Post-Game Interview Invitation

Post-Game Interview Invitation

The Dark Portal MMOWGLI game that was offered to the National Defense University (NDU) community this past fall was a pilot project.  In an effort to learn as much as we can, and to make these types of pilots the best they can be, we still need your help!  We care about your experience and would like to learn from it.

One of the best ways we can get high-quality information is through interviews about the experience.  We are asking anyone registering for the game (even if you did not play) to email me, Paulette Robinson (robinsonp@ndu.edu) if you are willing to be interviewed.  All interview responses will be held in confidence and no personal identities will appear in any report.

Thanks for all help.  Play the game, change the game!

How to Add Your Component for Awards

How to Add Your Component for Awards

Dark portal MMOWGLI players,

    Thank you for your participation thus far in the game.  Over 3600 Idea Cards have been played in the game so far and 19 Action Plans created.  Your contributions and efforts have been tremendous.  Bravo!

    As the game winds down, we’d like ensure you’re eligible to receive a component award since some of our awards will be given out across university components.  To be eligible for these awards, we need your component affiliation!  To add your component to your Player Profile, simply follow the steps below!

Step 1: Sign into the game and visit your player profile by selecting your name in the upper left hand corner of your screen.  Once you are on your Player Profile, you will find a drop down menu located on your manila folder with the various university components listed.  Select one and you’re done!

 

Step 2: Once you are on your Player Profile, you will find a drop down menu located on your manila folder with the various university components listed.  Select one and you’re done!

 

Step 3: Select one and you’re done!

    Thank you again for your continued contributions.  Stay tuned for awards and as always play the game, change the game!

Round 3 Week 1 Idea Card Summary

After one week of Round 3 gameplay, here is a summary of ideas thus far:

Return to New Normal

·      These attacks will inevitably alter the environment. Future attacks will occur and society must prepare to respond, if not prevent, more accordingly.

·      Regaining the public’s trust, in both the government and businesses, will be extremely difficult.

o   Congress will attempt to enact legislation to regain the public trust, but given the current hyper-partisan state, executive orders are more likely in the short term

o   Financial/Critical Infrastructure sector should create a separate network

o   Use personal stories of cyber security hygiene to educate/encourage the public

o   USG should use the crisis to leverage changes needed in industry and government (“never again”)

o   USG should adapt the National Weather Service warning system for cyber/critical infrastructure incidents

o   Responsible actors will need to be identified

o   Create a cyber security ranking of top organizations by sectors

§  This idea came up repeatedly

o   Tax Internet usage to cover “cyber insurance”

·      Restore Operations

o   Financial systems will be rushed back online, but other systems may take more time

o   Private industry will restore capabilities with an eye to the future, USG will just get basic capability back up

§  There needs to be a mix of short term patches and long term solutions, but funding for the long term will be difficult until operations are back online

o   Leverage disaster recovery structures (FEMA, Red Cross, Small Business Administration, volunteers, faith groups, etc.)

o   Improving business’ ability to insure cyber attacks

·      Law Enforcement Options

o   The need for information sharing is at an all-time high

§  FBI takes lead, but National Guard, DOD, and industry are all needed

o   Increased National Guard capability would allow states to activate cyber response when needed.

§  Ex. Michigan Volunteer Cyber Security Corps

§  Players expressed support for an Action Plan on this

o   USCYBERCOM could become its own combatant command

o   Players also discussed establishing a centralized cyber security office at the national level

·      Public Safety Options

o   Information sharing across state and federal levels is key

o   Social media can (and should) be used

o   Local government will have to pick up more responsibility and increase the “boots on the ground” presence

Vulnerabilities

·      Physical Vulnerabilities

o   There will always be a physical aspect to critical infrastructure and the Internet/cyber security; physical things can always be attacked. The key is how to mitigate risks against such attacks.

§  Multiple nodes and routes make the Internet the easiest to mitigate.

