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Conflict simulation, peacebuilding, and development

Tag Archives: MORS

Simulation miscellany, 28 January 2014

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Some recent news on conflict simulations and serious games (and, occasionally, other stuff) that may be of interest.

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They’re as busy as ever at GrogHeads. First, there is still time to vote in the 2014 “Readers’ Choice” awards for the best games of the year. Also, they are always on the lookout for academic and analytical contributions on wargames and related subjects. Go check it out.

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The Chronicle of Higher Education this week features an article by Anastasia Salter on “Alternate Reality Games in the Classroom“:

It can be hard to get a clear picture of ARGs without participating in one directly. Alternate Reality Games typically start with a rabbit hole: a website URL for a fictional company embedded in a movie ad campaign, a strange interruption in a video clip on YouTube, a series of street art images with a Twitter hashtag, or some other method of alerting potential players that a story is starting. From there, players typically follow a trail of clues presented by the game’s puppetmasters. You can find out more about games going on now through the Alternate Reality Gaming Networkand the Unfiction ForumsBrooke Thompson has a great quickstart guideon how to play ARGs that can help you get started. Most of the games are marketing promotions, but they still often include great examples of using mysterious websites, codes, social media, geocaching and flash mob events to play a story. These same techniques can be scaled up or down to a classroom or conference….

h/t Brian Train

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The proceedings for last year’s History of Games conference are now online. There is also a special issue of Game Studies with papers from that conference

h/t TAG

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Kotaku has an interesting discussion by Paolo Pedercini of the forthcoming game Prison Architect:

Is it possible to create a prison management game without trivializing or misrepresenting the issue of mass incarceration? As video games mature and tackle more serious topics, players and developers should be aware of the values embedded in their systems.

Prison Architect is an upcoming game by Introversion Software, a British independent company. Dubbing themselves “the last of the bedroom programmers,” Introversion played a key role in the renaissance of independent game development, producing a string of critically acclaimed titles and paving the way for digital distribution of third-party games on Steam.

Among their previous releases is one of my favorite games ever: Defcon, a spine-chilling, eerily beautiful multiplayer real-time strategy game in which players engage in a Cold-war era nuclear conflict. Each Defcon game culminates in a slow-motion Mutually Assured Destruction scenario. Whoever suffers the least amount of megadeaths is the winner.

Prison Architect is also tackling a dark subject, a subject that deserves special attention and defies any ‘it’s just a game’ kind of dismissal.

As the name suggests, the player is in charge of designing (but also managing) a private penitentiary. The gameplay is reminiscent of sim games from the ’90s, most notably Bullfrog’sTheme Park and Theme Hospital: a mix of construction, zoning, research, resource and staff management….

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Do you have a lot of ill-gotten gains you need to turn into safe, useable cash? The blog Criminal Genius is featuring the “Keno Laundromat,” a weekly money launder challenge/tutorial simulation.

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The deadline to submit abstracts for consideration at the 82nd Military Operations Research Society Symposium is Thursday, 14 February 2014. Registration is now open.

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Red-Team-This-RTJThe Red Team Journal continues to add to its list of “The Laws of Red Teaming.” Check out the current list.

MORS 82nd Symposium

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The Military Operations Research Society will be holding its 82nd annual symposium on 16-19 June 2014 in Alexandria, Virginia. In addition, “virtual” sessions will be held on 4-6 June.

The Virtual sessions will take place via DCO for both unclassified and classified presentations. The in-person 82nd Symposium is structured so that unclassified sessions will take place at the Hilton Mark Center and classified sessions will take place at surrounding classified facilities.

We welcome abstract submissions for both the virtual and in-person Symposium through the MORS Abstract Submission site. You will be able to designate your abstract for the virtual sessions and/or the in person sessions. Please click here to submit an abstract(s). Once in the system you will be asked to login with your MORS login (e-mail) and password or create an account if you do not have one. For questions and assistance please contact Liz Marriott liz.marriot@mors.org 703-933-9071.

