This has taken me too long to write, sorry everyone! Last summer I attended the ‘Master SimVenture Evolution Training’ event in York. It’s a two-day programme, and a fantastic opportunity to not only learn about the latest version of the software, but to also get some hands-on experience of using it.

For those of you unfamiliar with SimVenture – i.e. wondering what I’m on about! –  it is a super-swanky and multi-award-winning business simulation that allows people to run their own virtual company; which is why it’s amazing stuff when it comes to teaching students about entrepreneurship and the wider world of business.

I’m a long-time user of SimVenture Classic, and a well known proponent of the use of Simulations (both real and virtual) in education, so I was pretty excited to get to grips with Evolution and see what it was capable of – and I’m pleased to report that I was not disappointed!

So, what is this new Evolution? As I learnt at the event, whilst it does retain some of Classic’s basic context, layout and functionality, it goes further, and builds upon this with layers of complexity, so that even relatively benign decisions from Classic carry much more weight in Evolution, giving you significantly more options to explore.

Evolution also moves away from the relatively monotonous ‘game styles’ that became common in Classic, by placing more emphasis on the market, product development (as a cycle) and iteration of the business model. The marketing and product design dynamics have been revamped too, which create more grey areas that allow the player to explore the potential of different strategies, whilst also challenging them to adapt to a more fluid and realistic market environment. In short – Evolution certainly lives up to its name.

However, this is also the potential downside of Evolution: It’s much bigger and much more involving that Classic, and whilst this opens it up to broader experiences and greater possibilities, its complexities could also be a barrier for student engagement. Evolution is going to require people to be really familiar with the software, as well as a lot more engaged in curriculum design, in order to really get the most out of it.

That said, events like the one I attended are there to help with those first steps, and they should hopefully kick-start a lively community that develops around the new version of software as it starts to gain more traction. The team who led the event were very professional and really took time to work with each of us and support us in our journey which was a hugely helpful as we tackled the platform and it’s many exciting applications.

I look forward to seeing how Evolution develops and, to using it with my students!

If you want to find out more, you can check out the SimVenture website

(Quick Disclaimer: this post is not sponsored by or affiliated with any of the products or services mentioned above altough I do know the team personally and professionally)

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