§  Critical infrastructure could mimic the Internet – more distributed

·      Network Vulnerabilities

o   Increase password standardization and security

o   Build a quicker response capability

o   Develop a warning system

·      Public/Private Balance

o   Practicing cyber security needs to become an individual responsibility

§  Is access to the Internet a right or a privilege?

§  Should the common citizen be credentialed to the use it?

·      How would this be enforced both domestically and internationally?

·      Mandate that all devices have a NIST-defined base level of security – give the consumer/manufacturer a tax break for these

·      States license other aspects of citizens’ personal lives, why not cyber security practices

o   USG needs to let/encourage private industry to take the lead

§  USG can provide incentives for innovation

o   USG will push for additional authorities, but the public may still be wary.

§  Centralized task force/agency

·      Legislation/Regulations

o   USG should collaborate with, and incentivize, the utility industry vs. nationalization of utility infrastructure

§  Disagreement over whether private sector actually does a better job than the government

§  International examples of both failure and success

§  Consistency vs. potential for corruption

§  After much debate, the “establish standards and incentivize industry” side won.

o   Harsh penalties for cyber criminals

§  Not all offenders are domestic, many are difficult to individually trace

§  There could be penalties for companies that fail to address cyber weaknesses

o   Legislation will have to be coordinated across federal and state governments

·      International Response

o   Develop and share and international blacklist to document all the sites and files that propagate the virus and block access to them

§  How would this work?

o   Cyber security assistance programs to help countries with rogue actors

o   Future aid to countries could be tied to their level of cyber security

o   Desire for a strong IGO to handle international cyber security is high, but realistically unlikely

o   Further “internet balkanization” is now another risk

o   Cyber savvy countries may make pitches to become new financial/commercial/cyber capitals because they are safer

·      Cultural Shifts Needed

o   Practicing cyber security hygiene is a common responsibility

§  Training can come from national standards, but demographics will determine how it is practiced on the ground level

§  Education becomes standard, such as civics classes

§  Is the younger generation willing to change its practices? Can the older generation be trained at all?

o   Should these initiatives be led by the USG or industry?

Collaboration in Round 2

As we move into Round 3, the game masters want to give some sense of what has happened so far.  To try to help you build an understanding of Round 2, we’ve put together a series of analyses below based on quantitative techniques.  You may also want to refer to the summary of Round 2 play put together by gm_luke for a more qualitative look at the round. 

You can also look back at what happened in Round 1.  General data is here, qualitative summary of Round 1 is here, and quantitative analysis of collaboration is here.

Note: the analysis below only runs through play performed prior to 1700 26 October 2013.

General Round 2 Data

First, we can get a very general idea of how the card play differed between the 1st and 2nd Rounds.  The charts below show the distribution of cards by category in each round:


 


We can see that the ratio of the types of cards played is about the same, but the number of card played in Round 2 was lower.
 

We can also look at the conversations in terms of how many cards were played under each of the “seed cards” that identified times of actors from whose perspective you were asked to analyze the problems.

 

Far fewer cards were played under non-governmetn than government, but even within catagoies, play was fairly uneven.

We can also look at how often different words were used:

 

Finally, we can also look at play in terms of how much of the discussion in Round 2 was contributed by individual participants.  The charts below show the percentage of posts by individual players (please note: colors represent ranking rather than individual players, so the same participant may be blue in round 1 and orange in Round 2):

 

You can see that the top two players now represent close to 50% of play, while nearly 25% of cards were played by players who represent 1% or less of totally play.

  Collaboration in Round 2

Just as in Round 1, we are also interested in looking at how participants collaborated during card play.

We can look at how many cards the average player played.  For comparison, in Round 1 few conversations had more than 4 cards per player:

Not surprisingly focusing conversation into 12 conversations created more “back and forth” than in Round 1.

Just like we did in round 1, we can also look at collaboration by looking at how frequently individual participants “talked” to one another by responding to one another.  Below, we’ve used Social Network Analysis to visualize these conversations, with thicker lines representing more exchanges.

