PAXsims

Conflict simulation, peacebuilding, and development

Mason: Report on the International Conference on Exercises, Games, and Simulations for Intelligence and National Security

While none of the PAXsims editors were able to attend the recent International Conference on Exercises, Games, and Simulations for Intelligence and National Security held at Georgetown University on 24-25 March, regular reader Roger Mason (of LEC Management) was there, and he provides the following brief report.

Were you there too? If so, please feel free to add your own observations in the comments section!

* * *

This conference was co-hosted by Dr. Jan Goldman, Georgetown University School of Continuing Studies, and Dr. Rueben Arcos Martin, Center for Intelligence Services and Democratic systems at Rey Juan Carlos University, in Madrid, Spain. The conference was held at the Georgetown University School for Continuing Studies at their downtown Washington DC conference center. The conference was sponsored by the association of Strategic and Competitive Intelligence Professionals (SCIP), Law Enforcement Crisis Management (LECMgt), Roman & Littlefield Publishers, and Santander Universidades.

Purpose

Over the last decade, the training and education of national security has become more complex from a pedagogical standpoint. The conference was designed to explore the past, current and future of interactive learning for intelligence and national security—a future that will involve exercises, games and simulations.

Participants

The conference was a multi-national event with participants from the European Union and across the United States. It included academics, intelligence practitioners, consultants, and game designers (draft program here).

Speaker Highlights

MasonGeorgetown

Roger Mason at the Georgetown conference.

The conference opened with an illuminating series of presentations by the team from Rey Juan Carlos University. Dr. Reuben Arcos discussed active learning methodologies and the use of games in intelligence analysis training programs in Spain. Dr. Arcos along with William Lahneman are the co-authors/editors of The Art of Intelligence: Simulations, Exercises and Games.

Nan Bulgar explained how SCIP is designing educational games for competitive intelligence applications. Amanda Ohlke and Jacqueline Eyl described the use of games by the International Spy Museum as an education and engagement tool. The LECMgt panel included Dr, Roger Mason, Dr. Peter Perla, and Mr. Joseph Miranda.. They discussed the use of theory in game design, games and experiential learning, and simulating intelligence processes in game design. They explained their new intelligence analysis game which was premiered at the conference (presentation pdf here).

The team from the US Institute for Peace demonstrated their new approach to games on their global campus application. Their Inter-organizational Tabletop Exercise (ITX) is designed to provide distance learners access to game based education events. Christina Ivan of the National Institute for Intelligence Studies in Bucharest discussed their use of games as a negotiation engagement tool. William Lawhead of the University of Mississippi demonstrated a very engaging card based game for teaching intelligence analytics.

Summary

This conference ignited the interest of the participants by observing the fascinating and innovative applications of games in the very specific domain of intelligence analysis. The unofficial consensus seemed to be that games will have a useful and expanding role in training the next generation of intelligence analysts.

Roger Mason

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