Methodological Advances in Political Gaming: The One-Person, Computer Interactive, Quasi-Rigid Rule Game.
Discussion of the reasons for gaming, some basic types of gaming, and a proposed method for combining the strengths of two different forms of gaming in a cheap and simple manner. For complex reference systems (such as most social settings), gaming affords the opportunity to reproduce a simplified portrayal of important whole-system features in addition to embedded, detailed, constituent elements. There are two distinct forms of games that have been used in undergraduate and graduate education--free-form exercises and rigid-rule gaming. Free-form games, it is argued, are nonscientific because they are not replicable and because they generate nothing that yields tangible research results. Rigid-form games are often not substantive or robust; exploration of interesting alternatives or branches not specifically included in the game is not normally possible. This paper describes and applies a one-person, interactive, quasi-rigid rule game that represents a significant advance in the methodological state of the gaming art. 19 pp.