How Games Change Understanding Complex Things

Games have always been a popular form of entertainment, but did you know that they can also help us better understand complex things? Games can be used to teach us about a variety of subjects and can make learning more engaging and enjoyable. This is especially true for complex or abstract concepts that might be difficult to grasp through traditional methods. In this blog post, we will explore three ways in which games can change our understanding of complex things.

Games as Simulations

One way games can help us understand complex things is by simulating them. Simulations allow us to experience complex systems or processes in a simplified and interactive way. For example, games like SimCity or Rollercoaster Tycoon simulate city planning and amusement park management, respectively. Through playing these games, we can gain a better understanding of the complexities involved in running these types of systems. Playing a simulation game can also help us make better decisions in real-life scenarios by allowing us to experiment and see the consequences of our choices.

Games as Metaphors

Another way games can change our understanding of complex things is by using metaphors. Metaphors are a powerful tool for explaining abstract or complex concepts by comparing them to something more familiar. Games can use metaphors to help players understand complex ideas in a way that is relatable and engaging. For example, the game Papers, Please uses the metaphor of a border checkpoint to explore themes of bureaucracy and morality. Through playing the game, players can gain a deeper understanding of complex political issues and the challenges faced by people in positions of power.

Games as Interactive Experiences

Finally, games can change our understanding of complex things by providing interactive experiences. Traditional methods of learning often involve reading or listening to information, which can be passive and disengaging. Games, on the other hand, require active participation and can be highly immersive. This can make learning more enjoyable and help us retain information more effectively. For example, the game Assassin’s Creed: Origins allows players to explore ancient Egypt and learn about its history and culture through interactive experiences. By immersing players in a historical setting and allowing them to interact with it, the game provides a unique and engaging way to learn about history.


In conclusion, games are a powerful tool for changing our understanding of complex things. Whether through simulations, metaphors, or interactive experiences, games can help us grasp abstract or challenging concepts in a way that is engaging and enjoyable. As games continue to evolve and become more sophisticated, they will likely play an increasingly important role in education and learning. So the next time you’re playing a game, remember that you might just be learning something new!