Game Development Reference
In-Depth Information
The Cosiga Game
was extended through the combination of war
games, computer science, and operations research
to support new teaching approaches within civil
training (Wolfe, Crookal 1998). The first games
were business games aiming at supporting the
development of decision making process skills.
In 1964, the “INTOP” simulation game was the
first game to represent a complete enterprise
operating in different markets (Rohn 1995).
Developed in 1985, the “BEER Game” has been
the first simulation game that addressed engineer-
ing related content (Kaminski and Simichi-Levi
1998). It simulates order transactions between
manufacturing, sales, wholesaler, and the retailer,
to demonstrate variations in material flow, the so
called “bullwhip effect”. It is still in use today and
relevant for the supply chain. In the following
years, a variety of production management related
games have been developed, since they have been
proven to be successful for the mediation of skills
in complex systems.
Collaboration is based upon the relationship
between humans and their environments. For a
person operating in a production network, this
actually means that the person needs to deal with
a dynamic environment. However, experiments
have shown that people can only handle seven,
plus or minus two, variables at once (Miller, 1956).
This is less than needed. Therefore, people take
decisions based upon their perceptions or misper-
ceptions of their environments (cognitivism) or
based upon their experiences (constructivism).
Games, even though mostly constructivist, com-
prise different elements of pedagogical theories
and may therefore lead to improved results for
decisions taken in a dynamic environment. This
hypothesis is investigated in this chapter through
the evaluation of two games designed for the
teaching of engineering to undergraduate and
graduate engineering students. These games are
described below.
This chapter reports on the experiences gained
from evaluating the COSIGA New Product
Development (NPD) simulation game. Cosiga
is a multi media, multi player computer based
simulation game which was designed to support
the education of engineers in the use of Concur-
rent Engineering for new product development.
It realistically simulates the collaborative and
co-operative process of product development,
with an emphasis on a concurrent engineering
approach (Riedel et al, 2001). It is a team player
game, played by five people. It can be played by
individuals in the same room or in a distributed
group, using the internet and telecommunications
(phone, fax, videophone, etc). Each person plays
a role in the product development process (project
manager, designer, marketing, production and
purchasing manager) and works collaboratively
together, using communication means, to specify,
design, and manufacture the final product - a type
of truck. This would involve them in drawing up
a market specification, a product specification,
'designing' the product, purchasing components
and allocating manufacturing processes. The
product's manufacturability will then be put to
the test in the simulated factory to produce the
final products.
COSIGA is unique, because it enables students
to experience the process of new product develop-
ment from the perspectives of the different disci-
plines involved in the design process and to build
their own understanding of the issues of design,
manufacture, marketing, project and purchasing
management; and the interactions between these
The game enables students to interact through
continuous communication, to share and exchange
information, initiate argumentation on problems
and concepts, form relationships between pieces
of discipline specific information and finally ar-
ticulate knowledge and make decisions. During
their experience with COSIGA, students are not
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