games: An approach to the study
of decision processes. London: Taylor & Francis, 1978.
- Concerned primarily with the research possibilities of games, this
is a somewhat abstract but useful text. It is geared towards what can be discovered thorough
games, rather than their practical application such as the use of games
in the classroom. [TD2]
- Crookall, D. (1999). Resources for simulation/gaming. Retrieved January
21, 2003 from
- This website is a great resource for any teacher looking for information
on simulation and gaming. It includes list of generalized and specific
bibliographies for simulation and gaming, to assist you if you are writing
a paper. It has searches done for you already in eighteen search engines
for the following subjects: debriefing, experiential learning, game, gaming,
role-play, simulation, and simulation/gaming. It also has some articles
posted on it. A nice thing about this site is it is always being updated
so you can collect a lot of information from it. (HS)
- Duke, Richard D. Gaming: The Futures Language. New
York: Sage Publications; Halsted Press Division, 1973.
- The author discusses the many aspects of gaming and game design,
from the abstract and conceptual or academic level to more practical concerns
of education with games such as applying them effectively in the classroom.
There are many excellent questions posed, because the answers offered
are rather open ended, the book is less dated than it might have been
had definitive answers been presented. One chapter is devoted to The Game
Design Process with important ideas and concepts to consider from conception
and objectives of a game to its publication, distribution and the maintenance
of a finished project. [TD2]
- Ellington, Henry; Addinall, Eric and Percival, Fred. Games
and Simulations in Science Education. New York: Kogan Page, 1981.
- Slightly dated but except for the chapter on computer based simulations
the book is still relevant. It provides a good overview of several games
for use in the science curriculum, however the sections on theoretical
schema for evaluating games and their conceptual and educational underpinnings
is even more valuable. The abstracts for almost fifty games are interesting.
The three most valuable chapters are short but especially relevant to
the use of games in the classroom: Selecting, adapting and using existing
exercises, Designing your own exercises and Evaluating games, simulations
and case studies. [TD2]
- Frank, J.A., and La Cavalier, G. (1982). Pay-Offs and Motivation in
Simulation Games. Simgames The Canadian Journal of Simulation
and Gaming, 9(2), 37-47.
- This article looks at the rewards and motivations for students who
want to do simulation games. This is just showing that students do like
to do it and it helped them learn the material better. It shows surveys
done with some students who had engaged in a simulation. (HS)
- Gaw, K.F. (2002). Communication hurdles simulation, Simulation &
Gaming, 33(1), 109-113.
- Classroom Simulation Game: This simulation has been designed for anyone
high school age and up to help them discover the basics for effective
communication. The game requires at least 45
minutes of playing time and a debriefing time approximately as long as
the playing time itself. This could prove problematic
when trying to make it fit into a normal class schedule.
That being said, it seems like an exciting way to use children’s
building blocks. [DJ]
- Gillispie, Philip H. Learning Thorough Simulation Games.
New York: Paulist Press, 1973.
- An overview of the numerous simulation games available at the time
of printing. There is an examination of the goals and methods used in each
game and contact information for the distributors of each game. An interesting
read, however specific games or companies may no longer exist. There is
a brief discussion of creating and modifying games for particular goals,
especially in the area of education. [TD2]
- Jones, Ken (1980). Simulations- A Handbook for Teachers. New
York, New York: Nichols Publishing Company.
- This is a very detailed source for anyone looking to do simulations.
As the title indicates, it is written as a handbook for teacher. It is
designed to guide you through the process of picking and performing simulations.
It starts with a whole chapter explaining what a simulation is. It also
has a whole chapter on assessment when using simulations. The most helpful
part of this book is the chapter on using simulations. It talks about participation,
observing, assigning roles, timing, action, and follow up. This book looks
at why schools are not using simulations more. (HS)
- Kashibuchi, M. & Sakamoto, A. (2001). The educational effectiveness
of a simulation/game in sex education, Simulation & Gaming,
- Classroom Simulation Game: In this article, the authors examined the
educational effectiveness of a game named POMP AND CIRCUMSTANCE for sex
education by means of an experiment with Japanese high school students. The authors set up a control condition,
a contrast condition in which the students watched educational videos,
and two game conditions; in one game condition, participants were in the
role of their own sex, and in the other, they played the roles of the opposite
sex. The ideas presented in this article could
be used in any PDR or health related class. [DJ]
- Lederman, L.C.; Stewart, L.P.; Barr, S.L. & Perry, D. (2001). Using
simulation in a dangerous-drinking prevention campaign, Simulation &
Gaming, 32(2), 228-239.
- Classroom Simulation Game: This article describes a simulation game
being used in colleges across the United States as part of a dangerous-drinking
campaign. Although this simulation was originally designed for university
age students, it could easily be modified for the high school level. Part of the Nova Scotia Chemistry curriculum involves
an STS discussion of alcohol, this game would work nicely. [DJ]
- Ribaux, S. (2001). Roommates, Rights, Responsibilities, and Relationships:
A Values Awareness Exercise About Roommate Relationships, Simulation
& Gaming, 32(1), 123-124.