Schedule Highlights:

  • 4-6 Virtual Sessions
  • MON 16 June: CEU Courses and Tutorials
  • TUE 17 June: Plenary, Sponsors Panel, Tutorials, Special Sessions, CEU Courses Continued and Evening Social/Mixer
  • WED 18 June: Composite/Working Group Presentations, Tutorials and Demonstrations
  • THU 29 June: Composite/Working Group Presentations, Tutorials and Demonstrations

Who Can Attend: US Citizens with or without a clearance may attend the full program at the Hilton Mark Center. In addition special arrangements have been made to include cleared participants from Five Eyes (FVEY) countries (Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom) whose clearances have been passed to MORS via their Embassy. The Five Eyes (FVEY) participants will be able to attend the unclassified presentations at the Hilton and some of the classifed sessions. Those with a U.S. Secret Clearance may attend all classified sessions. More information will be posted in the near future with clearance and visit request instructions.

The slight relaxation of the usual NOFORN (US citizen only) rules for the classified sessions is certainly a plus, although much depends on what proportion of these sessions are opened to FVEY participants.

Several of the Working Groups address issues relevant to conflict simulation and serious games, most notably Working Group 30:

WG 30 – Wargaming

Chair: Scott Simpkins, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory

Co-chairs: Michael Ottenberg, OSD CAPE

Advisors: Kyle Kliewer, Lockheed Martin Corp.

Wargames are used as one means of supporting senior Department of Defense and national security decision makers. Wargaming is also found in training curricula in military school houses, in businesses and in university courses. Most wargames are structured to address specific issues, such as current or future National Security challenges but all wargames provide a low cost evaluation of alternatives. Their outcomes tend to be of the qualitative nature, but still of substantial interest to Defense leadership. There is an intense interest to apply quantitative tools to these games, so that analytical techniques may be applied. Wargames are attractive to decision makers because of the human interaction between those who have a vested interest in the issues at hand. The narratives derived from a game are sometimes more important than the raw data. Relating these narratives to quantitative analysis is a challenge, but may reap immense benefits to the users of wargames.

The emphasis of Working Group (WG) 30 presentations is metric determination, game design, statistical analysis, game verification practices, tools to present information to players and capture data, use of models and simulations to supplement game play, and techniques, methodologies, or processes. Special interests of the working group include considerations of interdisciplinary games, applications of game theory, complexity theory and chaotic behaviors. WG-30 encourages presentations on both completed and work in progress.

Virtual MORS: Train on “Developments in Commercial Insurgency Wargames”

It is the second day of the Military Operations Research Society (MORS) 81.1 Virtual Symposium , and Brian Train has just delivered a very useful overview of recent developments in the wargaming of insurgency and counterinsurgency within the commercial/hobby sector.

Ploughing in the COIN Field: Developments in Commercial Insurgency Wargames  

COINfieldWhatever their medium, wargames produced for a professional military audience are different in their intention, focus and execution from those produced for the civilian market. And yet, professional military gaming, which started 200 years ago as a training aid, did spawn the “commercial” market for civilian hobby gamers in the 1960s. There has always been a certain level of overlap between the two worlds, with examples both of comercial games used by the military, and of civilianized versions of military games repackaged and released onto the open market. The purpose of this presentation is to talk about manual wargames on irregular warfare topics that have appeared on the commercial market, the challenges of designing and playing them (and getting them played), and the possible uses and insights they may hold for the professional wargaming community.

In the presentation, Brian suggested that COIN games had not historically been very popular among hobbyists, because the topic itself was morally ambiguous and unglamorous; variables are difficult to quantify; both the conflicts themselves and the games that address them involve asymmetric situations with unfamiliar  mechanics; and because such wars involve abstracted play of a nebulous conflict with no clear endpoint. HE suggested that hobby gamers can be quite conservative in accepting the new and unusual game mechanics necessary to model irregular warfare.

He also highlighted what he saw as the main elements of a good COIN game design, namely that the game show the relative importance of the various factors shaping outcomes; that it feature asymmetry of means, methods, objectives and information; that there be transparent assumptions and mechanisms (one of the shortcomings of computer games, in Brian’s view); and that it be mutable. He emphasized that such games are not meant to be strongly definitive or predictive, but ideally they should stimulate discussion.

The presentation generated some interesting questions from the audience.

