Conflict simulation, peacebuilding, and development

What does the neophyte simulation user need to know?

In the coming months, Margaret McCown (NDU),  Tim Wilkie (NDU), Skip Cole (USIP) and I will start work on a new simulation and gaming project. Specifically, we’re planning to collectively coedit a guidebook containing practical advice on the design, implementation, and instructional use of peacebuilding simulations. The target audience would be instructors in higher education, the NGO community, and international organizations who wish to use a simulation as an experiential learning tool, but lack a background in gaming or familiarity with simulation methods. Think of it as a sort of “gaming for dummies” handbook, a resource that you might point newbies to if they’re thinking of developing simulations and integrating them into their instructional or training curriculum.

The question I would like to throw out to PaxSims readers is this: What should go into such a volume? If you were writing up such a guide, what are the key topics that you think ought to be covered? If you are an experienced user of games and simulations, what do you wish you had known earlier? If you are a gaming/simulation neophyte, what do you most want to know?

Feel free to post ideas in the comments section below—or, if you’re a member of NDU’s Strategic Gaming Roundtable forum on APAN, you can join the discussion there too.

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