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

University of South Australia
Adelaide, Australia

Dr David Ormrod is an Associate Professor and Enterprise Fellow in Cyber Security with the University of South Australia, with over 25 years of experience across the globe and within multiple Australian government agencies. Ormrod possesses a PhD in Computer Science, in addition to a broad array of industry experience and certifications in risk management, strategic thinking, and information warfare. Ormrod is an Australian Signals Directorate endorsed Information Security Registered Assessors Program (IRAP) professional, in addition to being a Senior Lead Auditor in ISO27001, a certified Project Management Professional (PMP), and an Australian Company Director (GAICD). Ormrod is an experienced cybersecurity researcher, working on practical solutions in the information operations and cyber domains. Ormrod’s research themes include cyber effects, cybersecurity, wargaming, modelling and simulation, artificial intelligence, low-earth-orbit satellite constellation cybersecurity, cyber threat intelligence, and the underpinnings of social networks and influence activities.

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

PwC Australia
Canberra, Australia

Amy Ormrod has more than 15 years of management/cyber consulting experience leading cyber, business transformation, and consulting teams across Australia, New Zealand, and internationally. Ormrod has a broad security skill set with expertise across threat intelligence and emulation, vulnerability assessments, cybersecurity strategy, risk, and governance. She is an authentic and highly motivated individual, with a great passion to drive impact across the federal government and defence industries in the cybersecurity domain.

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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