Serious Gaming 1

Professors: Frelinger/Mueller/Shlapak
Units: 1.0
Elective Course
Concentrations: Quantitative Methods, Social and Behavioral Sciences

RAND researchers have developed and executed many different types of games addressing varied policy issues. Yet outside of professional military education, gaming is rarely taught as a formal method. This course is intended to be the first in a series on gaming that begins to fill this gap.

This course will introduce students to gaming, game design, and situate it among a variety of analytic approaches and present applications of gaming to different policy areas. The first part of the course will introduce students to the use of serious games in policy analysis, including a brief history of the use of gaming, and frame the role of gaming in approaching policy issues compared with other analytic techniques. The second part of the course will consider gaming as a methodology for specific policy challenges, with sessions organized by policy problem and examining different gaming approaches to each. In addition to demonstrating different types of games and their application, each session will consider the strengths and limitations of games for the policy problem compared with alternative approaches. The final part of the course will be a practicum in which the students develop their own games to get at a policy question of their choice.