The Narrative Design Exploratorium™: Game History: September 2008 Archives

Game History: September 2008 Archives

Hobby War-gamesI like simulating war, at least, as a hobby. As a child I marveled at Axis and Allies, and games like Risk. Writing and designing the war-game Company of Heroes Opposing Fronts was the fulfillment of a boyhood dream for me, working on a realistic computer war-game, or a Real-Time Strategy Game (RTS) as it is more commonly called. In talking about any RTS, we are talking about war-games. Even if the setting has fantasy influences, the core combat systems of all RTS is that of a war-game: Multiple Player Units, Resource Management, Building, and Command level strategy. No origin story would be complete without the mention of breakthrough game maker and publisher Avalon Hill, and their 1960 game Tactics. Even those table-top games owe what they are to the ideas of their predecessors in antiquity.

Tactics IIGame makers have been driving for realism in war-games for thousands of
years, and at some point hobby games became tools of learning for military
strategists.  Where did this fascination come from, and where is the line where hobby crosses into serious war-gaming?  War-games are most certainly serious in the current age, some of the best strategy game makers alive work for Uncle Sam creating war simulations.   While at first the notion may seem odd, the reality is war-games have become tools for military training and strategics.  Serious war-games are teaching tools, practical for professionals in the field and students of military strategy.  With the models created by war-game systems the military argues it saves lives.  Any training we can have in lessening the taxes of war is most certainly a worthy endeavor.

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About this NDE Archive

This page is a archive of articles in the Game History category from September 2008.

Game History: July 2008 is the previous archive.

Welcome to the Narrative Design Exploratorium. Please feel free to browse and comment.

Author Stephen E. Dinehart is a producer, designer, writer, and artist. You can find out more about him on his self-titled website.

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