Cultural Simulation and the Applications of Culturally Enabled Games and Technology
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This dissertation is an examination of social and geopolitical problems and how culturally-enabled technology, games, and simulations might be used to address them. In order to merge a cultural functionality with technology some notion of culture must first be defined, then quantified. Thus, the research explores definitions of culture and how it has been quantified in the past. The dissertation also investigates game studies—digital training simulations, social online games, socially-conscious games, massively multiplayer games, and face-to-face educational simulations—in order to identify fruitful intersections between game studies and culture. Given the complex nature of culture and society, a third area of study involves the science of complexity and how it has been applied to both conceptualize culture and address social difficulties. The outcome of this research was used to propose an expansive and flexible cultural model, a Cultural Construct, combining quantifiable notions of culture with the dynamics of a complex adaptive system, as well as a number of original culturally-enabled, game-inspired, concepts for addressing the social and geopolitical problems identified in this dissertation.