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The Power of Sponges: Comparing High-Tech and Low-Tech Gaming for Innovation
KTH, School of Technology and Health (STH), Health Systems Engineering, Health Care Logistics. Delft University of Technology, Netherlands.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1126-3781
2015 (English)In: Journal Simulation & Gaming, ISSN 1046-8781, E-ISSN 1552-826X, Vol. 46, no 5, 512-535 p.Article in journal (Refereed) PublishedText
Abstract [en]

Background. Innovation in transport systems has a need for simulated environments to experiment with new configurations, ideas, and solutions. Gaming is one such environment. This article applies the approach to the context of capacity allocation and traffic control innovation in the Dutch railway system. Both high-tech and low-tech games are built and applied. Aim and method. By comparing cases using low-tech and high-tech games for innovation in a related bundle of projects in the railway sector, this article aims to identify different patterns emerging from a retrospective cross case comparison. The cases aimed at testing and assessing various ideas about the innovation process through high- and low-tech gaming. Results. The high-tech cases were used to generate more quantitative data, for purposes where a concept had to be tested that has been formulated at a higher level of detail. It shows that, despite the higher precision, fidelity of high-tech simulators was not necessarily better than that of low-tech cases. None of the cases were set up to formally accept or reject hypotheses, but followed the typical innovation logic of testing and assessing ideas early in the process. Conclusions. The numerous qualitative data, gathered during the gaming sessions, illustrated the benefits and drawbacks of high- and low-tech gaming. The real world decisions made by the client, based on the gaming sessions, show that the scope of the project was broader than merely an intervention in an existing transport system. Low-tech games showed to be useful for dealing with rapid systems development (prototyping). They allow flexible role settings, varying rules, and resources. High-tech games did not provide obvious fidelity advantages, but yielded more quantitative data suitable for analysis. Recommendations. The article identifies the need for a new methodological approach: gaming supporting system/organization design.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sage Publications, 2015. Vol. 46, no 5, 512-535 p.
Keyword [en]
Dutch Railways, fidelity, gaming, high-tech gaming, iconic simulation, low-tech gaming, operators, process innovation, realism, symbolic simulation, traffic control
National Category
Infrastructure Engineering
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-181142DOI: 10.1177/1046878115594520ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84951726835OAI: diva2:902293

QC 20160210

Available from: 2016-02-10 Created: 2016-01-29 Last updated: 2016-02-10Bibliographically approved

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