References for Simulation Exercises Through a Lens of Play

Must reads

Bennett, C. L., & Rosner, D. K. (2019). The promise of empathy: Design, disability, and knowing the “other.” In Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings. Association for Computing Machinery.

Nario-Redmond, M. R., Gospodinov, D., & Cobb, A. (2017). Crip for a day: The unintended negative consequences of disability simulations. Rehabilitation Psychology, 62(3), 324–333.

Titchkosky, T., Healey, D., & Michalko, R. (2019). Blindness simulation and the culture of sight. Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies. Liverpool University Press.

Greitemeyer, T., Osswald, S., & Brauer, M. (2010). Playing Prosocial Video Games Increases Empathy and Decreases Schadenfreude. Emotion, 10(6), 796–802.

Disability simulations

Bachen, C. M., Hernández-Ramos, P. F., & Raphael, C. (2012). Simulating REAL LIVES: Promoting Global Empathy and Interest in Learning Through Simulation Games. Simulation and Gaming, 43(4), 437–460.

Behler, G. T. (1993). Disability Simulations as a Teaching Tool: Some Ethical Issues and Implications. This is a reprint of the Journal on Postsecondary Education and Disability (Vol. 10).

Brulé, E., & Spiel, K. (2019). Negotiating gender and disability identities in participatory design. In ACM International Conference Proceeding Series (pp. 218–227). Association for Computing Machinery.

Herbert, J. T. (2000). Simulation as a Learning Method to Facilitate Disability Awareness. Journal of Experiential Education, 23(1), 5–11.

Games and empathy


Belman, J., & Flanagan, M. (n.d.). Designing Games to Foster Empathy (Vol. 14).

Boltz, L. O., Henriksen, D., & Mishra, P. (2014). Rethinking Technology & Creativity in the 21st Century: Empathy through Gaming - Perspective Taking in a Complex World. TechTrends, 59(6), 3–8.

Elvira Mortensen, T. (n.d.). Real game worlds The emotional reality of fictional worlds. Retrieved from

Jørgensen, K. (2008). Proceedings of Nordic DiGRA 2014 Conference Devil’s Plaything: On the Boundary between Playful and Serious. Hopeametsä.

Kors, M. J. L., Ferri, G., Van Der Spek, E. D., Ketel, C., & Schouten, B. A. M. (2016). A breathtaking journey. On the design of an empathy-arousing mixed-reality game. In CHI PLAY 2016 - Proceedings of the 2016 Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play (pp. 91–104). Association for Computing Machinery, Inc.

Pallavicini, F., Pepe, A., Caragnano, C. C., & Mantovani, F. (2020). Video games to foster empathy: a critical analysis of the potential of detroit: become human and the walking dead. In Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics) (Vol. 12189 LNCS, pp. 212–228). Springer.

Papoutsi, C., & Drigas, A. (2016). Games for Empathy for Social Impact. International Journal of Engineering Pedagogy (IJEP), 6(4), 36.

Schrier, K. (n.d.). Issue 07-2018 Reducing Bias Through Gaming. Retrieved from

Tong, X., Gromala, D., Kiaei Ziabari, S. P., & Shaw, C. D. (2020). Designing a Virtual Reality Game for Promoting Empathy Toward Patients With Chronic Pain: Feasibility and Usability Study. JMIR Serious Games, 8(3), e17354.


Bjørkelo, K. A., & Jørgensen, K. (2018). The Asylum Seekers Larp: The Positive Discomfort of Transgressive Realism. Proceedings of Nordic DiGRA.

Brown, J., Gerling, K., Dickinson, P., & Kirman, B. (2015). Dead fun: Uncomfortable interactions in a virtual reality game for coffins. In CHI PLAY 2015 - Proceedings of the 2015 Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play (pp. 475–480). Association for Computing Machinery, Inc.

Crenshaw, D. A., & Hardy, K. V. (2007). The Crucial Role of Empathy in Breaking the Silence of Traumatized Children in Play Therapy. International Journal of Play Therapy, 16(2), 160–175.

Davies, J. (n.d.). 2 A Space for Play: Crossing Boundaries and Learning Online.

Iacovides, I., & Cox, A. L. (2015). Moving beyond fun: Evaluating serious experience in digital game. In Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings (Vol. 2015-April, pp. 2245–2254). Association for Computing Machinery.

Marie, J. (2012). Title: Using Theater to Increase Empathy Training in Medical Students Journal Issue: Journal for Learning through the Arts, 8(1). Retrieved from

Marsh, T., & Costello, B. (2012). Experience in serious games: Between positive and serious experience. In Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics) (Vol. 7528 LNCS, pp. 255–267).

Raijmakers, B., Gaver, W. W., & Bishay, J. (2006). Design Documentaries: Inspiring Design Research Through Documentary Film.

Romero, M., Usart, M., & Ott, M. (2015, March 5). Can serious games contribute to developing and sustaining 21st century skills? Games and Culture. SAGE Publications Inc.

Schraefel Wellthlab, M. C., Bateman, S., Friday, A., & Andres, J. (2019). The Uncomfortable Workshop: Exploring Discomfort Design for Wellbeing and Sustainability. Retrieved from

Walker, G., & Venker Weidenbenner, J. (2019). Social and Emotional Learning in the age of virtual play: technology, empathy, and learning. Journal of Research in Innovative Teaching & Learning, 12(2), 116–132.

Game recommendations

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice on PC, Switch, XboxOne, PS4. 3rd person action RPG. Simulates psychosis. 

Stage Fright on PC. Rhythm action. Simulates anxiety. 

Robin on PC. Point and click. Simulated chronic fatigue.

Blind Trust on PC. Co-operative adventure. Simulates hearing loss and visual impairment.

Mind Crawler. Tabletop single player. Examines various personal issues including depression, anxiety and addiction

Neverending Nightmares on PC, PS4, iOS, Android. Psychological horror based on developer’s lived experience with depression and OCD. 

That Dragon Cancer on PC, iOS and Android. Narrative experience based on a real family and childhood cancer. 

Notes on Blindess VR. Virtual reality experience around John Hull’s audio tapes on blindness.