Conflict simulation, peacebuilding, and development

“Terror in Tilberg” matrix game

Terror in TilbergV2 cover.png

A recent visit to the Netherlands by one of the PAXsims editors led to the development of Terror in Tilberg, a matrix game exploring the possible impact of a terror attack in the run up to that country’s 2017 elections.

The players in the game are as follows:

  1. local jihadists (“Hofstadt Network”)
  2. Dutch Government
  3. Saudi Arabia
  4. Right wing neo-Nazis (“New Thule”)
  5. Dutch Emergency Services
  6. Geert Wilders
  7. Russia

The results of one game were as follows:

  • On occasions both the Islamic Terrorists and the Right-Wing Terrorists were perfectly happy with their opponent’s actions
  • The Coalition Government often found itself arguing against its own political interests.
  • The Security Services were very good at reacting to an attack afterwards, but felt unable to act proactively without legislation and techniques that put them against the Liberal policies of the Government.
  • Geert Wilders found himself at odds with a significant proportion of the Right-Wing terrorist actions.

The upshot of the game was that Geert Wilders won the most seats, but failed to secure an overall majority (only just) and the other political parties refused to join him in a coalition. It was a close-run thing, but the Netherlands remained a liberal democracy.

You’ll find the scenario description and game materials here (.pdf). To play it, you’ll need some general familiarity with matrix games.

Terror in TilbergV2 components.png

3 responses to ““Terror in Tilberg” matrix game

  1. Lorenzo Nannetti (@LorenzoNannetti) 08/03/2017 at 3:47 am

    Interesting exercise, adaptable to other similar cases.

  2. ridinghoodgames 08/03/2017 at 9:06 am

    Very interesting! In what setting/ context was this game developed? And with what goals in mind?

  3. Jim Dawson 08/03/2017 at 9:34 am

    The context was from a discussion about exploring the issues that might arise in Europe in the light of Brexit and the number of elections due in the next year (Germany / France, etc.). It was suggested that we should be able to design a Matrix Game about it, as the technique is uniquely suited to rapid development. The intention was to look for insights and indicators that might presage terror attacks or narrative exploitation.

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