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Geopolitical Matrix Gaming in 15 and 50 Year Future Scenarios. In: Wargaming the Far Future

Authors:
  • Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies

Abstract and Figures

In a world where crises and disasters are increasing with frequency and intensity, few options exist to facilitate an adequate understanding of the underlying complex causal factors and driving forces. Fewer yet exist that permit us some insight into the potential and plausible future outcomes of these events. This paper describes the development of four Matrix games through a process involving threat identification, systems mapping, analysis of the driving forces of change, and foresight-based scenario planning. The games cover the topics of major power rivalry threats in Northeast Asia and climate-environmental threats in the Indo-Pacific over mid-term (15-year) and long-term (50-year) periods. Two of the most interesting insights were: (i) Technology is evolving so fast that it was difficult for participants to extrapolate or imagine what the long-term future might hold; and (ii) When people think about environmental change of an existential magnitude, they mitigate it by prioritizing the improvement of the economy, which provides more options down the track. Similar themes emerged in all groups, including the value of multi-mindedness in evaluating complexity, difficulties in committing to collective action under imperfect information, identification of core values and interests in geopolitical negotiations, and insights into possible levers of influence.
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