On War Gaming – Thoughts on Game-based Learning & Entertainment [pt. 1]

Part 1: Game-based Learning & War Gaming

“Strange game.  The only winning move is not to play.  How about a nice game of chess?” – Joshua, (from the 1983 film, WarGames)

Thankfully we never had to play out the game of global thermonuclear war with the Soviets for real during the Cold War, but in the digital age that we live in, war certainly does make for good entertainment. The idea of conflict has permeated virtually every artistic medium we’ve come up with, including video games.  The video game industry is massive and games about conflict span all the different gaming genres, as well.  Strategy games, first-person-shooters, vehicle simulations, arcade-style games, massively-multiplayer-online, role-playing…the list goes on and on. The complexity of war games ranges all the way from the simplistic to the high-fidelity simulators.  Our focus here in part one is to examine the broad idea of war gaming and the conceptual uses behind it.

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