The dictionary definitions are:
A simulation is an enactment, as of something anticipated or in testing.
A game is an amusement or pastime.
It’s important to remember these definitions when considering business activities, simulations and games have their place but this needs to be considered in respect of actual goals and plans.
Taking my own experience as a pilot, I’ve used flight simulators during my flight training and they do have their place as they have been developed by experts over many years with many millions of pounds worth of investment.
Similarly I know of a business simulation developed from real world experience that is used in teams, with expert guidance, to help companies increase their results.
With simulations they can be used as a tool in relation to real world activities, and the best results do come when combined with the guidance of an expert who has that actual experience, following a structured agenda.
Games do not require the same level of detail as simulations, so whilst they may be enjoyable their value in building relevant experience is limited.
Of course playing games can have a secondary networking function, just like the traditional networking that takes place on the golf course and the squash court/etc. but this is a secondary effect.
In my recent blogs I have covered this topic and it’s why I advocate investing time with a referral organisation where the focus is very much business based, BNI, rather than on activities without a track record.
If you can demonstrate a positive ROI on the time spent playing games, then it’s worthwhile – otherwise it’s ‘notworking’ instead of networking.
The key point
Simulations can give you help in formulating plans (provided they are based on sufficient amounts of real world data) but don’t confuse games with reality, at the end of the day making a million credits on a simple game isn’t a million pounds in the real world.