- Classroom Simulation Game: This game was designed to make students
aware of the issues associated with having roommates and the compromises
necessary for harmonious living conditions. Played in about an hour, the
game can accommodate large numbers of players. This game would fit nicely
into a PDR class or university preparatory discussion. Although it was
designed for preparing students to live with college roommates, it could
easily be extended to include family and worldly relationships. [DJ]
- Shubik, Martin. Games for Society, Business and War: Towards
a Theory of Gaming. New York, Elsevier, 1975.
- This is an excellent overview of basic theories and assumptions in
gaming. The use of verbal rather than mathematical explanations and the
avoidance of unnecessary jargon ensures the accessibility of the material.
The author describes numerous uses of games in economical, political and
sociological research with little direct reference to educational uses
of games. [TD2]
- Stolovitch, H.D. (1981). Have it Y/Our Way: An Instructional Simulation
Frame Game. Simgames The Canadian Journal of Simulation and Gaming,
- This article describes in detail the Have It Y/Our Way game. It also
includes a running example throughout so you can get an idea of how the
game is played. This game can be adjusted for whatever content you want.
The objective is to figure out which pay off is the best; personal or group.
- Taylor, J.L., and Walford, R. (1972). Simulation in the classroom.
Middlesex, England: Penguin Books Inc.
- This is an excellent resource for simulations in the classroom, as
the title indicates. The first part explains many things including what
a simulation is, looks at the historical and theoretical background, talks
about the advantages to using simulations, and how to organize and carry
them out successfully. In the history section, it discusses role-play,
gaming, and machine/computer simulation and many others. The second part
describes six games that can be used in secondary schools. Topics include
farming, chemistry, and history. There is also a list at the end of where
you can get selected simulation material but I think it is probably out
of date now. (HS)
- Thiagarajan, S. (1997). EASY MONEY: An exploration of trust in teams,
Simulation & Gaming, 28(2), 238-241.
- Classroom Simulation Game: Easy Money, is a classroom simulation game
that explores how lack of trust reduces payoffs for the team and to explore
factors that increase distrust among team members. Eleven or more players
can play at one time so it is ideal for any class where the teacher is
interested in teaching effective teamwork. An interesting twist to this
game is that there are only 11 players who make all the decisions; the
other players act only as advisors. [DJ]
- Weintraub, E. Roy (ed). Toward a History of Game Theory.
Annual Supplement to Volume 24, History of Political Economy. Durham, North
Carolina: Duke University Press, 1992.
- A collection of eleven academic papers, organized under three headings:
Creating Game Theory, a historical survey of game theory prior to World
War Two with considerable attention to the early work of Von Neumann and
Morgenstern; Diffusion of Game-Theoretic Ideas, containing accounts of
the dissemination of theory concepts to other disciplines especially the
social sciences during the 1950s; Crossing Disciplinary Boundaries, the
influence of gaming theory and its concepts and conceptions beyond academia
into the arenas of economics, politics and operations research after 1960.
- Von Neumann, John and Morgenstern, Oskar. Theory of Games
and Economic Behavior. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1944.
- The initial publication on the mathematical theory of games and strategy
(p 1), this book applies mathematical models to economic problems and decisions
in order to reframe and redefine the assumptions that had previously been
made about these processes. This is a text outlining and defining a new
sub-discipline of economics rather than a summary of previously expounded
material. Many terms that appear in later literature are used and defined
here for the first time. While not directly interested in games for education
or in modifying existing games there is an excellent coverage of fundamental
assumptions and underpinnings which can lend valuable insight into how
games might be created or modified for use in the classroom.
- The book contains exhaustive discussion of many game paradigms which
are then applied to economic models. Although the mathematics used in the
book are (for a mathematician) rudimentary, a basic knowledge of set theory,
group theory, linear geometry and algebra is assumed. Without a working
knowledge of these disciplines the text can become overwhelming as there
are equations on virtually every page. This book is a valuable resource
because it was a primary source for many of the paradigms in game theory
and influenced all subsequent work in the field. [TD2]
- Booth, D. (1986). Games for Everyone. Markham, Ontario: Pembroke
- This book is mainly a list of games and explanations on how to play
them. Also included with the explanations is a list of learning goals for
each game. It is also geared more for elementary grades. The book briefly
looks at why students like to play games. (HS)
- Boocock, S.S. and Schild, E.O. (Eds.). (1968). Simulation Games in
Learning. California: Sage Publishers, Inc.
- This book is a compilation of many articles by various authors. Unfortunately
the book is American, so a lot of the simulations are American-based (i.e.
