To make societal simulation a useful teaching tool, we built the GuSS system (Guided Social Simulation). GuSS is a tool that allows a programmer to use the ideas of societal simulation developed in ChimpWorld in any human business context in which he wishes to work. We have built three prototype GuSS applications to date: High Spotter teaches novice business consultants how to interact with clients on a job; Yello teaches phone company account executives how to sell advertising in the Yellow pages; and George teaches experienced consultants how to sell consulting services.
GuSS applications accomplish for a social world what the flight simulator accomplishes for the physical world of the cockpit. The key feature of a flight simulator is that it allows the aspiring pilot to practice a skill in an environment that mimics the real world in every way possible, except that in the simulated world, it is safe to fail. GuSS applications similarly offer social environments in which the students interact with simulated characters through conversations. Students move around in the simulated world; from the home office, for example, to the client's place of business, or other locations. Pictures of these scenes, and the characters found in them, provide visual realism. Students use a system of hierarchical menus to construct desired utterances or to take other actions in the simulated world. Characters in the simulation respond to the student through conversation and emotional reactions.
GuSS as Unique Training System
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