  • What is the social science body of knowledge embodied in these games? Wargames encode a framework and body of knowledge about the domain, but if the assumptions are wrong, mistraining may result.  Immersive training is known to especially bad in this regard, as wrong lessons are learned very vividly.
  • DoD has struggle to build COIN operations research models. The general conclusion is that the responses and impacts are almost completely depend on the situation. Do you agree? Can wargames help fill the lack of quantitative COIN models?
  • The games can engage some reward mechanisms, and so they can train a person towards rewarded behaivors. What are the advantages and dangers in terms of counter insurgency games with red team option?
  •  Do agent-based models have a role in conducting analysis or ability to be utilized as part of a COIN game?
  • Can you expand a bit on the game design trade-offs between playability versus accuracy in the commercial sector?

You can download Brian’s presentation slides here. Much of the presentation involved analysis of the various games featured on the slides. That analysis isn’t in the slides themselves, however, so we’ll post the recording if and when it becomes available. In the meantime, you can also check out Brian’s useful list of links at http://brtrain.wordpress.com/game-links-and-resources/.

Virtual MORS: Bartels on “Can your game multi-task?”

The Military Operations Research Society (MORS) 81.1 Virtual Symposium started today, with online presentations on a broad range of topics. As I post this, Ellie Bartels (National Defence University) has just finished presenting an especially interesting paper, cowritten with NDU colleague Deirdre Hollingshed, on “Doing More With Less: Can Your Game Multi-task?” (click the link to download the full set of slides).

Ellie started by noting that games can serve several purposes: education, training, discovery, and analysis.

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The conventional wisdom in the field has generally been that games should be designed with a single one of these purposes if they are to be most effective.

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However, she argued that there may be  value in mixed games that simultaneously undertake different tasks, involving rather different groups of participants. She explored this by recounting the case of “Exercise Scattered Light,” a four-day, four move , dual purpose (education/policy) game that examined policy issues related to security and stabilization in Mali and the larger Sahel region.

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Overall, and despite some limited drawbacks, she suggested that the approach had proved quite productive and useful. She also noted that in an era where budgetary austerity limits game participation, enabling a broader range of potential participants might also have a practical value too.

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I was struck by the parallels between her mixed game approach and the similar mixed approach that we used for the UNRWA humanitarian policy simulation at the University of Exeter earlier this year. In that case we had a mix of both graduate students and senior subject matter experts. I asked Ellie whether she had found the mixed approach had altered the interpersonal dynamics of the exercise in any way:

 Q: I recently ran a game for senior leadership of a UN humanitarian organization that very much fitted in your mixed game model—in this case, a mix of graduate students and SMEs/policymakers organized in competing teams in a process that had both analytic and educational purposes. We found that the energy of the students really pushed the SMEs to work even harder (in part because they didn’t want to be “beaten” by the juniors). How did you find the psychological dynamics were altered by the mixed game (and participant) approach?

Ellie noted that this effect was likely limited in “Scattered Light” because of the format they had adopted:

A: I think there was a different dynamic here because they had different roles, The students were much more resource constrained (per reality) and in some ways the policy makers ignored student strategy until prompted. I think more exchange between the two groups would have helped but we were aiming for a cooperative rather than competitive dynamic in tone so that may also have impacted performance.

Overall, it was an excellent and well-delivered case study in professional gaming, and I’ll try to link to the recording when it becomes available. The DCO online meeting software also seemed to work well too—I certainly hope MORS continues to offer this option in future.

Military Operations Research Society 81.2 Symposium

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After the original version of the 81st MORS symposium had to be postponed because of US budget sequestration, it is now reborn as version 81.2, to be held in Alexandra, Virginia on 17-20 June. As usual, it contains a working group devoted to wargame methods:

WG 30 – Wargaming

Wargames are used as one means of supporting senior Department of Defense and national security decision makers. Wargaming is also found in training curricula in military school houses, in businesses, and in university courses. Most wargames are structured to address specific issues, such as current or future National Security challenges. Their outcomes tend to be of the qualitative nature, but still of substantial interest to Defense leadership. There is an intense interest to apply quantitative tools to these games, so that analytical techniques can then be applied. During a MORS Special Meeting in October 2007, issues concerning wargame design, structure, data, information, and metrics, why and how modeling and simulation could be used in support of a wargame, and the integration of wargame results with external quantitative analyses were discussed and debated. During the past symposia, the Working Group examined quantitative outputs from several different game designs, results and techniques.

Wargames are attractive to decision makers because of the human interaction between those who have a vested interest in the issues at hand. The narratives derived from a game are sometimes more important than the raw data. Relating these narratives to quantitative analysis is a challenge, but may reap immense benefits to the users of wargames.