Pre-Civil War Simulation). The simulations are for students from grades
6-12 (which provides a large base). There are two articles that might really
be of interest, though. The first is "Political Science Games" (P.M. Burgess
and J.A. Robinson, p.243), which is extremely interesting, as we did not
come across many simulations for a political science classroom. The second
is "The Life Career Game: Practice in Decision Making" (B.B. Varenhorst,
p.251), which could be used in a variety of classes. Some of the information
and language is out-of-date (because of the publication date), but the
majority of the language in the book is acceptable. Along with the explanations
of simulations, there are many interesting articles on participation, designing,
interactions and effects of games and simulations. (ST,BM)
- Gibbs, G.I. (Ed.). (1974). Handbook of Games and Simulation Exercises.
California: Sage Publications, Inc.
- This is a good starter book for people who are just beginning to use
simulations in their social sciences classroom. It starts with the basics
like simulation vocabulary and works its way up to the making of a game
(including aims, models, scenarios, player objectives, materials and equipment,
etc.). After reading this information, it makes it easier when you are
either planning to use a simulation in your classroom, or if you are designing
your own simulation. One of the most valuable parts of the book is section
2.2 on "Gaming and Simulation Literature", where the editor lists bibliographies,
magazines, periodicals and books that might be of use. (ST,BM)
- Gordon, A.K. (1972). Games for Growth: Educational Games in the Classroom.
Chicago: Science Research Associates.
- This book includes many ideas for simulations for a wide variety of
topics including economics, seal hunting, collective farming (Kolkhoz),
hunter/gatherer societies, etc. There are some downfalls with this book,
though. The simulation explanations are short and there is not a separate
section for simulation games (they are spread throughout the book). This
makes the book a bit confusing, but there are some really great ideas in
here if you have the patience to sit and look through. The ideas seem to
be meant to serve as bases for simulation games, and to use the ideas,
you might have to be able to build more off these bases to create effective
- Heyman, M. (1975). Simulations Games for the Classroom. Indiana: The
Phi Delta Kappa Educational Foundation.
- After explaining what simulation games are and discussing the advantages
and disadvantages of using simulations in the classroom, this book goes
on to talk about how to direct a simulation and educational issues surrounding
simulations. Although there are not any actual examples of simulations
in this book, there are excellent tips on how to design and develop simulations
and how to direct them. It also discusses possible emotions and attitudes
associated with this type of learning. Along with all of this useful information
about using simulations in your classroom, there is also an excellent annotated
bibliography at the end of the book. This bibliography contains many examples
of books that include and explain simulations for use from upper elementary
to upper secondary. (ST,BM)
- Horn, R.E. and Cleaves A. (Eds.). (1980). The Guide to Simulations/Games
for Education and Training. 4th Edition. California: Sage Publishers, Inc.
- This is an EXCELLENT reference book for anyone's library. There are
various contributors in Part I which is a collection of Evaluative Essays
on different games and simulations, the majority of which are for the social
sciences. Part II is the most interesting section of the book. It is a
section of Academic Listings with various topics and subjects in alphabetical
order. These are simulation and game ideas that are briefly outlined and
then information as to where to find them and their availability is given.
Part IV is also useful, as it includes simulation/games periodical names,
centers, a game index, etc. This book is extremely useful if you are not
exactly sure what you are looking for, but it is also laid out in such
a way that if you do know what you are looking for, it is very easy to
- Pike, G. and Selby, D. (1999). In the Global Classroom 1. Ontario:
Pippin Publishing Corporation.
- This book (the first of two in the set) includes games and simulations
for the following topics: A Friendly Classroom for a Small Planet, Interconnections,
Environment and Sustainability, Health, Perceptions, Perspectives and Cross-Cultural
Encounters (an excellent section!), Technology and Futures. *See below for further annotation. (ST,BM)
- Pike, G. and Selby, D. (2000). In the Global Classroom 2. Ontario:
Pippin Publishing Corporation.
- This book (the second of two in the set) includes games and simulations
for the following topics: A Friendly Classroom for a Small Planet, Peace,
Rights and Responsibilities, Equity, Economics, Development and Global
Justice, Citizenship and Mass Media. *See below for further
- *This is a set of books (just two of them) that no
classroom teacher should be without. The activities in these books are
appropriate for age groups spanning from kindergarten to grade 12, and
also covering numerous disciplines. Along with many other types of activities,
there are many examples of simulations that can be used in the social sciences
(including Bafa Bafa,
the Trading Game and the
The game examples are extremely well laid out, with all needed information
included. The information includes which age level and discipline the game
could be used in, as well and well explained procedures and all handouts
that are needed. These are two of the most useful books, by far, that we
can across and they're Canadian! (ST,BM)
AWC = Adrain Comeau email@example.com
HS = Heather Stamper firstname.lastname@example.org
ST = Stephanie Thibeau email@example.com
BM = Bhreagh MacDonald firstname.lastname@example.org
MW = Meghan Willison email@example.com
TD2 = Trevor Dimoff firstname.lastname@example.org
DJ= Doug Jackson