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A simulation game attempts to copy various activities in "real life" in the form of a games for various purposes: training, analysis, or prediction. Usually there are no strictly defined goals in the game, just running around, playing as a character. Well-known examples are war games, business games, and role play simulation.
Starting from three basic types of strategic, planning and learning exercises: games, simulations and case studies,- a number of hybrids may be considered, among which are simulation games and simulation games used as case studies.
The comparisons of the merits of simulation games versus other teaching techniques have been carried out by many researchers and a number of comprehensive reviews have been published.
Practical Applications 
There are countless examples of simulation games being used for both entertainment and serious purposes. Will Wright opened the Sim series with SimCity. An unprecedented success, and the herald of the city-building game genre, SimCity and its successors have been used to model and study a variety of behaviors. Certain games such as SimLife and SimEarth are capable of teaching players the basics of genetics and global ecosystems. An impressive study detailed the use of SimCity 2000 in a study regarding how adolescents perceive how their home city works. The study showed that the adolescents who played the game along the lines of the study had a greater appreciation and expectation for their own government officials.
Another example of popularized simulation games can be found in the company Kairosoft. While not primarily geared towards education or training, they have found success in the entertainment market.
The University of Washington's Center for Game Science proposed a project that would utilize a previously untapped source of processing power. Initially called "Rosetta@home, this application would incorporate a distributed computing program and accomplish feats faster than any single computer could. The purpose of Rosetta was to use special protein structure prediction algorithms to discover the native structures of various proteins. In May of 2008, Foldit was released. Foldit is an interactive form of Rosetta, which enables users to attempt to find solutions to these "puzzles" themselves. One of the most notable achievements was the unprecedented deciphering of the Mason-Pfizer monkey virus. This AIDS-causing monkey virus stumped scientists for 15 years. However, after only 10 days the users had solved it.
Although accidental, the game World of Warcraft briefly served as a simulation of a global pandemic. On September 13, 2005, the Corrupted Blood incident took place and affected the entire gaming world. The plague acquired its name from a spell cast by a boss that did damage over time, and could be spread to other players via proximity. The part scientists found fascinating, however, were the player reactions. Epidemiologists found a striking number of parallels to real world behavior in such situations. While more virtuous high-level players took it upon themselves to set up healing stations in city centers, others took a more sinister approach. Much in the way Typhoid Mary Mallon, and Gaëtan Dugas operated, certain players would intentionally infect clean areas in an attempt to spread the plague even further. The most unexpected and noteworthy event, however, was curiosity. Some braver players would break into quarantine to see the pandemonium, but then hurry out before becoming infected themselves. This behavior was equated to journalists, who rush towards the event to cover it, and then immediately get out.
See also 
- Amateur flight simulation
- Business game
- Business simulation
- Business simulation game
- City-building game
- Flight simulator
- Government simulation game
- International Simulation and Gaming Association (ISAGA)
- Serious game
- Simulation video game
- Simulations and games in economics education
- Project Management Simulation
- Train simulator
- "Simulations: A Handbook for Teachers and Trainers", by Ken Jones, 1995, ISBN 0-7494-1666-1, p. 21
- Danny Saunders, Jacqui Severn, "Simulation and Games for Strategy and Policy Planning", p. 20
- "Games and Simulations to Enhance Quality Learning", 1996, ISBN 0-7494-1866-4, p. 50
- Zeynep, Tanes; Zeynep Cemalcilar (20 November 2009). "Learning from SimCity: An empirical study of Turkish adolescents". Journal of Adolescence 33 (5): 731–739.
- Ahearn, Nate. "Game Dev Story iPhone Review". IGN. Retrieved October 18, 2010.
- Hickey, Hannah. "Computer game's high score could earn the Nobel Price in medicine". University of Washington. Retrieved May 8, 2008.
- Khatib, F.; Dimaio, F.; Cooper, S.; Kazmierczyk, M.; Gilski, M.; Krzywda, S.; Zabranska, H.; Pichova, I. et al. (2011). "Crystal structure of a monomeric retroviral protease solved by protein folding game players". Nature Structural & Molecular Biology 18 (10): 1175. doi:10.1038/nsmb.2119.
- Orland, Kyle (2008-05-20). "GFH: The Real Life Lessons Of WoW's Corrupted Blood". Gamasutra. United States: Game Developer. Retrieved 2009-02-28.
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