Linda King writes a good article in her blog which succinctly describes the difference between these 3 “in vogue” terms. I have extracted a summary below but you should read the full article:
Simulations are real and immersive games which offer an experiential educational experience. Simulations place people in a risk free environment which supports their engagement in an authentic experience which contextually demonstrates benefits and consequences.
Serious Games use traditional gamecraft techniques (for example video game technology, Kinect, strategy) around serious concepts such as business, education, environmental or social issues.
Dashboard Simulations supercharge learning and behaviour change through team-based simulation games which use both intra-team collaboration and inter-team competition to produce significant, measurable improvements in the participants’ performance back at the workplace.