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SimWord of the Day: Tech Tree

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Mon Dec 19 2005

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The point of these SimWord entries is to suggest that we are developing new tools for capturing domain knowledge and new language for describing how we engage the world.

Does this matter to the formal learning industries? I believe there is nothing more important. If we can't capture more of what an expert knows/does, our industry is stuck telling people how to use the newest ERP tool or memorize a list of facts.

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Given all of that, another interesting structure is the Tech Tree.

Here are a tech trees from two games, Civilization IV and Alpha Centauri.

A tech tree is a list of technologies in a game/sim, that have to be uncovered in order. Discovering the alphabet comes before widespread literacy. And it might take discoveries in different areas to lead to one key advancement, just as the one key advancement can open up many doors.

As players are engaged in a game/sim, one decision is where to put research resources to unlock both short and longer term advantages.

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