Conflict simulation, peacebuilding, and development

Daily Archives: 04/06/2019

Kadlec: Modelling Competition and Cooperation in Strategic Games


At the US Army War College War Room, Sean Kadlec discusses the use of relatively simple serious games (such as matrix games) to explore and foster interagency and civil-military cooperation.

Role-playing games and similar low-cost thought- and dialogue-based exercises can produce insights into and solutions for difficult national security problems, while also creating conditions for real-world cooperation. The USAWC — CSL, other institutes like PKSOI, and the student body — can assist operational units and interagency partners by combining such “experimental strategy” exercises with academic theory (like the “Prisoner’s Dilemma”) as in-class research or assignments. More importantly, however they are created and staged, security professionals should use dynamic gaming as a means to develop conceptual understanding, generate practical solutions, and foster cooperation in a low-cost game environment before implementing potentially costly and untested ideas in the real world. There is no dilemma here: “gaming” cross-sector collaboration is worth every penny not spent on untested strategies — especially when they fail for lack of forethought.

You’ll find the full piece here.

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