Full Network for Government

 

Full Network for Non-Government

We can also look at how many people an individual participant talked to by isolating a specific participants, and showing all other participants they talked to in what’s called an Ego Network.  Below is the network for the most frequent poster:

To give a sense of how conversation was different in this round, here is the ego network for the same player from Round 1, which were posted in a previous blog post.

 

 

We can see how much smaller Round 2’s networks are than those that were fromed by the more “horizontal” card play in Round 1.

Finally, we can look at collaberation by looking at whick players connect the most pairs of participants in conversation.  Those closer to the center of the visualizations below connect more players, while those on the edge connect fewer.

 

Unlike in Round 1, here in Round 2 the participants who served as bridges the most often are also the most frequent posters.

-Ellie Bartels

Round 2 Idea Card Summary

As we come to the end of Round 2, gm_luke has prepared a summary of card play so far.

Government

  • Local governments will be quickly overwhelmed. They are unprepared for cyber-related disasters but will see the events as reason for additional funding.
  • State governments’ first challenge is to restore power. This will require cooperation with/from neighboring states to share their energy.

o   Their second challenge is to restore order and coordinate medical, police, fire, and National Guard forces.

o   If the nation-wide events are linked, it will be difficult for state investigators to make the connections.

  • Federal government

o   The network is highly dependent on commercial lines and products.

o   The federal government must decide if this is an attack on national security or isolated incidents.

§  If it is an attack on national security, what legal authorities should be exercised to gain control of the situation?

o   While addressing the current situation, the federal government must also look to the future and reduce vulnerabilities.

o   DHS will need to work with CIOs of private industry, restore power to blackout regions, and coordinate responses at the regional levels.

§  FEMA will take the lead on this.

§  Some players discussed the idea of mandatory rationing and martial law in affected areas.

§  DOD can help, but only when and where directed to do so.

o   The Department of Treasury needs to mitigate any economic damage.

o   In the long run, there is a need to incentivize the private industries to promote better cyber security – NIST Framework is not enough.

§  Long run planning from DHS will be difficult given its legislative oversights.

o   Given the hyper-partisan climate, it will be difficult for affected states to financial aid from Congress.

o   Players floated the idea of a “Cyber Militia,” based on the National Guard model, but interagency in nature.

  • International Organizations

o   Enemies of the United States may look to capitalize on the situation.

o   World Bank and IMF may feel that their systems are in jeopardy.

o   NATO may need to decide if cyber attacks trigger Article V.

§  NATO Cooperative Cyber Center of Excellence can provide subject matter experts as a think tank, but cannot be leveraged to address the situation at hand.

  • Foreign governments

o   Anti-US governments will monitor the US response carefully.

o   Allies will face the dual problem of helping the US and evaluating their own vulnerabilities.

o   Canadian power grid was also affected by these events.

o   Any impact to the US financial market will affect countries with currency tied to the US dollar.

§  This could also affect US military responsibilities elsewhere.

Non-Government

  • Individual actors will be concerned for their personal safety.
  • Businesses and financial institutions will be concerned with their own systems and integrity.

o   While seeking to restore their own systems rapidly, they may not wish to publicize vulnerabilities to their stockholders (and resist cooperation with the federal government).

  • Non-Government Organizations

o   Hospitals will face increased pressure with power outages and the Internet down.

o   Emergency NGOs will activate to provide basic resources to the public.

  • The situation will spur academic institutions to research long-term solutions, provided there is adequate funding.

o   Research institutions will be concerned with losses of Intellectual Property.

o   For long run planning, academic institutions could be used to teach the broader public how to survive in future, similar situations.

  • Opportunistic terrorist and criminal organizations will look to take advantage of the federal government’s focus on the attacks.
  • Hackers may be more inhibited by the power outages and federal government’s immediate response.

o   Government investigators will target hackers.

o   It is vital that the government establish/utilize relationships with some hackers for intelligence and assistance.

