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Simulation, role playing and gaming

Reframing Strategic Dilemmas through 12 Modes (Part #9)

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Designing simulations to elicit (unconventional) options, associating them with openly accessible, attractive gaming to elicit cognitive entrainment; learnings from the successes and failures of "peace games" and "war games" in enabling constructive rather than purely destructive or exploitative outcomes (notably reminiscent of imperial/colonial historical patterns); development of intelligent agent-based simulations; exploration of enabling simulations for emergence of more complex memetic and social structures (beyond the constraints exemplfied by simplistic and negative prefixes). Dissemination of insightful, interactive gaming and pattern emergence; adaptation of virtual stock portfolio practices (as promoted by some banks as learning devices for clients) to enable exploration of governance options

The challenge of exploring alternative options is illustrated by the need to respond to increasing voter apathy. This has been well-illustrated by the 43% turnout for the 2009 elections to the European Parliament -- effectively undermining the legitimacy of that institution. The possibility for simulating the communication challenges and possibilities has been discussed separately (Simulation of communication challenges in democracy and strategy formulation, 2009; Frédéric Amblard. Simulating Social Networks: a review of three books. Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, 2003)

In this respect it is appropriate to note the development of the Joint Simulation System initiated in 1995 (Kari Pugh and Collie Johnson, Building a Simulation World to Match the Real World; The Joint Simulation System, January-February 1999, p.2; James W. Hollenbach and William L. Alexander, Executing the DOD Modelling and Simulation Strategy: making simulation systems of systems a reality, 1997). This has seemingly now morphed, via the Total Information Awareness program, into the Sentient World Simulation (SWS) and will be a "synthetic mirror of the real world with automated continuous calibration with respect to current real-world information" with a node representing "every man, woman and child". It would however seem to avoid providing a node for every perceived problem, insight, advocated strategy, or value (Simulating a Global Brain: using networks of international organizations, world problems, strategies, and values, 2001).

With respect to reframing strategic dilemmas, of special interest is the possible exploration of their dynamic resolution. Whereas games and game theory typically focuses on winner and losers (as in any board game), the question is whether a degree of stability and coherence can emerge from the dynamics between them rather than the elimination of one or the other. This has been remarkably explored by James P. Carse (Finite and Infinite Games, 1992). This is best illustrated by the contrast between chess (or go) and a dance. In the latter case it is clearly ridiculous for one partner to triumph over the other to ensure the elimination of one. It is the dynamics of the dance that the interest lies and which is the guarantee of sustainability. This is evident in the continuing enthusiasm for players of games to re-encounter each other. But this dynamic is not built into the game itself. One possibility has been explored as Strategic Jousting through Poetic Wrestling: aesthetic reframing of the clash of civilizations (2009)

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