Participant Simulation
CECS presentation by Ron Eglash on 10-21-00

Computer simulations always involve people--ether directly as subjects or indirectly as stakeholders. Participant Simulation is a methodology for providing greater involvement of the people affected by the simulation in its fundamental design.

F.A.Q. on Participant Simulation

1) Surely you don't mean to compromise the objectivity of science? How could we possibly hope to produce objective accounts of the world if we allow stakeholders to have a say in simulations? answer

2) Surely this is redundant: most simulations already allow users to adjust variables and initial conditions themselves. answer

3) If we have already assembled the world's greatest experts on a particular subject of simulation, why bother with the opinons of laypeople? answer

4) If I did decide to include non-experts, how could we possibly communicate about highly technical matters? I don't have time to give introductory seminars every step of the way.

Predecessors to Participant Simulation

1) Participant Observation (anthropology) "You don't know a man until you've walked a mile in his moccasins." (trans. from Native American saying; perhaps original is less sexist).

2) Participatory Design (engineering) -- use of mockups, organization games, etc.

Examples of Participant Simulation

1) African Fractals

2) SimShoBan

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