Conflict simulation, peacebuilding, and development

Daily Archives: 21/02/2012

Gaming urban counterinsurgency in Iraq: Fardh al-Qanoon update

Over at his Smart War Blog, graduate student Robert Hossal recently released the draft map, counter set and rules for his simulation of 2007 Baghdad Security Plan—all part of his class assignment  in Professor Philip Sabin’s well-known course on conflict simulation at the Department of War Studies, King’s College London. His progress on the project is well worth following for the insight it offers into a range of issues, ranging from the innovative use of game design as an instructional technique to how a designer might model complex stabilization and counter-insurgency operations. Plus, I like the white-on-black Jaysh al-Mahdi markers, Robert!

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For a less serious take on insurgency and counter-insurgency in Iraq, there is also the (in)famous Iraq-themed version of RISK we’ve been known to play at McGill from time-to-time…

simulations miscellany, 21 February 2012

Some recent items that may be of interest to PAXsims readers:

Sharing critical judgments is an essential part of learning in simulation and debriefing. Instructors often avoid giving voice to critical thoughts and feelings because they do not want to appear confrontational and they worry that criticism might lead to hurt feelings or defensiveness on the part of the trainee. Voicing critical judgment poses a dilemma for many instructors: “How can I deliver a critical message and share my expertise while avoiding negative emotions, preserving social ‘face’ and maintaining my relationship with the trainee?” This paper offers an approach to debriefing that addresses this dilemma.

The existing debriefing literature provides little guidance on how to create an environment in which trainees feel simultaneously challenged and psychologically safe enough to engage in rigorous reflection. By “rigorous reflection,” we mean a process that brings to the surface and helps resolve the clinical and behavioral dilemmas and areas of confusion raised by the simulation experience. Drawing on a 35-year research program on improving professional effectiveness in the business world through “reflective practice,” this article articulates a model of debriefing for medical simulation exercises.

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