  • Industry/private sector may push new, more secure products in the wake of the attacks. The federal government will request full cooperation, while companies may be reluctant to do so.
  • United States government does not “own” the cyber domain. Some players suggested that this could (and should) change. This raised further questions:

o   How would the USG go about nationalizing domestic Internet?

o   What would the USG gain by doing so?

o   Could the private sector incentivize itself (through Chamber of Commerce) to improve cyber security?

  • Private sector should have disaster supplies and systems in place to deal with similar situations in the future.

Within the "Non-Government" category, players were asked to define theproblem from the perspective of non-government actors. In that light, there appeared to be a player bias toward examining the problems facing the non-government actors from the perspective of the USG. This bias has been seen in other venues outside the Dark Portal exercise as well. As we move into Round 3, participants may want to consider the return to a (new) normal and the mitigation of future vulnerabilities not only from a government perspective but also with a keen eye on building truly enduring public-private relations based on a shared understanding of the issues and problems in play.

Round 1 Idea Card Summary

To go along with the previous blog post, which provides a statistical analysis of Round 1 card play, the Game Masters have summarized the idea cards, as well! In Round 1 we sought to define the environment at hand; idea cards stemmed from two Root Cards: Stakeholders and Environment.

Here are the Stakeholders most frequently mentioned by players:

·      Department of Defense: though NORTHCOM and CYBERCOM will play a role, they are not all-powerful.

·      FBI: Cyber Investigators will take the lead on investigation of the attacks. ATF agents will assist with the truck bombs.

·      Private sector actors: they need to protect customers or face significant drops in stock prices.

·      American citizens are stakeholders, too.

o   This yielded a long, but unproductive card chain.

·      Department of Homeland Security: DHS is responsible for the framework of domestic cyber and physical protection, but is not capable actually doing it all.

o   DHS is trying to build an overall picture, with real time response coming from private sector and Intelligence Community.

·      State stakeholders will be Cyber Response Teams, the National Guard, and first responders.

o   National Guard yielded a long card chain.

·      Users of CISCO equipment

·      Members of the financial institutions, the Fed, Department of Treasury, etc.  

·      CIOs of private industry – this also yielded a very long card chain and led to an Action Plan.

·      Foreign governments

·      Media: the media will likely incite panic and place pressure on the administration to address concerns.

·      Players ruled out several stakeholders, either through discussion, or non-response (i.e. hackers, FEMA, public advocacy groups, ISPs, etc.)

 

Characteristics of the Environment:

·      Relentless 24/7 media cycle will increase speculation and push leaders to make hasty actions.

·      The public will expect quick action and resolution, they are panicked and do not understand the inherent vulnerability in technology and infrastructure.

·      The private sector is reluctant to share info with the government.

·      Private industry owns the vast majority of the affected systems and infrastructure.

·      Networks are distributed (i.e. not isolated), this internationalizes investigations and responses, but they would not be unified.

·      Hierarchical U.S. government decision-making structure is too slow to react in a dynamic environment.

o   This yielded a very long card chain.

·      No one has claimed responsibility, yet.

·      There are severe Internet outages as a result of the Chicago and NYC bombings.

·      The system of using passwords as a form of security is broken; we need a new security model.

o   This was also a long card chain.

·      Americans have “unfettered” access to the Internet; there should be a verification system in place.

o   This led to a lengthy debate, but was ultimately unproductive.

·      Systems that rely on the Internet for security are no longer secure.

·      Cyber security is not a commonly understood discipline.

 

-Luke Feltz

Collaboration in Round 1

One of the objectives of “Dark Portal” is to encourage collaboration within the NDU community.  Therefore, in addition to the two posts presenting an overview of game play and a summary of Round 1 discussions that have already been posted, we wanted to provide some analysis focusing on how players have been working as a community during Round 1.  While some of this analysis was done using the same types of excel-based tools as the first set of analysis, we also used a free software called ORA to do social network analysis to explore different aspects of collaboration.  Like the first set of analysis, only cards played before 1600 on Sat 12 October are including in the analysis.