The emphasis of Working Group (WG) 30 presentations is game design and structure, information used in and data collected from different games, tools used to present information to players and to capture data, use of models and simulations to supplement game play, and techniques, methodologies, or processes that enable the use of external quantitative analyses after the game is completed. Factors that may be considered are the type of game, number of players, use of groups, use of a control cell, any technologies examined in the game, data collection techniques, in game analysis methodologies, or any post game analysis methodologies.

WG 30 is interested in ways to improve gaming to include immersion of the players into the game environment, the ability to rapidly adjudicate player actions, and the design of games to adapt to examination of new topics (new threats, environments, technologies) as they occur. This WG encourages the development of ways to provide quantitative analysis of a generally non-quantitative proceeding. The WG solicits innovative ideas that will spawn discourse and invite game designers to include “hooks” for those ideas in their game structure that will in turn provide decision makers with more data to consider post game. WG 30 encourages presentations on both completed work and work in progress.

You too can play "where's FORN?" See if you can tell which is the uncleared American and which is the cleared ally!

You too can play “Where’s FORN?” See if you can tell which is the uncleared American and which is the cleared US ally!

There are also working groups on modelling and simulations, computational advances in operations research, and other related topics.

New this year, MORS is permitting security-cleared members of the Five Eyes community (UK-Canada-Australia-New Zealand) to attend the unclassified sessions, although the classified presentations will continue to be NOFORN (“no foreigners”). It is a puzzle to me why non-Americans need clearance and Americans don’t, but at least it is an improvement on previous years.

Further conference information and registration forms can be found at the MORS website.

Sequestration is no game as MORS military operations research conference scrambles for a new location

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The Military Operations Research Society is the largest association of military OR researchers in the world,  and its annual conference is a place where the American operations research community (including wargaming and simulation design experts) have been discussing and advancing the discipline since 1957. However, with budget sequestration having led to tight restrictions on military participation in conferences and workshops, MORS is now scrambling to relocate its annual symposium which was to have been held at the United States Military Academy (West Point) in June:

MORS was informed late last week that the Office of the Secretary of the Army has not approved the waiver request for the United States Military Academy (USMA) to host the 81st MORS Symposium, making West Point unavailable this year.

As a result, the 81st MORS Symposium will be moved to the National Capital Region (NCR). The exact location is still being arranged and further details will be provided as soon as they are available. We would like to share our plans for proceeding:

A. Every effort is being made to keep the Symposium on the same planned dates 17-20 June, 2013.

B. The Symposium will be restructured into sessions at the Composite Group level, rather than at the Working Group level, in order to make them more compatible with potential venues in the NCR. Working Group leadership will be coordinating their presentations and discussions with the Composite Group leadership.

C. Every effort is being made to allow presenters to have the opportunity to present in person or remotely via Defense Connect Online (DCO) or similar video teleconference system.

D. If you have submitted an abstract you will receive a MORS questionnaire asking if you can attend the Symposium in the NCR, attend only to present, or present remotely.

E. Everyone who has registered for the Symposium may request a full refund until June 5th, 2013, if you determine you cannot join us at the new location. Please contact Liz Marriott at liz@mors.org or 703-933-9070.

F. Note that if you have made a hotel reservation at West Point you must call the hotel and cancel your reservation. MORS cannot cancel reservations made by individuals even as part of the MORS room blocks.

MORS is fully aware of the uncertain environment and the current restrictions affecting our community. Denial of the waiver request by the Army may affect Army personnel differently than others and we encourage you to check with your command or organization to determine if you can present your work, either in person or remotely. MORS continues to work with the other services to determine the status of their waivers.Moving the Symposium at this late date is a great challenge, but MORS firmly believes it is worth the effort to preserve the opportunity for the OR community to share work, exchange ideas, and keep our community focused on moving forward.

Let us take this opportunity to thank the Symposium Program team headed by Tom Denesia, all of the Working Group Chairs, Co-Chairs and advisers, the other session Chairs, and the USMA site coordination team for the many volunteer hours spent preparing for this Symposium. Your dedication and support to MORS is greatly appreciated.

There will be more details in the near future, please look for updates and check the MORS website,www.mors.org, for the latest information on the 81st Symposium.

