PAXsims

Conflict simulation, peacebuilding, and development

MORS: Gaming cyber and information operations

The Military Operations Research Society will offer a short online course on gaming cyber and information operations from 30 August to 1 September 2023, taught by Ed McGrady. Further details and registration information are available at the link.

Games are tools that professionals can use to understand complex problems. Problems where there really is no good solution. Problems where there are two opposing sides. Problems of deterrence and belief. 

Cyber security and information operations incorporate all of these challenges and more. But cyber games are often seen solely through the focus of computer-based games. Information operations games are thought to be too hard to execute and adjudicate. And while computer mediated exercises and games have a role in cyber preparedness, so do manual games that focus on organization, conceptualization, and experimentation. In this game design course, we will focus on building manual, professional, games designed to explore, train, or educate on issues surrounding cyber security and information operations. 

MORS currently offers a one week certificate course in Cyber Game Design in collaboration with Virginia Tech. In this shortened version of the week long course we will focus on how to build the best cyber game for the sponsor’s objectives. We will also add information operations to the mix. Information operations are important to understand because they broaden the conflict landscape to include all types of information, not just information that flows on digital networks and their components. 

Our framework for the class will be understanding the types of games that are available to us, and how they relate to gaming at the strategic, operational, and tactical levels of cyber. What is the role of matrix games in cyber? How do we build realistic tactical games without becoming overwhelmed with detail? How do we build analytical tools for tactical adjudication of cyber games? How do we handle adjudication of social engineering or deception? 

Gaming information operations will focus on practical tips and techniques for either building games that focus on information operations, or incorporating information operations into large game systems. 

The class will consist of three primary sections: game design, gaming cyber security at the tactical operational, and strategic levels, and gaming information operations. As much as possible we will incorporate class exercises and engagements as part of the learning process.  

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