The Center for Leadership Simulation and Gaming

About CLSG [PDF]

“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn”

Mission: The Center for Leadership Simulation and Gaming at the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy:

  • Designs, develops and implements cutting edge simulations and experiments to advance education in leadership and public policy;
  • Conducts rigorous leadership and public policy research using simulations and experiments;
  • Creates a community of scholarship where faculty, researchers and students are supported in their scholarly efforts related to the methodology of simulations and experiments.

Educational advancement for participants: The simulations from our center provides a link between a classroom and a real-world setting by creating an experiential learning environment where students are required to pull in knowledge from various classes to engage with unstructured dynamic problems. 


Research advancement for scholars: Simulations and experiments provide a testing ground for models and theories in a controlled environment. By observing human behaviors, scholars can develop more predictive models and sharper theories as well as find unintended consequences or systemic biases. In addition, it can provide insights to complex problems without an analytical solution or require human behaviors that are not yet well understood.


Three types of simulations and experiments: Our simulations and experiments are participatory. Participants either make policy decisions and/or play a role that is affected by decisions of others.  

1. Leadership focused simulations and experiments

These are simulations designed to explore human behaviors in making better leadership decisions. Scholars can systematically measure behavioral responses and participants are able to experience and observe the sensitivity of human behaviors in action. These tools support education and research in areas such as judgment and decision making, social psychology, negotiation, crisis management, and conflict resolution.

2. Analytics focused simulations and experiments

This class of simulations utilizes common methodologies such as mathematical / statistical, discrete event, agent based, or system dynamics model to better understand the complex environment of public policy. Participants learn the difficulties and importance of tools such as what-if analysis, benefit-cost analysis, and these simulations also provide a testing and research ground for policy analysis.

3. Strategy focused simulations and experiments

These simulations are designed to assist participants to understand the complexity of strategic behaviors and the difficulty of iterative thinking in cooperative or non-cooperative environments. Researchers use experiments to answer questions of equilibrium selection, tatonnement process, and others in order to make advancements in topics such as behavioral game theory, mechanism design, political economy, public economics, bargaining, and market design.  


Activities: As a methodology center, we welcome various topics of research. Center members are currently actively engaged in topics of game theory, defense economics, infectious diseases, market design, health care, environmental science, bias in judgment, and others.