Your Boss, Players, and Sponsor: The Three Witches of War Gaming
NAVAL WAR COLLEGE NEWPORT RI
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In national-security war gaming there are three classes of senior stakeholders whom I call the three witches critical to the success of a game but with the power to affect negatively its quality. These comprise, first, the war-game director s superior and chain of command second, the senior players within each game cell and third, the sponsor of the game and that officer s chain of command. Each of these three stakeholders frequently attempts to influence the design of the war game, even during play itself. For two reasons, such attempts amount to inappropriate interference. First, these stakeholders are not usually expert in war-game research, design, development, or production. Second, it is a conflict of interest for them to influence the games design such interference puts the credibility of the results into justifiable doubt. The director, responsible for delivering a quality game, must manage these three stakeholders throughout design, play, analysis, and post event reporting to ensure that the game meets the sponsors national-security-related objectives. Failure to do so puts the war-game director at risk of following the three witches to a fate analogous to Macbeths.
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