A game is a simulation of operations that often involves two or more teams and uses rules, data, and procedures to depict an actual or assumed real-life situation. The goal of a game is to explore decision-making processes and the consequences of those decisions. A game does not require use of actual resources, and the sequence of events affects, and is in turn affected by, decisions made by players. With the evolving complexity and sophistication of current simulations, opportunities to provide enhanced realism for game participants have increased. Computer-generated scenarios and simulations can provide a more realistic and time-sensitive method of introducing situations for analysis. Planner decisions can be input into realistic models to show the effects of decisions made during a game.

Internet-based, multi-player games offer many additional benefits, such as saving money by reducing travel time, offering more frequent training opportunities, and taking less time away from primary functions. They also provide a collaborative environment that reflects realistic occurrences.

Games have the following common characteristics:

  • Play unfolds contingent on player decisions.
  • They encourage a competitive environment.
  • They provide rapid feedback.
  • They improve teamwork.
  • They foster an environment to practice group problem •Group message interpretation is tested.
  • Interagency coordination is assessed.
  • Senior officials become familiar with individual responsibilities.
  • Players explore potential future scenarios.
  • Consequences of player actions are demonstrated.

Below you will find links to the various phases and their associated steps to assist you with the design, development, and conduct of a workshop. 

Phase 1: Pre-Planning

Phase 2: Design and Development

Phase 3: Conduct Game

Phase 4: After Action Report and Improvement Planning