In 2030, Games Won't Fight Over Oil. They'll Fight Over Bread.

Don't say that America's spy agencies never did anything for you. They have thoughtfully provided a ready-made template for designers searching for themes for their next action or strategy game. » 2/01/13 12:00pm 2/01/13 12:00pm

My Wargaming Wish List for 2013

It's 2013, and despite the winter chill, hope blossoms that this year will bring in a fresh and innovative crop of wargames. Like the flowers of the spring, those hopes will probably fade before the stale wind of yet another faux-historical clickfest, Hearts of Iron clone or dumbed-down mobile game. » 1/07/13 5:00pm 1/07/13 5:00pm

Why David Petraeus Will Never Be a Strategy Game General

David Petraeus would not have gone down in history as a great general, even if he had been able to keep his zipper zipped. Certainly not great enough for the retired Army four-star general and former commander of coalition forces in Iraq and Afghanistan to merit appearing in a strategy game. » 12/06/12 10:00am 12/06/12 10:00am

Washington's War on Wargaming

The only thing that's cheap about war is the gaming. The U.S. military services and their assorted war colleges, the Department of Defense, and various thinktanks do quite a bit of wargaming of potential conflicts such as Iran. Compared to a billion-dollar aircraft carrier, wargaming isn't terribly expensive (all you… » 11/05/12 11:00am 11/05/12 11:00am

Why Beans Are More Important than Bullets

Amateurs study tactics and professionals study logistics, goes the old saying. Or put another way, what's the biggest difference between the U.S. Army and a ragtag militia in the Congo? Our troops get fed. For all the disparagement of Fobbits and REMFs, when the food and the paychecks disappear, the army of Be All You… » 10/04/12 5:30pm 10/04/12 5:30pm

Wargaming A U.S.-China War

As if the U.S. and China don't have enough problems, now they're eyeing each other like two high school jocks competing to be Big Alpha Male on Campus. Oh, they're not exactly enemies. Actually, they're kind of friendly with each other. One loans the other money, and the other uses that money to buy cigarettes from… » 9/03/12 11:00am 9/03/12 11:00am

What the U.S. Army Wants in a Shooter Game

When most of us want to buy a first-person-shooter, we look for a game with the latest graphics, reliable team play, and maybe an interesting plot line if we're lucky. But when the U.S. Army wants an FPS, it likes a few extras, like the ability to call in artillery fire, medevac missions, or authentically depicted… » 7/30/12 8:00pm 7/30/12 8:00pm

Why It's So Hard to Make a Game Out of the 21st Century

Let's build a game. Let's make it a strategy game. We will realistically simulate global politics in the 2030s. Perhaps a sort of Civ or Supreme Ruler 2020-type system. » 6/30/12 2:30pm 6/30/12 2:30pm

Invade Syria? A Video Game Tested That.

We've seen this script before. A cruel regime slaughtering civilians. Youtube clips of weeping mothers and dead children. Hesitant calls for humanitarian intervention by the Western powers. Much dithering while the body count climbs, and then more guilt about the dithering. » 5/31/12 4:00pm 5/31/12 4:00pm

Even Our Best Video Games Can't Predict What Kim Jong-Un Would Do To…

It is curious that there are far more games on a Soviet invasion of West Germany that never happened than a Communist assault on South Korea that actually did. It is even more curious that there haven't been more games on a Second Korean War, given how volatile the region is. » 4/30/12 7:00pm 4/30/12 7:00pm

The Immense Pleasure of Huge War Games

"Quantity has a quality all its own," said Josef Stalin, as he relentlessly flung waves of Soviet tanks and troops against Hitler's elite but outnumbered panzers. Comrade Stalin might not have believed in a deity, but even a Communist warlord would surely have agreed with Napoleon's dictum that God is on the side of… » 3/23/12 4:00pm 3/23/12 4:00pm

Forget Call of Duty and Battlefield. Real Military Training Needs a…

You're playing a game like Battlefield 3 or Call of Duty, shooting and grenading left and right. And you're thinking, "Wow, what an awesomely realistic game. The Navy Seals should be playing this." » 2/07/12 6:00pm 2/07/12 6:00pm