PAXsims

Conflict simulation, peacebuilding, and development

Wargaming in the era of telework

At the Modern War Institute (West Point), Yuna Wong discusses “going virtual: wargaming in an era of telework, travel restrictions, and social distancing.”

One of the many ways that COVID-19 has impacted the US Department of Defense is in its wargaming activities. Typically conducted in person, wargames face challenges from travel restrictionslarge-scale shifts toward teleworksocial distancing measures, and state and local lockdowns that affect the defense industry. Wargames are also often classified, and classified work has faced particular challenges during the pandemic—although it has given rise to classified telework.

There are significant limitations of using many of the same approaches we have always used, just now in the virtual space. Additional thought and better design are required to improve the virtual wargaming experience and to gain the full advantages that distributed wargames may offer. As we have all discovered, virtual events come with their own set of challenges. The lack of face-to-face engagement takes away many of the benefits from traditional, in-person wargames and tabletop exercises. Zoom fatiguedistractions in the home; bandwidth and connectivity issues; anxiety, frustration, and boredom from social isolation; plus general pandemic stress all hamper participants’ engagement. Multiple, day-long tabletop exercises and wargames are impractical and ineffective when simply moved to Microsoft Teams without additional adaptation.

What, then, can wargamers do in light of these difficulties with virtual gaming?…

You’ll have to read the her article to find the answers.

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