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Seminar War Game Course

Defence Technology Agency, Devonport, April 2013

The Zefra Scenario

The Zefra scenario provides the background for a short role-playing game. It will be used as an example during discussions about planning and conducting analysis of a seminar war game.

Background

Professional games, as used in operations research studies, have two apparent components. First, there is the game itself: the game that human participants engage in. The first section of the web site material will provide some background on gaming (mostly in the context of war gaming). There is a wealth of material on professional games and how they should be designed and played, and a web site like this is inadequate to cover all of that. So this component of the web site material is intended only to provide a brief background on professional gaming, starting with the history of war games. This sections includes many references to allow those interested to investigate further into appropriate procedures for designing, developing, and playing a professional game.

There are aspects of game design, development, and playing that have to be emphasized when professional games are used for operations research studies. The first section of the web site will introduce these while covering the more general background on professional games.

Second, there is the analysis that accompanies the game. This is the aspect of professional games that overlaps clearly with operations research (and uses methods that are familiar within the operations research community). In particular, this second component covers a variety of issues associated with data collection and analysis.

But before covering how professional games can be used analytically, and how they may contribute to other analysis, there are several aspects of background that should be understood. To provide that background see the first set of links in the sidebar.

Within the operations research domain, professional games are used to support analysis. Such topics are shown under analysis in the sidebar.