Conflict simulation, peacebuilding, and development

Daily Archives: 22/03/2012

ISN: Digital games and international relations

The International Relations and Security Network has a series of features this week on “the potential of strategic and digital games to shape international relations, either for better or worse.”

First, we hear from Jane McGonigal on the power of games and gaming in general to shape political and social behavior. Seth Priebatsch then introduces some of the basics of game mechanics – as well his ideas about the emergence of a new ‘game layer’ on top of the ‘real’ social and political world. Finally, Jesse Schell reports on the extent to which significant aspects of modern social life already resemble virtual games.

On Tuesday and Wednesday we consider the importance of virtual gaming to military training. First, Peter Buxbaum writes about the applications of virtual gaming in the construction of so-called cyber-ranges where possible cyber-attacks are virtually simulated in order to understand how better to defend against them. Jody Ray Bennet then writes about the latest developments – and some interesting implications – in the use of virtual games by the US, Russian and Chinese militaries to simulate real combat environments. On Thursday, we explore some of the implications of virtual games and ‘gaming’ for how we understand international relations. We close on Friday by contrasting virtual gaming and simulations with the all-too-familiar ‘games’ that foreign policy establishments continue to play.

I look forward to reading the rest of the series as it is published in the coming days.

h/t Wargaming Conncetions

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