PAXsims

Conflict simulation, peacebuilding, and development

Bae on educational wargaming

At the Australian Defence College website The Forge, Sebastian Bae addresses how to develop an educational wargaming programme at civilian and military educational institutions alike:

Educational wargaming is experiencing a remarkable resurgence, reflected in the growth of wargaming Fight Clubs and the embrace of wargames as pedagogical tools in the classroom. From civilian educators to senior military leaders, there is an increasing consensus that wargames can be powerful learning tools – better equipping future decisionmakers to face a broad spectrum of challenges. As universities, both civilian and military, continue to develop a model for 21st century learning and education, wargaming and other forms of experiential learning may increasingly become permeant fixtures in curriculums. This begs the question: how does one cultivate wargaming at the university?

There is no singular, definitive answer. Several universities, such as King’s College LondonU.S. Army War College, and U.S. Naval War College, have established excellent wargaming programs, each with their unique character. However, if a university is aiming to build a wargaming program, storied wargaming histories or boasting one of the giants of the field are not prerequisites. Over the last two years, Georgetown University’s Security Studies Program (SSP), U.S. Marine Corps Command & Staff College (CSC), and the U.S. Naval Academy (USNA) have all established respective wargaming initiatives. With the support of amazing partners and colleagues, these initiatives feature a wargaming lab, student societies, and wargaming design courses where students research, design, develop, and execute an original educational wargame.

The key to success and rapid growth of these initiatives lies in cultivating a wargaming insurgency, a grassroots movement to foster experiential learning on campus. Admittedly, the idea of establishing any wargaming initiative, whether an extracurricular student society or official course, can be daunting. Institutions of higher education, whether civilian or military, may be resistant to change, reluctant to assume risk, and may stifle innovation with bureaucracy. Hence, for those aiming to start wargaming programs of their own, I offer four potential overarching principles for conducting a wargaming insurgency: crawl, walk, run; find champions and sponsors; collaborate to generate growth and value; and be adaptable and exploit opportunities.

Read his full piece at the link above, and also check out the Educational Wargaming Cooperative.

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