Certificate in Gaming Homeland Security

Certificate in Gaming Homeland Security

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Certificate in Gaming Homeland Security
5 Day Course
On-line (Zoom)

Event Menu


The MORS Designing Tactical Games Short Course is a three-day course that focuses on building tactical games. Tactical games deal with maneuver and combat during individual battles. This requires the game designer to manage large numbers of complex variables in ways that allow the players to make the appropriate Warfighting decisions. Whether this is done using computer or manual techniques, it demands no small degree of simulation—the interaction of forces, the effects of human factors and technology, and the effects of the environment on combat. Any good wargame strives to produce realistic adjudications and outcomes, but the realism of tactical games is tested even more stringently because the players can more easily relate game mechanics and adjudication to their own personal experiences. All of this makes designing tactical games different—and even more challenging—than designing operational or strategic games. This class will examine some of these challenges and possible solutions in both theoretical and practical terms.

MORS has partnered with Virginia Tech to offer this certificate. Participants will receive a number Continuing Education Units (CEUs) upon completion, in accordance with the number of contact hours determined by Virginia Tech.


  • Our expert instructors will address tactical games according to the different combat domains: ground, naval, and air. Participants will learn varying aspects of game design and explore future challenges from these perspectives, including but not limited to:
  • Designing exploratory games—that is, games to create or test new tactics, weapon systems, or operational concepts
  • Ground games:
  • How good design must address basic concepts such as mission, time, space, forces, and command relationships
  • How to bring all the variables together to create a realistic tactical environment for players to engage in ground warfare
  • Different ways of representing ground combat based on a wide range of commercial and professional games
  • Air and Naval games:
  • Integration of multi-domain operations (MDO) from space to surface into the overall air-battle kill chain
  • How do build games that focus on air combat operations, and air combat operations in support of ground forces
  • Methods for abstracting and estimating air combat values
  • Putting ordnance on not only the target, but the entire kill chain, from identification to battle damage assessment

Additional topics, depending on participant interest


Monday, March 14 - Introduction and Game Design

  • Welcome, Course Overview, Introductions
  • Introduction: How Does Homeland Security Operate?
  • Designing Games for Homeland Security
  • Types of Games and Exercises
  • Tools of the Game Designer
  • Example Game: Case Studies

Tuesday, March 15 - Specific Domains and Problems

  • Welcome, Review of Yesterday, Introduction of Today
  • Specific Domains and Problems
  • Game Design Issues
  • Technical Issues
  • Topic Specific Modeling
  • Tips for Success
  • What Does Not Work
  • Exercise: Case Studies

Wednesday, March 16 - National Level Games

  • Welcome, Review of Yesterday, Introduction of Today
  • Types of Games: Operations, Logistics, and Management
  • DHS Games from Local to National

Thursday, March 17 - Terrorism and Law Enforcement Games

  • Welcome, Review of Yesterday, Introduction of Today
  • Gaming CT and LEA
  • Gaming CT With and Without WMD
  • CT/LEA: Strategic, Operational, and Tactical

Friday, March 18 - Practicum

  • Welcome, Review of Yesterday, Introduction of Today
  • Game Design Practicum


Dr. Roger Mason
Dr. Roger Mason

Dr. Roger Mason retired after 29 years of public safety experience in Los Angeles County. For the past fifteen years he has specialized in emergency management and the development of wargames and exercises. He has designed over 50 emergency management and public safety wargames and hybrid game/functional exercises. His clients include National Defense University, Penn State University, the University of Hawaii, the US Army, and the CNA Corporation. Dr. Mason has served as the wargaming professor for the Institute for Intelligence Analysis, Juan Carlos University, Madrid Spain. Read More

Dr. Ed McGrady
Dr. Ed McGrady Adjunct Senior Fellow, Center for New American Security Instructor and Course Coordinator on Gaming, Military Operations Research Society Principal, MonksHood Media LLC

Dr. McGrady writes, speaks, and teaches on the design of professional games. He is an adjunct senior fellow in gaming at CNAS, teaches and manages game design courses for MORS/Virginia Tech, and runs a business devoted to using games and game techniques to bring innovative experiences in new areas. His recent book, Roll to Save: Gaming Disease Response, describes designing games in support of public health professionals. Read More


Payment Options

The "Invoice Me" option can only be used for the registration fee. This option won't appear if you have social tickets, CEU courses or tutorials in your cart. If you need assistance registering please contact Ms. Sarah Madonia, sarah.madonia@mors.org.

Employer Member Non-Member
MORS Government Sponsor* $2700 $2800
U.S. Federal Government $2800 $2900
National Research Partner
(IDA Employees Only)
$2755 $2850
All Others $2900 $3000

*Government Sponsor organizations include Center for Army Analysis, HQDA/DCS Program G-8; Marine Corps Combat Development and Integration; Naval Operations, N81; SAF/SA, Studies and Analysis; OSD, A&S; and DHS S&T/OSE/ORA