PAXsims

Conflict simulation, peacebuilding, and development

Tag Archives: Armchair Dragoons

Armchair Dragoons: Teaching game design

The latest edition of the Armchair Dragoons podcast features a discussion with Sebastian Bae, Jeff Tidball, myself, and host Brant Guillory on teaching game design.

We discuss some of the key points that they want students take away from their design courses, some of the process they use to introduce different game ideas and concepts to the students, and the toolkits (in some cases, literally) that the students use for their game designs.  As a nod to the current reality we’re in, they also discuss the challenges of teaching these classes during a global pandemic that necessitates distance learning.

There’s a lot of things discussed here, but among them are the Aftershock game(reviewed by us here), the White Box design kit, Stephen Downes-Martin’s (in)famous “Three Witches” speech/paper, the Georgetown University Wargaming Society (whose forums are hosted by us and could use some more traffic), Jeff’s consulting work, the Brynania peacebuilding game, the diversity split in their classes, GUWS presentations for our digital conventions, and the constraints of trying to get a game design crammed into one semester.

Mentioned in Dispatches: The Derby House Principles

This week, the Mentioned in Dispatches podcast at Armchair Dragoons is all about diversity and inclusion in wargaming and the intent behind the Derby House Principles.

There’s been many facets of public life that have been touched lately by discussions of diversity and representation in different spheres of public life, and gaming has been no different.  From the cancelation of Origins Online to the Twitter mob stalking designer Eric Lang to GAMA’s comms director quitting to the Diana Jones Awards at GenCon, there’s been a non-stop list of game-industry headlines all summer long.

Enter, The Derby House Principles, promoting diversity & inclusion in professional wargaming. Focused on the practitioner community that designs, executes, evaluates, and teaches the art & science of wargaming in the realms of defense & security policy, national defense, emergency preparedness, and the intelligence communities, the Derby House Principles have been endorsed by a wide array of government and government-adjacent organizations.

While the professional wargaming community is not our focus, it is still an area of interest for much of our audience.  Some of The Dragoons have worked in both the hobby and professional communities, and some professionals will look to hobby sites like us for information on the current practices of the hobby community, or creative approaches to wargaming events.

With that in mind, we reached out to some folks in the professional wargaming world who were well-positioned to discuss and describe not only their own experiences as under-represented minorities in professional wargaming, but also their thoughts on the operationalization of the Derby House Principles.  While neither were officially representing any agency or organization, both Yuna Wong and Sally Davis were have long resumes of experience in the professional wargaming world and their insights made for a fascinating podcast.  Rex Brynen also stops by at the start of the episode to discuss the genesis of the principles and their initial spread among the professional community.

This is a pretty long episode folks – well over an hour – but we didn’t want to cut the discussion short.

You can listen to it at the link at the top. Our thanks go out to Brant Guillory for recording and facilitating the discussion, and his strong support for a more diverse and inclusive hobby and profession.

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