Conflict simulation, peacebuilding, and development

Serious Games at Work interview with Rex Brynen


Earlier this week I was interviewed by Tom Grant for his occasional Serious Games at Work podcast. You’ll find the result—in which we discuss peace and conflict simulation, game design, counterinsurgency doctrine, the humanitarian crisis game, and other things too—here.

4 responses to “Serious Games at Work interview with Rex Brynen

  1. brtrain 05/03/2014 at 8:08 pm

    “break the code”, good one Peter, when it comes to designing on this topic I feel like I’m on the second move of a game of Mastermind and am still fiddling with the pegs. At this point I am thinking that in a game there could be three potential VP collectors: there’s what you are told to do (which gets you support and werewithal to continue or even a promotion outta there), there’s what you think you ought to do (which will resolve your current and most apparent problems, and make for the most obvious “victory” for you) and there’s what actually works (and which doesn’t have to be either the first or seond, sometimes it is something else entirely). And you don’t know what eaxactly is in play (hjust as I can’t see what I am typing right now in this silly comment window). I’ve tried to do this in a couple of game designs but not quite there yet.

  2. Peter Perla 13/02/2014 at 1:39 pm

    Sitting here in the snow drinking coffe and listening to your interview. Good stuff. Much more lively than one of the earlier interviews by a subject who shall remain nameless. I agree wholeheartedly with Brian about your insights on the COIN problem. I am optimistic, however, that someone is going to break the code for building exactly the sort of game you talk about, one that can challenge the player to identify the mix of techniques and approaches that will work for the particular situation as it evolves. One reason for that optimism is the resounding failures of the many design approaches that we have tried so far. Surely we’ve been learning important lessons! Also, it appears I made a serious mistake at Connections UK in missing your demo of the humanitarian game. Your emphasis on the tangible nature of the Boardgame and it’s correspondence to the logistical problem of operations is a lesson for us all, especially those who tend toward the one size fits all modeling approach.
    Take care

  3. brtrain 07/02/2014 at 3:45 pm

    Particularly liked your comments on COIN doctrine at the end. Volko Ruhnke, Mark Herman and I touched on this in one of David Docker’s podcasts; I mentioned that (by analogy) the US was playing a wargame in the early years of the intervention in Vietnam without knowing, and without even being able to know, the victory conditions – due to being blinded by doctrine. There’s a lot of food for thought in this and now I have to go away and stare at a pile of paper that ought to be revised….

  4. brtrain 07/02/2014 at 2:45 pm

    Excellent interview! I didn’t know Tom Grant did this series. He’s very good at this.

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