Within BM, one of the goals is to support collaborative learning among players/participants. This challenge involves building collaboration into business games, since collaboration is seen now as crucial to success, where team seek for win-win situations rather than pure competition. This specific challenge involves not only building collaborative and consensus seeking scenarios (by having teams of players) to elicit such behavior during game play but also in the deployment of the games, for example, by having teams of players. The design of such games, however, is challenging as gameplay has to fulfill requirements of traditional single player games (fun, narration, immersion, graphics, sound), challenges of multiplayer games (concurrent gaming, interaction) and SG design (seamless inclusion of learning content, adaptation & personalization). Furthermore, requirements of collaborative learning have to be considered, such as communication and social skills or a proper group setup.
While many BM games fulfill part of the requirements listed apart, the most difficult challenge is simultaneous online game play, or concurrent gaming. The challenge for BM and related games is how to marry the freedom afforded by such open player-driven collaborative communities with more structured and contained systems that are prevalent in BM games. A related challenge is also the technology needed for players to author and create objects, content and conceptual spaces – that is engaging the player into the game space. Also, many BM games contain specialized content but do not have the sophisticated technologies and knowhow and savvyness of more mainstream games. Hence, another key challenge is how to bring these two parties together (content experts and game designers).
EagleRacingis a one-stop business simulation addressing team collaboration dynamics in a business environment and is run in the framework of a facilitated learning experience (Angehrn & Maxwell, 2009). Because it is played in different stages and, due to its design, the EagleRacing simulation is quite flexible in terms of deployment styles. It can be set in offline face-to-face (F2F) half a day workshops, as was originally conceived, as well as fully online in a relatively large lapse of time (a month, for instance) among diverse and distributed individuals and teams, or even in a blended deployment by running the individual stage online and one or all the team-based ones offline in a F2F workshop. There is clearly a strategic reason that drives the movement towards online deployment: since the main goal of EagleRacing is to expose players to the challenges of collaborating in diverse teams, it is meaningful to add also the dimension of remote distribution of teams and of their members. Moreover, and even more interestingly, is to actually experiment with the challenges introduced by the use of collaborative technologies for supporting and exchanging ideas, for reaching the due consensus and for justifying the decisions made. That’s why, along with the increasing effectiveness of collaborative and web conferencing tools, the fully online deployments of EagleRacing are becoming more and more popular.