Physical Presence in Simulation - A Scratch at the Surface of Complexity




presence, simulation, larp, role-playing games


This article examines the impact of physical presence on simulation and educational gaming. Through a meta-review of existing research, it reveals central issues that need to be taken into account when deploying physical simulations. On one hand, the method allows participants to experience events from a visceral first-person perspective. On the other, physical presence limits their vision to one viewpoint and removes tools that other media forms could use for additional exposition. As the environment is largely indexical, fewer elements require re-interpretation in order to fit the fiction, but they can likewise
be disruptive, if too far removed from the expectations of play. To balance the play experience and the learning goals, physical simulations should deploy efficient briefings and debriefings. The former ensures that players have sufficient information for play
and the right approach to it, while the latter ensures that the intended interpretation of the content and events remains dominant, so that the central learning goals can be ascertained. Physical simulations are revealed as an efficient and enjoyable, yet imprecise
learning tool.




How to Cite

Harviainen, J. T. (2016). Physical Presence in Simulation - A Scratch at the Surface of Complexity. International Journal of Role-Playing, (6), 32–38.