This post shows four different ways of looking at collaboration:

1.     Characteristics of the conversation occurring under each seed card

2.     How many times participants talk to one another

3.     How many other people participants talk to

4.     Which participants are in conversations with the most different people

We also wanted to show some of the difference between the “stakeholder” and “environment” card chains, so in each case we’ll show the same analysis for both sets of Round 1 cards.

Characteristics of the conversations

One straight forward way to think about what the nature of the conversations that have occurred is is to look at what types of cards are played underneath the seed cards.  The charts below show the number of Explore, Expand, Counter, and Adapt cards played under each type of seed card in Round 1:

The most common type of card were people “expanding” ideas by adding their own thoughts, suggesting collaborative play (in contrast to card play were the most common card was “counter” which we might think of as more competitive).

We can also look at the characteristics of the conversations (defined as the cards played under a single seed card) themselves.  During Round 1, there were 85 seed cards played under stakeholders, and 79 played under environment.  We can look at how many cards were in each conversation:

 

These charts show us that the vast majority of conversations are very short, with a few long outliers.

Finally, we can look at how may cards the average participant in a conversation is playing:

Here, we can see that most of the time there is only one card by a give participant in a conversation.  That suggests that participants are contributing a thought to the topic, rather than engaging in a longer virtual “discussion” with other participants.

How many times participants talk to one another

The last set of graphs raises an obvious question: if we want to measure collaboration, do we only care how much people talk in the same conversation, or how many times they talk overall?  To get at the second question, use Social Network Analysis to visualize each time a participant responds to a card played by another participant.  The darker the line, the more times a pair responded to each other.

 

Here again we can see most people are only responding to one person. We can also see that most lines are fairly light: that is most of the time there is only one card connecting to two, rather than a long discussion.

How many other people participants talk to

Rather than focusing on how many times a pair talked, as in the last case, we can instead look at how many people they are linked to (this is called an ego network in Social Network Analysis).  This is pretty hard to see on the full model, so instead we can isolate the model to only show us the participants who “talked” to a specific individual.  For example, below are the ego networks for the individual who posted the most, who is highlighted by a bright circle.

In the environment discussion, this participant “talked” to 27 other participants.  For stakeholders, it was 29.

In contrast, the charts below show the conversations of a less active frequent poster, who posted about 1/3 as often as the first example:

Which participants are in conversations with the most different people

In order to tackle this question, we can use Social Network Analysis to look at Betweeness Centrality, which shows us how often a particular participant serves as a “bridge” by linking two other participants together by participating in the same conversation.  The graphics below show players with the highest “betweeness centrality” in the center of the visual, while players who link fewer players are further out in the circle:

While in the case of “environment” the player who posted the most is the most central in terms of acting as a bridge between two, in the case of the discussions around “stakeholders”, the central player in the network in not among the top 4 posters.  Instead, this poster was involved in many of the longer conversations.

-Ellie Bartels

Round 2 Week 1 Idea card summary

Today is the start of the second week of Round 2 - Defining the Environment. To give you a sense of how players are working toward this goal thus far, we have summarized the seed cards and their chains. 

Government:

  • Local governments will be quickly overwhelmed. They are unprepared for cyber-related disasters but will see the events as reason for additional funding.
  • State governments’ first challenge is to restore power. This will require cooperation with/from neighboring states to share their energy.

o   Their second challenge is to restore order and coordinate medical, police, fire, and National Guard forces.

o   If the nation-wide events are linked, it will be difficult for state investigators to make the connections.

  • Federal government

o   The network is highly dependent on commercial lines and products.

o   The federal government must decide if this is an attack on national security or isolated incidents.

§  If it is an attack on national security, what legal authorities should be exercised to gain control of the situation?

o   While addressing the current situation, the federal government must also look to the future and reduce vulnerabilities.

o   DHS will need to work with CIOs of private industry, restore power to blackout regions, and coordinate responses at the regional levels.

o   The Department of Treasury needs to mitigate any economic damage.

