Occam’s Razor should always guide simulation and games designers

Article by Ken Thompson, last updated August 2019

Occam's (or Ockham's) razor is a principle attributed to the 14th century logician and Franciscan friar William of Ockham. Ockham was the village in the English county of Surrey where he was born.

BlogImage13 Image: Rube Goldberg and the Meaning of Machines

The principle states that "Entities should not be multiplied unnecessarily."

Occam's razor has been popularly interpreted in support of “simplicity” and one of its modern re-statements is: "when you have two competing theories that make exactly the same predictions, the simpler one is the better."

It is also a critical principle to apply to business simulation design as the control of complexity is often the biggest challenge.

One of the other terms I find helpful is “requisite complexity” – just enough complexity to get the job done and not an iota more!

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Ken Thompson

Ken is a practitioner, author and speaker on Leadership, Collaborative Working, High Performing Teams, Change Management, Project Management and Business Acumen. His work has featured in major publications including The Guardian , Wired Magazine, The Huffington Post and The Henry Ford Magazine. Ken has also spoken at many international events including TEDx, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), Learn Tech (London) and NASA.

Ken is Founder of Business Simulations Ltd.

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