Author Topic: Battle Lab: Someone Should Make A Game About Becoming A Professional Wargamer  (Read 129 times)

bayonetbrant

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Wherein I'll probably manage to piss off a significant population of the professional wargaming community that I look up to.
Oh, and yes, I'm old.


https://www.armchairdragoons.com/feature/battle-lab-someone-should-make-a-game-about-becoming-a-professional-wargamer/

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mirth

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Being able to Google shit better than your clients is a legit career skill.


bob48

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And needs a haircut.

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blackndecker

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A good post. Have you offered this up to Rex to be put on the PAXSims blog?

I've been grappling with elements of this question for a while...do I want to take this interest to the next level? I'm using Wargames in professional circles, facilitating OTS sessions for training and research purposes, but I'm pretty much "home-schooled" and there's a lot of evangelism too. Yuna Wong's talk for the KIng's Wargaming Network is something that I think about a lot. There is so much work out there to be done to enhance Wargaming...should i try to contribute. John Curry from the History of Wargaming project recently began advertising for a PhD program at his Bath Spa University in the UK. Setting aside the question of what is a Bath Spa...do I really need a PhD program to get the knowledge I'm interested in? I think not...but that opportunity should be available.

In addition to the questions you asked, I still think we're grappling with the fundamental question of is Wargaming a discipline or a tool...both?

And what level of "infrastructure" is necessary to support an employment community that is probably smaller than the number of nuclear engineers needed to keep the nuclear navy going? (A bad analogy...but think small...it's a niche of a niche area).

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trailrunner

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Although this isn't my primary area, I have been on the fringes of this topic off and on over my 30-plus year career with DoD, and I actually wrote and presented a few papers kinda sorta related to this area.

There's nothing wrong with a society for professional wargamers, and there is potential for it to do some good, but the reality of the situation is that I'm not sure it would do any good.  For various reasons, it would be largely ignored and would wind up being isolated and insular.  It would also be redundant with existing groups (e.g. MORS, mentioned early in the article), and the last thing DoD needs is more duplicity.



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blackndecker

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It would also be redundant with existing groups (e.g. MORS, mentioned early in the article), and the last thing DoD needs is more duplicity.

Although it wouldn't be duplicative for the non-DOD wargaming community...(national security and non-nat sec policy communities, think tankers, academia etc) It's probably also worth asking if MORS is the right place. My sense is that there has been something of an insurgency of late, where "wargamers" have sought to pry the effort out of the hands of the pure ORists, although I concede that is based on narratives I've heard rather than experienced first hand.

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bayonetbrant

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MORS is fine if you're just dealing with the DoD.

But what about LAPD, or the UKMoD, or NGOs, or any private company?

It's not that a professional society is the be-all and end-all. But it's one of several options on the table that are always discussed and never enacted, for at least 20 years now

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trailrunner

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MORS is fine if you're just dealing with the DoD.

But what about LAPD, or the UKMoD, or NGOs, or any private company?

It's not that a professional society is the be-all and end-all. But it's one of several options on the table that are always discussed and never enacted, for at least 20 years now

Although it wouldn't be duplicative for the non-DOD wargaming community...(national security and non-nat sec policy communities, think tankers, academia etc) It's probably also worth asking if MORS is the right place. My sense is that there has been something of an insurgency of late, where "wargamers" have sought to pry the effort out of the hands of the pure ORists, although I concede that is based on narratives I've heard rather than experienced first hand.

Sure, I agree that there are other agencies and organizations that could use wargaming, but I'm not sure if there are enough of them that are consistently interested in this area to reach critical mass.

My limited experience with MORS agrees with you that they are more oriented towards OR and not towards what we consider to be wargaming.

Again from my DoD centric perspective, we already do a lot of wargaming through modeling and simulation.  It's a big, well established industry, and it's tightly controlled, often because they want to control the answers and would not welcome outside help that might tip the apple cart.

Having said that, there are some more independent organizations within DoD.  I worked at think tank for almost 20 years and had a bit more freedom while I was there.  The service academies might be a good fit for a professional wargaming society, and there are various small organizations within the services doing more scholarly work.  I dunno.  Maybe it would work.

I’ve spent half my life’s earning on wargames, women, and drink. The rest I wasted.