  • International Organizations

o   Enemies of the United States may look to capitalize on the situation.

o   World Bank and IMF may feel that their systems are in jeopardy.

o   NATO may need to decide if cyber attacks trigger Article V.

  • Foreign governments

o   Anti-US governments will monitor the US response carefully

o   Allies will face the dual problem of helping the US and evaluating their own vulnerabilities

o   Canadian power grid was also affected by these events

Non-Government:

  • Individual actors will be concerned for their personal safety.
  • Businesses and financial institutions will be concerned with their own systems and integrity.

o   While seeking to restore their own systems rapidly, they may not wish to publicize vulnerabilities to their stockholders (and resist cooperation with the federal government).

  • Non-Government Organizations

o   Hospitals will face increased pressure with power outages and the Internet down.

o   Emergency NGOs will activate to provide basic resources to the public.

  • The situation will spur academic institutions to research long-term solutions, provided there is adequate funding.
  • Opportunistic terrorist and criminal organizations will look to take advantage of the federal government’s focus on the attacks.
  • Hackers may be more inhibited by the power outages and federal government’s immediate response.
  • Industry/private sector may push new, more secure products in the wake of the attacks. The federal government will request full cooperation, while companies may be reluctant to do so. 

What happened in MMOWGLI Dark Portal Round 1

As we move into Round 2, the Game Masters wanted to give some sense of what happened over the last two weeks.  To help you build an understanding of Round 1, we’ve put together a series of ”quick and dirty analyses” below.  It seems that card play has been particularly confusing to new players as they’ve entered the game, so the analysis focuses on the cards rather than the 11 action plans that are also a part of the round. 

This post also may be a helpful way for you to think about what types of data can be pulled from a game like MMOWGLI, and how you can begin to analyze it to find meaning.  All of the analysis below was performed on the data generated by the reports functions, which is available to you at any time during game play (note: the analysis below only runs through play 1700 12Oct2013). While additional cleaning and ordering was required in some cases, the only tools used were either quick internet applications like wordle or Microsoft Excel.  Later posts will include analysis using other, more specialize tools.

So... what happened in MMOWGLI Dark Portal Round 1

1156 cards were played in the two weeks of Round 1.  The distribution of data played is below:

From this it appears that there is less play over weekend, and that most play happens midweek.  We also see that there has not been as much play the second week as the first.

We can also think about cards not in terms of volume over time, but instead about how often particular words are used in card play.  The graphic below, sometimes known as a “wordle” shows the 100 words that appeared most frequently the cards from round 1.  The relative size of the word in the graphic is proportional to how frequently it appeared, so big words were used a lot, while small words were used less.  Any surprises?

 

Who is Playing, and How?

Of the 202 players listed on the leader board, 67 have contributed at least one card to game play in Round 1.  According to their profiles, active players hail from the following locations:


As you can see people have used a wide variety of descriptors.  In order to create better analysis, we’d appreciate it if you could standardize your profile to list your college or institutional affiliation at NDU.   Please change your affiliation to one of the following: EXEC/SUPPOR, RESEARCH, JFSC, ES, NWC, IRMC, CISA, or OTHER.  To add/edit your Affiliation with NDU, please select your player profile and edit the Affiliation section.  You can change any of the information in your player profile at any time.

 

However, not all 67 players are playing the same.  For example, we can look at how many cards have been posted by players:

Most players have played very few cards, with about 75% of active players contributing less than 10 cards.  However, you can sees by the graphic below that the inequality is actually even more extreme.

Over half of all cards played have come from just a few players, and the top 10 represent 75% of game play. 

Hopefully this gives you a quick taste of what has happened. Though this week, there will be more posts about the Round 1 data that dive into more details about playing style and content.

As we move into Round 2, the game masters wanted to give some sense of what happened over the last two weeks.  To help you build an understanding of Round 1, we’ve put together a series of ”quick and dirty analyses” below.  It seems that card play has been particularly confusing to new players as they’ve entered the game, so the analysis focuses on the cards rather than the 11 action plans that are also a part of the round. 

