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Computer simulations or 'sims' can be both entertaining and educational.

The current sophistication of simulation programs can be used by industry to train operators to use sophisticated expensive machinery and plant - from operation of nuclear power plants to piloting aircraft. They can also be used to apply social interaction theory to a situation allowing managers to practice decision making exercises.

Construction and management simulation

Construction and management simulation (CMS) is a type of simulation game in which players build, expand or manage fictional communities or projects with limited resources. Strategy games sometimes incorporate CMS aspects into games, as players must manage resources while expanding their project. But pure CMS games differ from strategy games in that the player's goal is not to defeat an enemy, but to build something within the context of an ongoing process. Games in this category are sometimes also called "management games".

Life simulation

In life simulation games (or artificial life games) the player lives or controls one or more artificial lifeforms. A life simulation game can revolve around individuals and relationships, or it could be a simulation of an ecosystem.

  • Dating sims focus on dating as the principal theme.
  • In medical simulation games, players take the role of a surgeon, nurse or porter - or they can relate to the magangement of a hospital.
  • Wargames simulations attempt to simulate real warfare at either a tactical or strategic level. Certain tactical shooters sometimes called "soldier sims" try to simulate the feeling of actually being in combat.
  • Some simulators, like Geocommander by Intelligence Gaming are designed for the US Military to help new officers learn how to handle situations in a game setting before actually having to take command in the field.

Sports simulation

This sub-genre is popular with sports fans and is commonly given as a 'free game' with a new console - but generally gamers do not rate it - and you can usually negotiate not to have that game with the console!

A sport game is a computer or video game that simulates the playing of traditional sports. Most sports have been recreated with a game, including team sportsathletics and extreme sports. Some games emphasize actually playing the sport (such as the Madden NFL series), whilst others emphasize strategy and organization (such as Championship Manager). Some, such as Arch Rivals, satirize the sport for comic effect.

The genre is competitive, just like real-world sports. A number of game series feature the names and characteristics of real teams and players, and are updated annually to reflect real-world changes. You can therefore pick up these games at a low cost in the second hand section of a gamestore.

Vehicle simulation

These can be played using special kit that includes a joystick or steering wheel - more sophisticated ones have replicas of the real vehicle controls (see above) . Such systems can be used by driving and pilot schools.

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