Dungeons, Dragons, and Resilience: Role playing as a thought model for complex resilience
In the 1970’s, game designer (and former insurance underwriter) Gary Gygax invented a game for simulating medieval combat he called Chainmail. This basic system then became the melee mechanics for his next game, Dungeons and Dragons. Almost every role-playing game since, in-person or online, has drawn inspiration from or elaborated on this model. Today and every day around the globe, millions of people (both affectionately and derisively called ‘gamers’) play in-person or online role-playing games. They simulate repeated interactions between attackers (which can be intelligent adversaries or forces of nature) and defenders. They roll dice or depend on computers to do the dice rolling, and they fret and argue the details about how to best prepare for, resolve, and ‘survive’ these encounters.