Social Simulation and Games (ESSA SIG SSG)

Session chairs:

Melania Borit, CRAFT Research Lab, UiT – The Arctic University of Norway, Norway (

Timo Szczepanska, CRAFT Research Lab, UiT – The Arctic University of Norway, Norway

Harko Verhagen, Stockholm University, Sweden


This special session focuses on the interplay between social simulation and games. (NB! The games domain is not the same with the games theory one.) We wish to bring together researchers working on both fields to a crossroads at which synergies will be created between the two areas. We welcome submissions of extended abstracts or full papers (more details here) or demos / walkthroughs (description: max 500 words). In particular, we focus on the following topics:

* Game design. Which level of abstraction is chosen for a game that is intended to be combined with an ABM in a research setup? Will it be close to a strict simulation or will it incorporate extensive metaphors? What are the factors based on which this choice is to be made? Which game elements / game mechanics are useful?

* Modelling the social situation. Which approach captures the situation with sufficient granularity? How should a choice be made to include specific theories and models that describe the situation? For example, using a data-driven methodology (regardless if it is qualitative or quantitative data), how can the steps be made from data to theory to application (and game mechanics)? For agent-based modelling, how can artificially intelligent agents be made that act according to a specified model?

* Example implementations. Stories of success and failure: which elements in a game that includes social interaction turn out to be useful and which are counter-productive to the game’s goal? Which elements of social simulations can be used in the design of games? How can the interplay between the game and the ABM be described? How can you document the games & ABM research design in a useful way?