Introducing Resource Management Into a Large-Scale Cyber Security Seminar Game: A Case Study




Cybersecurity,, Training, Participatory design, Game-based learning, Seminar game, Wargame


In seminar wargames, participants are asked to resolve problems presented by an umpire, who also adjudicates the outcome of the player decisions. This type of game has been used across a wide range of contexts, including notably in cybersecurity training. Seminar games, however, have been criticized for their lack of rigor. The solutions developed during the game can often be idealized. It is also common for these games to have pre-scripted outcomes. This minimizes the agency of the player and reduces the investment the player can have in the game. This paper focuses on the design and development of a seminar wargame with a novel resource management component. This component expands on the traditional seminar game and addresses some underrepresented training needs. The game was designed using a participatory design framework and the process is clearly described in the paper. The game was then played during a large-scale cybersecurity event by governmental representatives from 18 different countries using a hybrid game system. Data was gathered through a series of observations made during play, interviews with participants, and discussion during a debriefing session. Preliminary results show that the participants and sponsors felt that the game improved the overall quality and utility of the seminar style wargame. While the practical implementation of the game requires refinement, the overall approach is viable for a broad range of contexts in which seminar-style games can be used.