US Department Of Defense

Business problems:
Education
Ideation
Insights

Serious games used:
Many, including examples like Millennium Challenge 2002.

The US Department Of Defense has used serious games for decades to answer a variety of needs, such as…

  • Assessing possible outcomes of future conflicts. The US military uses everything from “sandbox simulations” to role-playing exercises to sophisticated computer models to simulate future conflicts. These exercises can be small, involving only a handful of players, to very large, in which hundreds of participants play the role of real-world decision-makers on both sides of the conflict.
  • Generating and testing new strategies. The players create new strategies in these games often have real world applications. Therefore, military games are often the laboratory in which the Defense Department develops and test new ideas.
  • Honing collaboration across organizations and nations. Military games provide an opportunity for different military branches, civilian elements of the US government, and foreign allies to learn how to work together in future conflicts.
  • Training military personnel. Realistic computer simulators provide pilots and other military personnel the opportunity to learn important skills before putting them to work in the real world. Less sophisticated and expensive simulations, often as simple as commercial boardgames, teach officers important lessons about the command decisions they will have to make.

For more information
The Wikipedia page summarizing the work the United States Army Training and Doctrine Command Analysis Center (TRADOC), including the use of simulations and other games.
The official TRADOC web site.
A 1980s-era book describing Defense Department military simulations.

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