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Anchors in Time: Knowledge Handoffs Between Board Games & History

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Slides that I used for my presentation at the Connections conference at the National Defense University, July 2012.

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Anchors in Time: Knowledge Handoffs Between Board Games & History

  1. 1. Anchors in Time: HandoffsBetween Board Games andHistoryJeremy Antley@jsantleyjantley@gmail.com
  2. 2. Why use the phrase ‘Anchors in Time’?
  3. 3. Why use the phrase ‘Anchors in Time’? Games utilize narratives drawn from period of creation
  4. 4. Why use the phrase ‘Anchors in Time’? Games utilize narratives drawn from period of creation Temporal Fingerprints
  5. 5. Why use the phrase ‘Anchors in Time’? Games utilize narratives drawn from period of creation Temporal Fingerprints Increasing presence of ‘social’ (debatable) factors in both hobby & war games
  6. 6. Why use the phrase ‘Anchors in Time’? Games utilize narratives drawn from period of creation Temporal Fingerprints Increasing presence of ‘social’ (debatable) factors in both hobby & war games Highlights linkages between Games & History
  7. 7. So why do (many) historians have antipathy towards games?
  8. 8. So why do (many) historians have antipathy towards games?Perceptions of Source Material. ‘Counter-Factuality’. Lack of established knowledge handoffs. A profound need to go beyond the textual.
  9. 9. Networked Reenactments- Katie King
  10. 10. Networked Reenactments- Katie King
  11. 11. Networked Reenactments- Katie King “...intensively experienced affect is what signals movement across knowledge worlds, as well as what indicates cognitive and affiliative shifts across what counts as authoritative."
  12. 12. Networked Reenactments- Katie King “...intensively experienced affect is what signals movement across knowledge worlds, as well as what indicates cognitive and affiliative shifts across what counts as authoritative." Need more on the model/sources used to inform design of model
  13. 13. Networked Reenactments- Katie King “...intensively experienced affect is what signals movement across knowledge worlds, as well as what indicates cognitive and affiliative shifts across what counts as authoritative." Need more on the model/sources used to inform design of model What were the aims & goals?
  14. 14. “In one mode, we think with the substantive yield of historicalinquiry, with the images we form of the past, in order to defineourselves by difference or by resemblance to it...We can alsothink with history in another mode, when we conceive of historyas a process. Then history is dynamic, linking or dissolving staticelements in narrative pattern of change... Thinking with history inthe first sense implies utilization of the elements of the past in thecultural construction of the present and future. Thinking withHistory in the second sense relativizes the subject, whetherpersonal or collective, self-reflexively to the flow of social time."Carl Schorske
  15. 15. Games Do Both(Especially Board Games)
  16. 16. Top-Down Model
  17. 17. Top-Down ModelPhilip Sabin Simulating War
  18. 18. Top-Down ModelPhilip Sabin Simulating WarConcentrates on overall outputs and observed effects
  19. 19. Top-Down ModelPhilip Sabin Simulating WarConcentrates on overall outputs and observed effectsPlayers must understand mechanics to gain frommodel
  20. 20. Top-Down ModelPhilip Sabin Simulating WarConcentrates on overall outputs and observed effectsPlayers must understand mechanics to gain frommodelAllows for player input/modifications
  21. 21. Design involves abstraction
  22. 22. Design involves abstractionBoard Games generate knowledge through abstraction, thanksto top-down approach
  23. 23. Design involves abstractionBoard Games generate knowledge through abstraction, thanksto top-down approachVideo Games obscure knowledge through abstraction, thanksto black box approach
  24. 24. Design involves abstractionBoard Games generate knowledge through abstraction, thanksto top-down approachVideo Games obscure knowledge through abstraction, thanksto black box approachBoard Games guided by narratives, Video Games guided bycode.
  25. 25. Design compresses time.
  26. 26. Design compresses time.But it doesn’t compress thinking with history.
