Conflict simulation, peacebuilding, and development

“The Gaming Debate” at TSJ

Over at the Training & Simulation Journal, an article by Michael Peck back in the August/September edition on serious gaming (and, more particular, on Jim Lunsford at Decisive-Point)  has provoked quite a debate among readers as to their usefulness in military education and training. Col. John R. “Buck” Surdu asks whether a focus on game interface can obscure important issues regarding the underlying modelling embeded in a simulation. He also questions whether sufficient verification and validation is done on “serious games.” James Sterrett discusses the difference between “big” (and complex) and “small” simulations and games, and the different training niches that they might occupy within the US military. Finally, Jim Lunsford himself replies, arguing that “Serious games are here to stay. When properly developed, fielded, and used, they are a very effective and relatively low-cost way to educate and train.” He also notes, however, that:

Serious games do not constitute a revolution in training and education. They are just a new form of simulation-supported training. Knowing when and how to use them is as important as knowing when and how to use any other existing training tool. In order to effectively take full advantage of their capabilities while recognizing their limitations, we should train our leaders and instructors in their use as part of their professional development. For no matter how good the game may appear to be, the quality of training will always depend on the instructor’s ability to shape learning.

You’ll find the full debate at TSJ here.

h/t: Michael Peck

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