Conflict simulation, peacebuilding, and development

simulations miscellany: the 100,000 visitors edition!

We’re pleased to report that PAXsims reached its 100,000th visitor today. Of course, that’s not a huge number in the world of the interwebs—indeed, a blog by a nine year-old Scottish girl about her school lunches has over 6.8 million hits now—but we’re quite pleased with it nonetheless. We would like to think all of our contributors, commentators, and regular readers who have made it such a pleasure to work on this project. Onwards to the next 100,000!

We’re also pleased to report that a special issue of Simulation & Gaming devoted to “simulations and games to build peace” is now working its way through the production process at SAGE. In addition to an introductory article by us, it will feature contributions by  Elizabeth Bartels, Margaret McCown, and Timothy Wilkie on level of analysis, scenario and role specification in peace and conflict exercises; Richard Powers and Kat Kirkpatrick on teaching conflict resolution through simulations and games; Julian Schofield on classroom modelling of nuclear war fighting; Tucker B. Harding and Mark A. Whitlock on  leveraging web-based environments for mass atrocity prevention; Roger Mason and Eric Patterson on wargaming peace operations; Sean F. McMahon and Chris Miller  on simulating the Camp David negotiations; and Peter Landwehr, Marc Spraragen, Balki Ranganathan, Kathleen M. Carley, and Michael Zyda on integrating games, social simulations, and data in the “Sudan Game.”

Finally, in other recent simulation news:

  • The second annual Serious Play conference will take place 21-23 August 2012 at the DigiPen Institute of Technology in Redmond, Washington.
  • In his “Best Defense” column at Foreign Policy magazine, Tom Ricks has been discussing possible cuts and constraints at the National Defense University. Among the alarming news (in this case, reported by an anonymous NDU staff member) is this: “The research, gaming, and publications arms of the university — a major part of the big-think, future concepts and policy business here — will be cut to somewhere between half and a third of their original sizes.” This would indeed be both short-sighted and a tragedy—the Center for Applied Strategic Learning is a true centre of excellence in the policy gaming field, and has been immensely important in building a broader gaming community that reaches outside the military to include interagency folks, academics, commercial game designers, and others.
  • Over at Defense News/Training & Simulation Journal, Michael Peck reports that military budget cuts will increasingly force the US Army  to rely more heavily on simpler, lower-end simulation exercises.
  • The video game company Valve has hired an economist to study in-game virtual economies. He has a blog too.
  • A reminder, once again, that the Connections 2012 interdisciplinary wargaming conference will be held on August 23-26 at NDU in Washington DC. If you haven’t done so, register soon.

2 responses to “simulations miscellany: the 100,000 visitors edition!

  1. brtrain 26/06/2012 at 1:52 pm

    The news about NDU/CASL is very concerning, as is Michael’s article about the Army cutting back on its gaming efforts. The Naval Postgraduate School is also having an inquiry done on its management and administration of its programs.
    Someone once said to me that the military was like a guy who, every few years, punches himself repeatedly in the nuts for no good reason. I guess this must be the tradition.
    Meanwhile, cardboard and sandboxes are pretty cheap, and you can do a lot with an Excel spreadsheet I’m told….

    Congratulations on the 100k mark!

  2. seachangesimulations 25/06/2012 at 7:15 pm

    Congratulations Rex!
    (And, in fairness, that 9 year old Scottish girl does have a pretty good blog. She corners the intersection of food, school and Scottish-ness. That’s tough to beat.)


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