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Feature: 'Postcard From SGS 2005: Wargaming Science'

In one of today's main Gamasutra features, as part of this week's Serious Games Summit coverage, Dr. Peter Perla, the Di...
In one of today's main Gamasutra features, as part of this week's Serious Games Summit coverage, Dr. Peter Perla, the Director for Interactive Research at the U.S. Government-funded Center for Naval Analyses, and a veteran wargaming expert with over 30 years of hobby and professional experience, introduced his views on the concept of "wargaming science." In the introduction to this keynote write-up, some of the context for the lecture is explained: "Perla, whom noted author and game designer Larry Bond has called "the leading wargaming expert in the United States" is the author of important reference tome The Art of Wargaming, published by the Naval Institute Press. Perla started his lecture by noting that a colleague at the Naval War College, though a noted eccentric who suggested that the Department of Defense pursue research into using pigeon brains as the basis of robotic control systems, had challenged Perla to write a Vol.2 to his book, called The Science of Wargaming. This brought up an important point for Perla, as he recalled his internal response to this request: "Wargaming isn't a science- it's an art, it's a craft, but it's not a science." However, his colleague's response was that much of what a physician does could be considered an art, but it obviously also referenced science in a major way - would you trust any doctor who didn't have a good grasp of science? This made Perla think seriously about scientific elements of wargames, and try to map out some scientific concepts that would map to "serious games" of any type." You can now read the full Gamasutra feature on the subject, including more information on the intriguing keynote (no registration required, please feel free to link to the article from external websites).

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