A Multi-Disciplinary Approach to Designing Business Management Games

A Multi-Disciplinary Approach to Designing Business Management Games

Pedro Campos (University of Madeira & INESC ID Lisbon, Portugal)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-569-8.ch009
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Computer games have become an important part of the new digital economy, employing thousands of Information Technology professionals worldwide. Their role as a novel approach to reduce the distance between students and knowledge is also well documented. In this chapter, we will describe a multi-disciplinary approach to designing a particular class of educational games: business management games. We argue that through a better understanding of the relationship between work-domain based decisions and processes, professional game designers can achieve effective results. The design approach was based on intensive collaboration and co-design meetings with business management researchers and professors. The result was a game called “SimCompany”, aimed at teaching children about business management concepts, thus promoting an entrepreneurship culture in classroom settings. “SimCompany” proved effective as a teaching tool about business management concepts, and initial evaluation showed a positive increase in students’ rate of learning, when compared to traditional teaching methods.
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Some authors observed that computer games have achieved their massive reach without going through the education system. While games may be an ideal companion to classroom instruction, they do not have to go through the classroom to access students. Other educational reforms depend on the teacher as the medium and do not necessarily take into account the many demands and constraints already faced by educators. Video games give teachers and parents the ability to reach students where they live, bypassing many of the challenges associated with restructuring the education system from the inside out.

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