Accurate Complex Systems Design: Integrating Serious Games with Petri Nets


  • Kirsten Sinclair Birmingham City University
  • Daniel Livingstone Glasgow School of Art



Serious Games, Modelling, Systems Engineering, Analysis


Difficulty understanding the large number of interactions involved in complex systems makes their successful engineering a problem. Petri Nets are one graphical modelling technique used to describe and check proposed designs of complex systems thoroughly. While automatic analysis capabilities of Petri Nets are useful, their visual form is less so, particularly for communicating the design they represent. In engineering projects, this can lead to a gap in communications between people with different areas of expertise, negatively impacting achieving accurate designs.

In contrast, although capable of representing a variety of real and imaginary objects effectively, behaviour of serious games can only be analysed manually through interactive simulation. This paper examines combining the complementary strengths of Petri Nets and serious games. The novel contribution of this work is a serious game prototype of a complex system design that has been checked thoroughly. Underpinned by Petri Net analysis, the serious game can be used as a high-level interface to communicate and refine the design.

Improvement of a complex system design is demonstrated by applying the integration to a proof-of-concept case study.  


Author Biographies

Kirsten Sinclair, Birmingham City University

Dr Kirsten Sinclair is a Senior Researcher in the Knowledge Based Engineering Lab at Birmingham City University.

Daniel Livingstone, Glasgow School of Art

Dr Daniel Livingstone is a Programme Leader in the Digital Design Studio at Glasgow School of Art.


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How to Cite

Sinclair, K., & Livingstone, D. (2016). Accurate Complex Systems Design: Integrating Serious Games with Petri Nets. International Journal of Serious Games, 3(1).