5 Reasons Why Business are Simulations are Great Learning Tools

Risk-Free Learning

One of the core principles of the "learning by doing" concept of business games is to accept failures, and the ability to derive valuable learning from them. This very basic concept is what that made great business houses become unique, and it is one of the most valuable skills for students to get a complete hands-on experience and learning before they embark on their journey as working professionals. Business simulation games act as the safest platform for the students to first learn on how to traverse the landscape of a real organization/company, than to venture out with a badly executed business idea and lose all their savings.

One of the major differentiators of business simulation games is that it is an excellent tool to practice real world business critical decision-making skills as everything happens much in a riskfree simulated learning environment. This would enthuse and encourage the students to try out different strategies, observe the results, monitor market reactions/fluctuations, and then finally channelize the data/information towards making a right decision, all without real life repercussions.

Multiplayer Environment

Today, most college students prefer to interact with other friends/peers in either a co-operative or in a competitive way, this is one of the key features being facilitated by most online multiplayer games. This feature replicates the phenomenon of increased internalization, cross-border and cross-cultural cooperation, models of teams connected virtually, etc.

In business simulation games, students could form the management teams of a virtual company that competes against other companies in the same market for a slice of the consumer pie. Today, business simulation games with a fully web-based platform supported by an in-game messaging system, enables these teams from anywhere in the world to improve cross-campus cooperation and create exciting competitions between partner universities.


One other important factor that attracts the players would be the real-time feedback mechanism on "decisions made", offered by most simulation games. This feature enables the engagement of the participants and also aids them practice different strategies in a short period of time and also discover what works best or better.

As most business simulation games employ the model of being played over multiple rounds, the students not only get the opportunity to engage with their team mates on the decision making process, but also collaborate with instructors/facilitators in re-aligning their strategies. Facilitators/Instructors do get to manage his/her course schedule better with this round-based system. The dynamic aspect prevalent in the decision making area is that the students get to see immediately the effect of their decisions/choices once they start experimenting.

Realistic Story Approach

Good stories always captivate human brains, in business as well as in games. Story driven games are very successful in enticing large audiences

In management education, though case studies replicate the element of stories representing a particular segment of a company's life, they don't happen to offer the kind of interaction that is enabled in a business simulation game. Simulation games offer the opportunity to the students to play the role of a protagonist of their company's story and determine its faith through decisions made in a volatile environment. This not only gives the students a greater sense of purpose, but also makes them think much more cautiously about their actions, as they don't only exist in theory.


What could entice most of the students would be a satisfying reward. Just like in any traditional game, business simulations also do reward players in one or more ways, most notably would be the rankings on the leader board, and/ or by a market leadership position with a great cumulative total on business profits, shareholder returns, etc.

But the most valuable rewards for students is ultimately helping them improve their business decision making skills, holistic thinking, teamwork, proactive pivoting, and problem solving skills, all of which will be retained substantially longer than by others engaged in less active forms of learning.

About the Author

Seasoned business development professional in the areas of Higher ED and Education management, well networked with key stakeholders in South India.

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