Very Respectfully,

Mike Garrambone

MORS President

Susan Reardon

MORS CEO

As previously noted at PAXsims, sequestration has also led to the postponement of a planned MORS special meeting on professional gaming, and has also affected efforts to organize the 2013 Connections interdisciplinary wargaming conference.

Military Operations Research Society 81st annual symposium

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The 81st annual symposium of the Military Operations Research Society will be held at the United States Military Academy on 17-20 June 2013. Because of US defense budget uncertainty (including growing restrictions on conference participation by DoD personnel), the deadline for submitting an abstract has been extended.

Abstract Submission Deadline extended to Friday, 15 February. Understandably, there have been many requests to extend the deadline to submit abstracts for consideration at the 81st MORS Symposium, 17-20 June 2013, United States Military Academy, West Point, NY. And we are listening.

We would also like to note that although there are questions about the Department of Defense’s budget, submitting an abstract(s) for consideration does not obligate you to attend.

Please visit the 81st MORS Symposium website for all information currently available regarding this leading event. For over 45 years, the annual MORS Symposium has been the premier opportunity for the national security community to exchange information, examine research and discuss critical national security topics. The MORS Symposium gathers over a thousand analysts from military, government, industry and academic ranks to share best practices. We welcome you to share your experience and knowledge by submitting an abstract for presentation at the 81st MORS Symposium.

When you present at the MORS Symposium, the value of your work multiplies and you are recognized by your colleagues for your important contributions to the profession and to national security.

Announcement and Call for Presentations (ACP) – To download the ACP, please click here.

Abstracts – To submit an abstract please click here. Please note: You will need to login using your MORS website user ID (your e-mail address) and password (or if it is your first-time create a new profile) to submit an Abstract. Once you are on the site please follow the instructions provided. Be sure to complete as many of the fields as possible, and include your email address. This will ensure that you receive a confirmation of your submission.

This is one of the premier professional wargaming events, with working groups on both wargaming and modelling and simulation, as well as computation advances in OR, decision analysis, training and education and a range of other related areas

…or so we’ve heard: the meeting is NOFORNed and thus only open to US Citizens with an active Secret clearance. <insert snide comments from NATO allies here>

As previously noted on PAXsims, MORS will also be convening a professional wargaming workshop at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory on 26-28 March 2013. This will be open to all.

MORS professional wargaming workshop (26-28 March 2013)

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The Military Operations Research Society will be holding a workshop on professional wargaming on 26-28 March 2013 at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland:

This special meeting focuses on professional gaming  as an analytic practice and will produce initial content for a Professional Gaming Practitioner’s Handbook. The meeting will bring together members of the community of practice to consider best practices, taxonomy, existing applications and appropriate analytic methodologies in an effort to codify the fundamentals of game design and analysis. The meeting is designed for information exchange and participant exposure to professional practice; there is no intention to conduct a game or for attendees to participate in game play.

Military and business leaders throughout history have practiced gaming with storied successes in planning and education so much so that the Department of Defense offers professional education in and develops war games. Gaming is popular and nearly everyone has played complex and informative games as well as participated in the seemingly ubiquitous military ‘war game.’ The term itself is used to describe a very wide range of activities and has come to mean nothing specific. Gaming comes in many levels of fidelity and scope; there is a big difference between a tactical board game and a strategic computer assisted game. Game designers who change organizations find that previously successful techniques and approaches do not align with differing organizational perspectives.

The principles of war gaming have changed little over time while methods and tools have continued to develop. Historically, games were kept small in scope, ‘moving pieces’ were limited and adjudication was performed manually. Modern technologies provide infinite fidelity storing millions of individual data and allowing players to select the ‘level of play’ while software aggregation provides a meta-data operational picture commensurate with that level of play. Efficiencies in data collection, processing and visualization that significantly improve capability. Concerns of old that ‘games are too abstract’ are based somewhat on limits to player cognitive capability but mainly due to limited identification and tracking of second/third order details. This, however, can lead the game designer to include many extraneous metrics, overwhelming players and generating confounded results.

Gaming is an analytic methodology that seeks to provide, for example, empirical support for hypothesis testing or virtual exposure to complex interactions, but struggles with acceptance possibly due to non-repeatability, lack of rigid methodology and the qualitative nature of data. There is a need within the gaming community to establish baseline practices for design of professional games as well as quality data collection procedures and assessment techniques. Designers should have a quality threshold against which professional games can be measured to ensure minimal standards are met. Junior analysts should have a reference of terminology, design processes, assessment tools and best practices.

