informa
News

CIA releases rules and materials for its training board games

These documents provide some fascinating insight into how and why the secretive government agency designs games for use as teaching tools.

Last week the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency released copies of the rules and materials used to play two of the tabletop games it devised to train operatives: Collection and Kingpin: The Hunt for El-Chapo.

As Ars Technica aptly points out, these documents provide some fascinating insight into how and why the Agency designs games for use as teaching tools.

In Collection, for example, 3-7 players pick characters from a list (weapons analyst, economic analyst, etc.) and gather around a board to try and collaboratively stop crises by generating reports (literally "rolling for reporting") and using those reports effectively.

They were shared last week in response to Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) requests made last summer by Douglas Palmer, who filed them after the CIA presented a panel at South by Southwest in March about games as training/team-building devices.

Incidentally, a copy of the CIA's prepared presentation for the panel, as well as playtesting notes, is included in the Collection document dump. You can find it, as well as the Kingpin file and updates on the two Palmer FOIA requests still outstanding (one for something called "Collection Deck", the other for a CIA game called "Afghanistan Sustainability: COIN Dynamics") on Palmer's Muckrock page.

Latest Jobs

Infinity Ward

Woodland Hills, California
11.3.21
Sr. Multiplayer Design Scripter/Programmer

Disbelief

Cambridge, Massachusetts
11.3.21
Jr. Programmer

XSEED

Torrance, California
11.3.21
Head of Marketing
More Jobs   

CONNECT WITH US

Register for a
Subscribe to
Follow us

Game Developer Account

Game Developer Newsletter

@gamedevdotcom

Register for a

Game Developer Account

Gain full access to resources (events, white paper, webinars, reports, etc)
Single sign-on to all Informa products

Register
Subscribe to

Game Developer Newsletter

Get daily Game Developer top stories every morning straight into your inbox

Subscribe
Follow us

@gamedevdotcom

Follow us @gamedevdotcom to stay up-to-date with the latest news & insider information about events & more