In 2013 the Skoll Global Threats Fund asked CNA Corporation to design and develop a game exploring information-sharing, conflict, and cooperation on the Indian subcontinent. The goal of the game was twofold: to understand information-sharing, its impediments and effects on water sharing and decision-making, as well as understand how gaming could be a tool for social change. The game was executed in two instances, one in the Washington, DC area with U.S. subject matter experts, and the other in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with senior leaders from each of the countries involved. This gives us a unique opportunity to explore how games compare across cultures, as well as how well this game allowed senior leaders to address controversial issues. We find that the cross-cultural effects occurred mostly in how particular countries implemented their policies, but that strategic issues and attitudes remained similar across the two instances of the game. From player feedback as well as game observations we conclude that games with senior officials from countries who have a history of tension between them are possible, and may provide a more engaging way for them to discuss controversial issues than a traditional meeting format.
Djaouti, Damien, Julian Alvarez, Jean-Pierre Jessel, and Olivier Rampnoux. 2011. “Origins of Serious Games.” In Serious Games and Edutainment Applications. Edited by Minhua Ma, Andreas Oikonomou, and Lakhmi C. Jain. 25-43. Springer.