The Persuasion Game: Serious Gaming Information Warfare and Influence


In an age of hybrid, asymmetric, and non-linear conflict, the role of Information Operations has become increasingly important. This paper presents a research project examining ways of better enabling stakeholders to respond to the increasing use of influence in warfare, in hybrid conflict, in competition, and in the realms of hard and soft politics. The project consisted of an international, cross-sector research group that drew on military, government, academic, and industry expertise in order to understand the best way to employ wargame influence. The use of wargaming as a training/research tool is familiar in military and civil contexts; the project discussed presents a truly innovative approach to influence studies, and shows the benefits of an interdisciplinary, cross-domain research team.


Photo of Dr. Dave Ormrod

Terra Schwartz Canberra,

Dr. Dave Ormrod is an information technology, computer science, simulation, and cyber security professional with over 22 years of industry experience. Prior to joining industry, Dave served as an Army Officer. Dave has deployed on operations in Iraq and worked with multi-national forces in Europe, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Dave has extensive practical leadership, management, cyber security, wargaming and simulation experience. He received his PhD in computer science (cyber security) from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in 2017. Dave is certified with the Australian Information Security Registered Assessors Program (IRAP) and is a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), Certified Information Security Auditor (CISA). a Project Management Professional (PMP), and a member of the United States Military Cyber Professionals Association. Dave enjoys adding to his collection of Scotch Malt Whisky and books, whilst planning the next overseas adventure.

Photo of Dr. Keith Scott

School of Humanities De Montfort University Leicester,

Dr. Keith Scott is the Subject Leader for Languages at De Montfort University, where he is also a member of the Cyber Security Centre. In addition, he is a member of the Cyber Policy Centre, a UK-based independent public policy centre devoted exclusively to the consideration of cyber as a socio-technical phenomenon. His research interests include the social and cultural implications of ‘cyber’ as a concept, influence, online communication, and the use of gaming as a teaching and research tool.

Photo of Lynn Scheinman

SAP Stuttgart,

Lynn Scheinman is a technology consultant specialising in defence, security, and applied data science at SAP in Walldorf, Germany. He received his master’s in Science of Project Management and Operations Research at Florida Institute of Technology. His defence experience comes from 10 years in the US Army Special Forces as a Green Beret.

Photo of Thorsten Kodalle

The Bundeswehr Command and Staff College Hamburg,

Thorsten Kodalle LTC (GS) lectures on security policy at the Command and Staff College of the German Armed Forces with a special focus on NATO, Critical Infrastructure, and Cyber. He has a diploma in Social Science, has had assignments as a youth information officer and in the MoD. He also lectures on management and leadership; and for several years, he has supported computer assisted exercises with constructive simulation at the Command and Staff College. He is a member of the NATO Research Task Group 129, Gamification of Cyber Defense/Resilience; an experienced facilitator of manual wargaming on the operational level for courses of action analysis, for operational analysis, operations research, serious gaming, and especially for matrix wargaming on the strategic/political level. He just attended Connections US 2019 and Connections UK 2019 to present his best practice approach on facilitating a matrix wargame in a Slack Workspace. His next project is the Gamification of Strategic Thinking in which players will experience agile strategic planning techniques in a 5-team competition (5x5=25 players experience); and the construction of a “Global Matrix Wargame” with a special focus on cyber warfare on the semantic level. You can reach Thorsten Kodalle on Linkedin:

Photo of Dr. Char Sample

ICFI at US Army Research Labs Aberdeen, MD,

Dr. Char Sample is research fellow employed for ICF Inc. at the US Army Research Laboratory in Adelphi, Maryland. Dr. Sample is a visiting academic at the University of Warwick, Coventry, UK, and a guest lecturer at Bournemouth University, Rensselaer Polytechnic University, and Royal Holloway University. Dr. Sample has over 20 years’ experience in the information security industry. While Dr. Sample continues her research on modeling cyber behaviors by culture, she has, most recently, focused her research on Fake News, the role of cultural values in cyber security events, and the study of the relationship between human cognition and machines. Her other areas of research interest are information weaponization, deceptive data, and data resilience.

Photo of Dr. Benjamin Turnbull

School of Engineering and Information Technology
University of New South Wales
Canberra, Australia

Dr. Benjamin Turnbull is a Senior Lecturer at the University of New South Wales at the Australian Defence Force, Canberra. His research focuses on the intersection of cyber-security, simulation, scenario-based learning and the security of heterogeneous devices and future networks. He is also a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP). 

Photo of Amy Ormrod

Terra Schwartz Canberra,

Amy Ormrod is a Management Consulting Director specialising in Federal Government clients with a focus on Defence and National Security. Amy has diverse experience leading Transformation Delivery Teams across Australia and New Zealand. Her cyber interests focus on human decision making, culture and behaviours involved in the strategic application of cyber effects. Amy successfully facilitated and played a core white cell Wargame Conductor role for an international cyber wargame held in Australia. In 2019, Amy was invited to participate in NATO Cyber Gamification workshops. In her spare time, Amy enjoys cooking and planning the next overseas adventure.

Journal of Information Warfare

The definitive publication for the best and latest research and analysis on information warfare, information operations, and cyber crime. Available in traditional hard copy or online.

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The definitive publication for the best and latest research and analysis on information warfare, information operations, and cyber crime. Available in traditional hard copy or online.


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