Conflict simulation, peacebuilding, and development

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Today I had an enjoyable day running two games of AFTERSHOCK for colleagues at Defence Research and Development Canada. The first game involved four DRDC/DND analysts playing, while second game included one from DRDC, a very experienced humanitarian aid worker, and two staff from Global Affairs Canada. Both teams eked out a narrow win in the closing turns of the game, with the second group scoring a little higher (in large part because of better coordination).


Although AFTERSHOCK was designed as an educational game for university students, military personnel, trainee humanitarians, and junior diplomats and aid officials, the purpose here was to assess whether it might offer a differing perspective on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations than the one generally adopted in military planning scenarios for capability-based planning. In particular, the game highlights not the hardware of platforms and assets, but rather the software of coordination and inter-agency synergies.

In any case I think everyone found the game enjoyable, and certainly the fictional, earthquake-afflicted population of Carana was grateful for their help.

I’ll be running one more game of AFTERSHOCK in Ottawa this weekend, in the very different setting of the CanGames gaming convention. Come and join us in the Sunday 2pm slot!



AFTERSHOCK at CanGames 2015


The CanGames gaming convention takes place in Ottawa on 15-17 May 2015. This year we’ll be running a game of AFTERSHOCK: A Humanitarian Crisis Game at the convention:

Sunday, May 17 • 2:00pm – 5:00pm
AFTERSHOCK is a game of humanitarian crisis, in which the local government, the United Nations, third country militaries, and nongovernmental organizations race to save lives–before it is too late.

Plan on attending, and want to play? Register and reserve a spot!

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