The workshop will be based on the discussions and output of several working groups, plus a synthesis group:

  • WG 1: Gaming Ontology and Taxonomy
  • WG 2: Objective Development
  • WG 3: Game Design & Development
  • WG 4: Data Collection and Analysis Methods and Tools
  • WG 5: Adjudication Procedures
  • WG 6: Aligning Games with Larger Studies and Methods
  • WG 7: Professional Game Execution
  • WG 8: Quick-Turn Design or Rapid Development

Registration fees for the event are $575/$675 for government/non-government MORS members, and $650/$750 for government/non-government MORS members (this being the peculiar defence and security world where “non-government” is assumed to be richer defence contractors, not poorer academics, NGOs, and commercial/hobbyist designers). Further details are at the link above.

79th MORS Symposium wargame AAR

The 79th annual symposium of the Military Operations Research Society, held at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey in June, featured the first-ever analytical wargame held during a MORS annual meeting—in this case a modified version of James Dunnigan’s simple WWII game Drive on Metz.

There’s an article on the game in the September 2011 issue of the MORS bulletin Phalanx. Those involved in advising, facilitating, conducting, or participating in the exercise apparently included some of the luminaries of professional wargaming in the US, including (in addition to Dunnigan) Peter Perla, and a number of friends of PAXsims.

Interesting as it is, I must admit the piece left me rather wondering what had been achieved, especially in a setting where a great many people must already be familiar with much more complex military wargames and staff exercises, even if they aren’t familiar with hobby/commercial military boardgames. Part of the reason may be that while an objective of the exercise was to “[learn] how to prepare, field, execute, and derive meaningful analytical information from military wargaming as a unique analytical tool” there’s not a lot of information on this within the article itself. Since Drive on Metz was deliberately designed as a very simple, introductory wargame to begin with (it was included as an example in Dunnigan’s Complete Wargames Handbook, and features less than 20 playing piece and a single combat resolution chart), I wonder how many new players from military or operations research backgrounds might have been disappointed with the (deliberate) lack of sophistication. Of course, the game was modified and adjudicated in the MORS setting, so perhaps this added additional layers of complexity. The adjudication, monitoring and instrumentation of wargaming can be an art and science in itself, but again the article doesn’t give much sense of how the demonstration highlighted this.

Of course, I might well be missing a big part of the picture here—I wasn’t able to attend the MORS annual symposium, since it is limited to US citizens. If you were there and have some details or insight to contribute as to how the experiment went, feel free to contribute it in the comments section below!

Live from Nairobi, it’s… simulations miscellany!

We’ve been a bit lax on posts the past few days because both PAXsims editors are currently in Kenya. One of them is doing loads of work as part of the team delivering the World Bank’s core operations course on fragility and conflict (including the Carana simulation). The other one is watching everyone else do loads of work while in the comfortable role of observer.

Selfless global humanitarians that we both are, we also found time to save most of the world from the scourge of global Pandemic, aided by Tusker beer (pic right). Note that if you live in North America and aren’t genetically immune to the “blue virus,” you might want to consider selling up and moving.

Despite that, we do have a few bits of simulation-related news:

1. Online registration is now open for the Connections 2011 wargaming conference, to be held on 1-4 August  at the National Defense University in Washington DC. You’ll also find the provisional conference agenda online too. Both Gary and I should be there. (If folks with a .gov or .mil address are having trouble with the first link, try this one instead.)

2. MMOWGLI is now undergoing a prelaunch playtest of Turn 2, when participants are asked to develop action plans to combat Somali piracy. I’m not sure whether time and a dodgy internet connection will allow me to participate, but if so I’ll try to bring you another report. Given that I’m actually 500km from the Somali border at the moment, any action plan I do develop really ought to get bonus “thumbs up,” don’t you think?

3. The Military Operations Research Society is currently holding 79th MORS Symposium (June 20-23rd) at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey California. There will certainly be lost of interesting wargaming and simulation stuff discussed there, but you have to be a US national with a SECRET clearance to attend. Hypothetical Canadians with a TS/SCI are right out, of course, either because Washington still secretly harbours ambitions to implement War Plan Red, and/or because they know that Brian Train and Brian McFarlane were asked to update our very own Defence Scheme No. 1.

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