PAXsims

Conflict simulation, peacebuilding, and development

Request for submissions: The Commandant’s gaming list

life-wargame.jpg

From LIFE magazine (1915): “Group of English gentlemen and soldiers of the 25th London Cyclist Regiment playing the newest form of wargame strategy simulation called “Bellum” at the regimental HQ.”

Leaders of many institutions have produced “Reading Lists” of great books for students and workers to gain insights and understanding into the situations portrayed. They are also put forward to illustrate the values and ethos of the organisation to subordinates and employees alike.

A (very comprehensive) example for the US Marine Corps is here.

The idea of this survey is to generate a “Games List“, recommended by military, government and academic professionals, for exactly the same purpose. In addition, it is to intended educate participants about the value of games.

This is not just restricted to historical subjects. Allegorical, fantasy, abstract and science-fiction game subjects are often extremely useful in illustrating specific things – so don’t rule out space or zombie games – after all the Commandant of the US Marine Corps (CMC) recommends Starship Troopers and, in the past, World War Z to students.

Please don’t limit yourself to board games, there are extremely useful PC games as well (the CMC currently recommends the book Ready Player One, about a computer game).

The intention will be to publish the list on the PAXsims blog to be shared in the community.

You can complete the survey as many times as you like, but for only one game title each time.

Finally, and most importantly, please don’t just recommend your favourite game. It needs to be a game that has something to say about that particular conflict or serves to illustrate particular values of the organisation or insights about the participants.

The questions you’ll be asked are:

  • What is the name of the game?
  • Where can I get a copy?
  • What period or type of game does the game represent?
  • What sorts of insights and understanding should they get from the game?
  • Do you have any other comments about the game? (optional)
  • Contact Details (optional)

The survey is here (click image below):

Bali Green Cleaning 7

The average time for completion is less than 3 minutes.

We will vet your submissions ruthlessly. Games needing many participants, or degrees in history, statistics and English literature, or taking days to complete are unlikely to be useful. Games that are 2-player, easy to pick up and understand, and playable in an hour or so are more likely to be viewed more favourably. Therefore, Advanced Squad Leader and Twilight Imperium (with the Shattered Empire expansion for 8 players) probably don’t need to be included…

Tom Mouat 

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