Our first article on the simulation game as a method

It’s the learning objectives, stupid!

It’s the learning objectives that matter – that is the principal message of our first article on the simulation game as a method, published in 2011. In it, we examine the contribution made by simulation games in teaching peace and conflict research. The article appeared as an anniversary publication by the internationally renowned Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at Philipps-Universität Marburg.

In a nutshell: there are many learning objectives that can be reached with a simulation game. Therefore, when choosing a simulation game one must determine key objectives so that the game concept remains clear and isn’t overloaded. Our objectives matrix is based on the central distinction between conveying knowledge and conveying skills; it also identifies further sub-objectives. In order to avoid a mismatch between choice of game and participants’ expectations and level of knowledge, defining the learning objectives first is crucial. Only then can an adequate simulation game be developed or chosen.

The paper introduces four different simulation game types from the area of peace and conflict studies and describes their learning objectives, which differ considerably. Despite the fact that simulation games are of great significance for peace and conflict studies, we had to conclude that they are currently not being used to their full potential.


Facts + Figures

Target group

Experts of peace and conflict studies, lecturers, specialists


Philipps-Universität Marburg





  • First of all, many many thanks for the amazing paper – it is a comprehensive and exciting read. The images are great, too – they'll make it look extra sexy...

    Julia Viebach, Wiss. Research assistant MA at center for conflict studies (CCS), Philipps-Universität Marburg