Conflict simulation, peacebuilding, and development

Daily Archives: 28/07/2009

I/ITSEC 2009

IITSECBy far the greatest use of simulations (virtual, human-moderated, or otherwise) for training purposes occurs within the military, of course. The main inter-service, private sector, and academic get-together on such things is the annual Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference.

The Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference (I/ITSEC) promotes cooperation among the Armed Services, Industry, Academia and various Government agencies in pursuit of improved training and education programs, identification of common training issues and development of multiservice programs. Initiated in 1966 as the Naval Training Device Center/Industry Conference, the conference has evolved and expanded through increased participation by the Army, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and Industry. In 1979 it became known as the Interservice/Industry Training Equipment Conference.

The 2008 conference involved approximately 18,450 total registrants, including some 4,000 conference delegates, 7,500 exhibit personnel, approximately 5,600 exhibit visitors. There were also 539 exhibiting companies in 423 exhibits. Approximately half of the registrants were from government. There were also also over 2,100 international registrants from 50 countries.

The 2009 conference will be held in Orlando from November 30 to December 3. Registration information is here.

Somali pirate simulator

Far be it for me to distract for Gary’s useful summary of the recent USIP simulation conference, but I just couldn’t resist pointing out Wired magazine’s online Somali pirate simulation, Cuthroat Capitalism: The Game.

You are a pirate commander staked with $50,000 from local tribal leaders and other investors. Your job is to guide your pirate crew through raids in and around the Gulf of Aden, attack and capture a ship, and successfully negotiate a ransom.

Of course, it certainly doesn’t claim to be a real simulation, much less an educational tool. However, it does highlight some of the trade-offs involved: Do you go for low-risk, low-value fishing boats, or high-risk, high-value commercial shipping? What negotiation tactics do use, and how do they affect not only the counter-offers of ship-owners, the morale of your pirates, the health of the crew, and the risk of a coalition rescue attempt?


After all, how often do you get to hijack fishing boats or oil tankers in your day job?…

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