The use of games to solve a problem is gradually emerging as an ergonomic and effective solution in many professional environments that were previously resistant to the idea of using games as an awareness-raising and training tool. Today, gamification is generating a cyclical interest in line with the challenges of the times in which we live. Today, wargaming has the wind in its sails and is taking European Cyber Week (ECW) 2023 by storm with an educational seminar and the demonstration of several educational and training games.
The military world has always been particularly fond of wargaming as a way of optimising the operational planning process. Given the number of uniforms on display at ECW, it is clear that the return of the concept of high-intensity warfare to the strategic debate is reviving the alternative of simulation as a way of understanding contemporary conflicts. In its use, wargaming also illustrates a convergence of expectations in the civilian and military worlds. The increasing porosity between the armed forces and civilian companies, especially since the advent of cyber, continues even in the use of common tools.
It was therefore only natural for Alcyconie’s defence consultants to focus on this issue.
Wargaming to raise awareness, educate and train
Wargaming is a practical and effective tool. With this in mind, Alcyconie presented two gaming platforms at ECW, adding to its catalogue of services. “To meet our customers’ expectations, we are developing specific tools to optimise our services. Wargaming is one of the vectors we use to raise awareness, train and educate”, explained Stéphanie Ledoux, CEO and founder of Alcyconie, to the many people who had come to attend the demonstration phase of the wargaming seminar.
At the crossroads of crisis communication and digital technology, Alcyconie offers its expertise in the field of influence through awareness-raising and training in psychological operations, particularly in the context of computer-based influence tactics.
Stéphanie Ledoux continues: “We have a serious game that aims to raise awareness of the mechanisms of influence through an electoral campaign for the presidency of a parliamentary monarchy, and we also offer a fully modular simulation that addresses the decision-making issues involved in a modern, multi-environment, multi-domain military engagement. You take on the role of a general staff operating in the kinetic, information and digital domains, thanks to an intuitive and realistic resolution system.”
Alcyconie’s use of the games is part of a process: the course makes it possible to measure the extent to which the initial objectives have been achieved, but also to support the development of the decision-making capacity of a cyber crisis unit and to identify the weak points of a structure or working method.
A fully modular simulation for complex situations
Upstream, the design of the game is adapted to the client, allowing the most relevant simulation model to be defined and the solution modus operandi to be created. During the game, a Game Master is in charge of the animation: he is the guarantor of the method and allows the players to free themselves from learning the rules in order to better concentrate on the game mechanics and to implement the proposed solutions to the problems. Subsequently, a specific analysis grid for each session is used to measure the progress made by the participants in acquiring and/or achieving the objectives set. This framework ensures that the process is adaptable to the use of wargaming beyond the realm of games.
Anticipation is part of Alcyconie’s DNA: we prepare numerous organisations – private, public and institutional – for cyber crisis management. Wargaming mobilises the cognitive resources of the participants and anchors the thought patterns necessary to meet the expectations of the future, especially for the strategic dimension, whether industrial or military.
The simulation of a theatre of operations presented by Alcyconie at ECW is entirely modular. It is possible to define the terrain, the level of engagement, the number of players and the type of equipment used. This game system gives pride of place to military manoeuvres, which can then be broken down to provide a better understanding of complex situations, enabling operators to anticipate scenarios that would be too costly to carry out in real life, or too abstract to present without the relevant support. Confronting the unthinkable, the unforeseen, forcing you to act differently and stay one step ahead of the enemy: this was our philosophy when designing the game.
At Alcyconie, we see wargaming as an approach that adapts to the objectives set together with the client. It is a tool for developing the thinking, creativity and anticipation of the participants, who then enter into a multi-stage process. It is also a teaching tool: from awareness-raising to acculturation, including the training of teams that will manage a cyber crisis within their organisation in the future.
Stéphane Bartolomé, Defense & Training Manager at Alcyconie