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ERIC Number: EJ948544
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Oct
Pages: 22
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 49
ISSN: ISSN-1046-8781
Beyond Iconic Simulation
Dormans, Joris
Simulation & Gaming, v42 n5 p610-631 Oct 2011
Realism remains a prominent topic in game design and industry research; yet, a strong academic case can be made that games are anything, but realistic. This article frames realism in games in semiotic terms as iconic simulation and argues that games can gain expressiveness when they move beyond the current focus on iconic simulation. In parallel to natural language, indexical and symbolic simulation are investigated. It is argued that indexical and symbolic simulation reduce the number of parts of simulation without affecting its structural complexity and emergent behavior too much. This leads to a perspective on games that pays more attention to the expressive power of relatively simple game mechanics. This perspective helps designers to maximize the effectiveness of game mechanics in communicating general knowledge embedded within the game system. (Contains 5 figures and 1 note.)
SAGE Publications. 2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320. Tel: 800-818-7243; Tel: 805-499-9774; Fax: 800-583-2665; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A