Sunday 21 April 2024

New Book: Dark Places- professional wargaming of dark themes

 Stating the obvious, all wargames are dealing with the darkest elements of human experience, that of conflict. However, there is a subset of wargames that are used to explore the darkest elements of conflict. These games are routinely run behind closed doors and rarely, if ever, does the existence of such games reach the public domain, let alone the details. Sometimes these games are part of professional military activity, sometimes part of academic research. Both purposes use the vehicle of designing and playing a wargame as a way to generate different insights from merely reading and attending conferences.

The games in this book were carefully chosen to reduce the risk of offence. They demonstrate the ways of running such games, but without using current or recent conflicts as examples. They include:

Bosnian Mercenary: Gaming the Chaos of the Disintegration of Yugoslavia

WMD 1945

My Aunt’s War: Civilian Experience of War

Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Gaming Surrender

Pickett’s Charge: Using Drama

The Button: Nuclear Decision Making

Exercise Hard Rock: Civil Defence

The Tank Factory: Military Management of the Economy During Wartime

The reader should be clear that these games on dark subjects matter and often have real world consequences. This  book is the first to shed some light on these types of games with actual examples.