Conflict simulation, peacebuilding, and development

2015: A busy year ahead!


It looks like 2015 is already shaping up to be a very busy year of simulation-related activities both for PAXsims and for me personally at McGill University.

  • In January I’ll be at the University of Exeter, running a classroom simulation with Prof. Mick Dumper on the Syrian refugee crisis in Lebanon for his POL2046 course on The Refugee Crisis in the Modern World. I’ll also be running a version of this same simulation at McGill the following month for some of the students in Prof. Megan Bradley‘s POLI 359 (002) course on the international refugee regime.
  • Also in February I’ll be running several games on AFTERSHOCK: A Humanitarian Crisis Game for students in my own Peacebuilding (POLI450/650) course. I also hope to run sessions of both the Afghan Provincial Reconstruction Game and Jill Wallman’s Barwick Green peacekeeping game during the term.
  • In February, I’ll be getting together with colleagues from Defence Research and Development Canada, other government departments, and the University of Ottawa to explore the analytical application of “matrix games.” This follows an earlier playtest of the approach in the UK back in August.
  • From March 25 to April 1, McGill students will—for the 15th year—be struggling with the immense challenge of bringing peace to war-torn Brynania. During that week I’ll be sifting through some 15,000 emails, and otherwise suffering from extreme sleep-deprivation.
  • In April and again in May, we’ll be delivering several simultaneous games of AFTERSHOCK for students and professionals taking part in the Disaster and Humanitarian Response Training Program, organized by the McGill Humanitarian Studies Initiative and the Canadian Consortium for Humanitarian Training. By this time we hope to have a final version of the game in limited production, so that others will be able to purchase and use it.
  • Later in May, Gary Milante and I should be attending the 12th International Conference on Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management (ISCRAM 2015) where we’ll be running a tutorial on tutorial on serious gaming for peacebuilding, development, humanitarian crisis, and disaster relief. UPDATE: No, it looks like we won’t be going after all.
  • In June, I’ll be attending the 83rd annual symposium of the Military Operations Research Society. There I hope to be presenting a paper with Dr. Ben Taylor (Defence Research and Development Canada) on “Assessing the analytical utility of matrix games.”
  • The Connections 2015 interdisciplinary wargaming conference will be held at National Defense University in July (final confirmation pending), and Connections UK will be at King’s College London on 8-10 September. I’ll be at both.

In addition, as of September I will be on sabbatical for the 2015-16 academic year. During that time I will be involved in a number of other activities related to conflict simulation and serious gaming. Do you have a forthcoming serious gaming project that I might find of interest? Drop me a line!

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