Game Development Reference
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as they wanted. The duration of the experiment
was around four hours. In the second condition
the participants were located in different offices,
were not allowed to meet face-to-face and had
to communicate via an internet chat tool and the
telephone (virtual/ dispersed condition). During
the experiment questionnaires were issued to the
participants to assess their situational awareness
at regular intervals of approximately one hour.
Situational awareness (SA) is conceptualized
as the current knowledge about what is actually
happening in a given situation, what it means and
what to do about it (Dourish & Belloti, 1992). It is
a mental model of the dynamic context in which
a person is operating, including its status and
dynamics, with which one evaluates the current
and possible future situations in terms of one's
goals, thereby optimizing decision-making and
An exemplary result from the SA question-
naires is that of ease of understanding (Figure 3).
The interaction between physical/virtual condition
and time is significant. Post-hoc tests suggest
that there is a statistically significant difference
between the collocated and dispersed teams at
intervals 3 and 4 (each interval point is approx 1
hour apart). It would appear that the difference
between teams developed only after a prolonged
period of time was spent working on the game.
The data suggest that this finding is a result of
the virtual team's understanding becoming worse
with time and the collocated team's understanding
improving with time. This finding of difference
at junction points 3 and 4, between the teams
was similar for the other seven situation aware-
ness variables examined (Sakiroglu, et al 2002).
The experiment illustrates that the virtual team's
performance is worse than the collocated team,
and that this gap never closes.
New Product Development (NPD) simulation
game showed that the simulation achieved its
aim of delivering NPD/ concurrent engineering
experience (knowledge) to participants. The re-
sults also showed that the simulation game was
a sufficiently realistic simulation, with complex
decision making, that it is a good proxy for the
real NPD process. Analysis of the data obtained
from the experiments concluded that the major-
ity of NPD activities are interdependent, and that
progression requires the involvement of different
disciplines and continuous information sharing.
It was also found that in order to create knowl-
edge, or common understanding, of the issues,
individuals need to link pieces of information to
their background knowledge through arguments.
The context of engineering is shifting from
being information oriented towards being knowl-
edge intensive, and therefore it is important to
realize that engineering students should not only
be spoon-fed technical information, theoretical
models, and mathematical formulas but also taught
real life knowledge of how to design and how to
manufacture, which entails how to co-operate in
multidisciplinary teams. Knowledge creation is a
social process which requires the understanding of
multidisciplinary inputs, trade-offs and implica-
tions on the design process during new product
decision making processes. These fundamental
issues are hard, or even impossible, to teach in
a classroom setting in traditional ways. There is
a need for the development of new educational
approaches and tools. Multi-media, multi-player,
computer based simulation games are great alter-
natives, providing interactive, social environments
for learning. The ground-breaking COSIGA simu-
lation game is realistically designed and provides
players with a new product development context,
enabling them to take the responsibilities of dif-
ferent disciplines, analyze information, identify
problems, initiate discussions, assess and analyze
situations and make decisions. The integration of
these various activities within COSIGA enables
players to articulate and create their own under-
Conclusion of Cosiga Evaluation
The results of the analyses of the evaluations car-
ried out over an eight year period of the Cosiga
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