  27. 27. Design marks temporal shifts
  28. 28. Design marks temporal shifts
  29. 29. Design marks temporal shifts
  30. 30. Design Notes/Lineage
  31. 31. Design Notes/LineagePodcasts (Guns, Dice and Butter, I’ve Been Diced, Three MovesAhead)
  32. 32. Design Notes/LineagePodcasts (Guns, Dice and Butter, I’ve Been Diced, Three MovesAhead)Blog Posts (PaxSims, Play the Past)
  33. 33. Design Notes/LineagePodcasts (Guns, Dice and Butter, I’ve Been Diced, Three MovesAhead)Blog Posts (PaxSims, Play the Past)Forums (Consimworld, Board Game Geek)
  34. 34. Design Notes/LineagePodcasts (Guns, Dice and Butter, I’ve Been Diced, Three MovesAhead)Blog Posts (PaxSims, Play the Past)Forums (Consimworld, Board Game Geek)Playtest Notes/Discussions
  35. 35. Design Notes/LineagePodcasts (Guns, Dice and Butter, I’ve Been Diced, Three MovesAhead)Blog Posts (PaxSims, Play the Past)Forums (Consimworld, Board Game Geek)Playtest Notes/DiscussionsActual Play/Player Modifications (AAR’s, tied to Forums)
  36. 36. Design InfluencesEmpire of the Sun, Twilight Struggle, Andean Abyss (playtest copy)
  37. 37. ’72 Summit Series
  38. 38. ’72 Summit Series
  39. 39. ’72 Summit Series What does this card mean?
  40. 40. ’72 Summit Series What does this card mean? Non Sequitur for game play
  41. 41. ’72 Summit Series What does this card mean? Non Sequitur for game play Player Modification that taps into larger cultural narratives found in Cold War
  42. 42. Jeremy Antley & Mike Changes made in 1.2a Owens v1.21a ʻCruise Missileʼ AUC-bot Changes made in 1.1a Rally in max of 3 spaces: then Extort (at Und AG & AG > Guerrilla & Yes ! If ActG >4, rally ActG to AB --> Enemy) max 2 spaces Base ! PB where S + 2G & NoOp --> !Wherever possible available? ! PG at AB, then Adj OpSpaces !If no S, no Special Activity s l let Ye t Bu 1 s No Only >4 ActG in spaces with Op or AB? No March: max 2 spaces then Spaces with >3 Spaces !To: Random S w/ Op, first adj Playtest Forums Example Op+FB & no to AB, then adj to Und AG Und AG? !Move all adjacent Und AG>FB to each target space, moving #<4 Und AG to each space so No that no Und AG go Active Terror: max 3 S w/ Und AG Assassinate (in Terror Space) (priority to S with FB) then !Target first FB, then Shipment, Spaces with Yes !Target S first w/ PasOp then S CB in S w/ FG, FG, CG, Police & Op and Und w/ ActOp --> then Assassinate finally Troops AG? !First, in S w ActSup then S w/ !If no valid targets, no Special PasSup, then Neutral Activity No Total Support >56 & Yes, then follow 2nd bullet Und AG in SupS? No Attack: max 3 Spaces Ambush! ! Max 1 !Target space with AB and first then !Target Attack Space with least Cubes, FG, or CB Yes FG, then Troops, then Police, number of AG. in S w/AB? finally Cartels pieces PassEvents Instructions (8.4.4) Abbreviations:Carabineros- Replace Police in Opposition Space, if possible ActG- active guerrillaCriminal Air Force- Executing Faction moves using its ʻToʼ (A,F,C,G)B- (factions)baseMarch priority, from where it has the most Guerrillas, w ActG if P(B,G)- place (base, guerrilla)possible. Ignore second bullet if AUC-bot. S- space
  43. 43. Empire of the Sun VASSAL replayFrom the Consimworld Forums for ‘EoTS’
  44. 44. Validation as a Handoff
  45. 45. Validation as a Handoff Because board games utilize narratives, the design must be validated or tacitly acknowledged for the model/theme to be accepted- particular issue for COIN games
  46. 46. Validation as a Handoff Because board games utilize narratives, the design must be validated or tacitly acknowledged for the model/theme to be accepted- particular issue for COIN games Historical texts construct arguments passively
  47. 47. Validation as a Handoff Because board games utilize narratives, the design must be validated or tacitly acknowledged for the model/theme to be accepted- particular issue for COIN games Historical texts construct arguments passively Games construct arguments actively
  48. 48. Validation as a Handoff Because board games utilize narratives, the design must be validated or tacitly acknowledged for the model/theme to be accepted- particular issue for COIN games Historical texts construct arguments passively Games construct arguments actively Yet validation is what ties the two together

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