Our Focus: Analytic Games We Create

Our work supports RAND researchers by applying methodological rigor to design and tailor analytic games to meet our sponsors’ needs. Here are the types of games we develop, with some examples and links.

Seminar-Style Games

Also known as free-form games, or loosely structured games, seminar-style games can include matrix games, 360 games, and “The Day After...” exercises.

Seminar-style games are characterized by the absence of formal rules to determine game outcomes, and they superficially may look like a workshop where a group of people gather in a room, deliberate, and eventually submit a verbal or written “move.”

Unlike games with fully specified rule sets that limit player actions and determine game outcomes, seminar-style games rely on experts to decide how the different teams’ moves interact and what effect they might have. These games are particularly useful for exploring a relatively poorly understood problem.

Computer-Assisted Games

Computer-assisted games use computer-based models to determine outcomes from the players’ choices. Computer models can offer systematic adjudication of complex and/or physics-based outcomes, although player decisions are limited to the scope of its often closed design.

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