Conflict simulation, peacebuilding, and development

Daily Archives: 02/01/2018

PAXsims 2017 in review


With 2017 now behind us, it seems an appropriate time to review some PAXsims statistics from the past year.

In 2017 the website attracted some 92,480 views from some 48,885 visitors. That’s slightly down from 2016, and similar to 2015. The number of email and WordPress subscribers continues to grow, and now stands at 389. Since PAXsims was first established we’ve had more than half a million views from more than a quarter of a million visitors.

Our visitors last year came from 172 different countries and territories, with the United States continuing to represent by far the largest share:

  1. United States 45.0%
  2. United Kingdom 11.5%
  3. Canada 9.4%
  4. Netherlands 4.3%
  5. Germany 2.8%
  6. Australia 2.6%
  7. France 2.1%
  8. Spain 1.7%
  9. Italy 1.5%
  10. Belgium 1.2%
  11. Sweden 1.1%
  12. Brazil 1.0%
  13. Japan 1.0%
  14. New Zealand 0.7%
  15. India 0.7%
  16. Poland 0.6%
  17. Turkey 0.5%
  18. Czech Republic 0.5%
  19. Russia 0.4%
  20. Portugal 0.4%

We posted 119 items to the website in 2017. The most popular of these were:

  1. FBI: wargamers are intelligent, overweight, messy, loyal, frugal, and spend a lot on games
  2. MaGCK (Matrix Game Construction Kit)
  3. Dungeons & Dragons as professional development
  4. War in Binni: another McGill megagame
  5. Wanted: wargame analyst (US DoD)
  6. UK MoD: Wargaming Handbook
  7. Request for feedback: Teaching wargame design at the US Army Command & General Staff College
  8. Reflections on (another) McGill megagame
  9. Review: Urban Operations
  10. Dissecting DIRE STRAITS

Our most popular post from previous years in 2017 was the AFTERSHOCK resource page.

We had 161 visitor comments last year. Once again, our most prolific commentator was Brian Train.

Of course, PAXsims did a lot more than just post materials online. Last year also saw the publication of the Matrix Game Construction Kit, a joint project by PAXsims editors Tom Fisher, Tom Mouat, and myself. We also ran demonstration games of AFTERSHOCK, helped design the DIRE STRAITS megagame, provided game design advice, and organized a diplomatic game on the South China Sea for Global Affairs Canada, among other activities.

Now it’s onwards into 2018!

Connections North 2018


A couple of years ago we held a small CONNECTIONS NORTH miniconference on professional wargaming in Canada, bringing together game designers and national security analysts. We’ll be doing again on 24 February 2018 at McGill University, taking advantage of the fact that a number of Ottawa (and other) folks will be travelling to Montreal to take part in the DIRE STRAITS megagame the following day.


  • 13h00 – arrival and introductions
  • 13h15 – SESSION 1: Who is Doing What, Where?
    • Ben Taylor (DRDC), Canadian wargaming perspectives from DRDC
    • Rex Brynen, (McGill University), Gaming initiatives at McGill and by PAXsims
    • Anja van der Hulst (TNO, Netherlands), An overview of TNO gaming initiatives
  • 15h30 – coffee break
  • 15h45 – SESSION 2: Issues, Challenges, and Approaches
    • Jim Wallman (Stone, Paper, Scissors, UK) Wargaming large-scale air warfare: insights from RAF Exercise Eagle Warrior
    • Tom Fisher (Imaginetic), Graphic Design, Components, and Player Experience in Manual Games
  • 17h30 – end
  • 18h00 – informal discussions and gaming
    • A Reckoning of Vultures (Matrix Game Construction Kit)

Registration for CONNECTIONS NORTH free, but is limited to national security professionals, researchers, educators, game designers, and others working in the field of serious games. You’ll find further details, and the registration page, here.

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