Wargames Are for Players
By Adam Frost
The Department of Defense is breathing new life into wargaming.
Since Deputy Secretary of Defense (DepSecDef) Bob Work signed his February 2016 memo challenging the department torejuvenate a venerable tool of military professionals, there have been more general officers and assistant secretaries discussing wargaming than at any other time in recent memory. Legions of staff members are following suit.
For those of us in the gaming community, there is a sense of vindication. For entire careers, wargamers have tinkered away in relative anonymity, tolerated as harmless but generally dismissed by “real” DOD analysts. Now we have a champion and have been called upon by the DepSecDef himself to help dispel the darkness of a reduced topline.
Or so we tell ourselves.
Since February, all manner of experts have found receptive audiences eager to discuss the power and limitations of wargames. But as the initial wave of enthusiasm ebbs, it reveals the true quandary.