Monday, March 16, 2009

Red Team Journal and hypergame analysis

The current incarnation of Red Team Journal looks like a very promising site and I hope they start to post more often. They don't deal directly with gaming, but many of the concepts they discuss with respect to red teaming and alternate analysis are directly applicable to the study of gaming.

As an example, hypergame analysis (an extension of game theory developed by Peter Bennett) is a way of thinking about conflicts where the two sides perceive themselves as playing different games (in the game theoretic sense*). The perceived rules, outcomes, and decisions may vary significantly between the participants. Some actors may correctly perceive (completely or incompletely) that their opponents perceive the conflict very differently, while others may (incorrectly) believe that both sides share the same basic framework. Fourth generation warfare is marked by this kind of split perspective, in contrast to more traditional forms of warfare where both sides largely shared the same basic assumptions and perception of the conflict. Representing that kind of split perspective in a game (not in the game theoretic sense) is a challenge, as discussed previously here. Hypergame analysis might provide some insight into how to structure this kind of exercise, and I hope that RTJ returns to the subject at some point.

* Once again, the terminological issue of gaming vs. game theory rears its ugly head.

No comments: