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Security Studies Academics Outline New Wargaming Integrity and Ethics Standards at Top US Conference

The Directors of the Wargaming Network at King's delivered the recommendations at the US Connections Conference.

Wargaming public talk
Public talk on ethical issues in wargaming in academia.

Last week, Ivanka Barzashka and Dr David Banks, the Directors of the Wargaming Network at King's College London, spoke about wargaming at the US Connections Conference. They outlined how established academic integrity and ethics principles should shape the new discipline.

Traditionally, professional wargaming has been practiced by small expert communities mainly in closed military environments. The School of Security Studies established the Wargaming Network in 2018 with the aim of developing this new discipline by advancing wargaming as a method of inquiry and as a method of learning and teaching.

‘Achieving and demonstrating academic excellence in both research and teaching activities that involve wargaming requires a thorough understanding of the ethics and academic integrity principles, and how these apply to the discipline. It also means implementing these principles and taking action when behaviours fall short,’ says Ivanka Barzashka, the Managing Director of the Wargaming Network.

Barzashka highlighted the need for more fundamental research, and greater educational and publication opportunities to address research integrity challenges in analytical wargaming. She spoke alongside Dr David Banks, the network’s Academic Director.

Banks, who has extensive experience in using wargames in the classroom, said instructors often view educational games as fun, teambuilding activities but fail to consider the ethical issues that these events could pose. One ethical dilemna he highlighted was requiring university students to participate in immersive games that represent conflict situations as one of several ethical dilemmas that require educators’ attention.

Banks is convening a new module in wargame design and analysis for master’s students at the Department of War Studies, together with Dr Aggie Hirst. The module is part of a new programme of wargaming educational activities at the School of Security Studies launched this spring. Read more here

Watch the full recording of the talk here.

Achieving and demonstrating academic excellence in both research and teaching activities that involve wargaming requires a thorough understanding of the ethics and academic integrity principles, and how these apply to the discipline. It also means implementing these principles and taking action when behaviours falls short.– Ivanka Barzashka, Managing Director of the Wargaming Network.

In this story

Ivanka Barzashka

Ivanka Barzashka

MacArthur-funded Research Associate

David Banks

David Banks

Lecturer in Wargaming

Aggie  Hirst

Aggie Hirst

Reader in International Relations Theory and Methods


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