This post also may be a helpful way for you to think about what types of data can be pulled from a game like MMOWGLI, and how you can begin to analyze it to find meaning.  All of the analysis below was performed on the data generated by the reports functions, which is available to you at any time during game play (note: the analysis below only runs through play 1700 12Oct2013). While additional cleaning and ordering was required in some cases, the only tools used were either quick internet applications like wordle or Microsoft Excel.  Later posts will include analysis using other, more specialize tools.

Round 2

Round 2 of the dark portal MMOWGLI game has begun! Here's a quick recap of the statistics from Round 1 of the dark portal MMOWGLI game.

  • 230 Registered Users
  • 1300 Idea Cards
  • 11 Action Plans

The purpose of Round 2 is to define the problem we have spent the last weeks exploring fromthe perspective of different stakeholders.  We have created two new top cards Government Perspectives and Non-Government Perspectives and both have number of subcategories (drawn from your discussion in round 1) to help organize your definitions of the problem from each stakeholder's point of view. Top level cards for this round are locked. So, think veritcal for this round!

 

Here are the Seed Cards to get you started.  Define the problem from the persepective of the following:

Government:

Non-Government:

Also remember, as you build a definition of the problem from each perspective, you can request an Action Plan to create a dedicated, longer space.

As you work to define the problem, you may think of more Environmental Elements and Stakeholders that you would like to add to the discussion from Round 1.

Finally, to get caught up on all the cards, please visit our Reports Page.

What is a Wicked Problem?

By TX Hammes, Senior Research Fellow, Institute for National Strategic Studies

As you know, Dark Portal is an open game that is being used across NDU and beyond.   One of the NDU electives using the game is “Wicked Problems in Complex, Chaotic National Security Environment.”  Although this class of problem has existed as long as people have interacted, the label of “wicked”  was express by Rittel and Weber in 1973.  The wicked problems school of thought sees problems as ranging from well-structured to ill-structured or wicked problem.

Well-structured problems are those where the problem can be defined and a solution agreed upon.  It works for predictable systems – like a transmission.  Experts will analyze it, agree on what the problem is, solve it and put it back in operation.   These systems may be very complex – a jet aircraft has thousands of parts – but each part has limited or no freedom of action.  Therefore, they can be understood as an assembly of predictable sub-components.  

Next up the scale of complexity are medium-structured problems.  In these problems, experts usually agree on the problem and the end state but disagree on how to get there.  The problem may be potential terror attacks on the U.S. Capitol.  All can agree it’s a problem.  All agree the end state is a secure Capitol but there are a wide range of potential approaches to that end state – and the experts will not agree on which is best.  

The most difficult problems – and about the only kind senior policy makers deal with -- are ill-structured or wicked problems.  These problems are difficult because of their interactive nature.  In these problems, each part has very wide freedom of action and thus is not predictable.  Think of a marriage.  Only two primary participants but, as can be seen by the divorce rate, highly unpredictable.   When there is a problem in this kind of system, the experts cannot agree on what the problem is much less what the solution is. 

Perhaps the best Cliff Notes on Wicked Problems is the U.S. Army TRADOC Pamphlet 525-5-500 Commander’s Appreciation and Campaign Design.   I know you can’t believe I am recommending an Army manual for clear, concise writing but the fact is if you read pages 4-12, you will have a basic foundation in the concepts and implications of wicked problems.   To make it easy, a link is posted on the MMOGWLI Information page, near the bottom.

Furlough Free

Colleagues,

Dark Portal , the NDU university-wide cybersecurity game has launched, survived the furlough and waiting for you to participate!! It is NOT too late to join-in and win awards for yourself and your components.

So, how do you get started?  Registration is quick and easy.  For those who like directions, follow these steps to get into the game and get started. This applies to all who pre-registered as well.

 

  • Visit the dark portal MMOWGLI game page (https://mmowgli.nps.edu/darkportal) and select the  I'm New to MMOWGLI button. Pick a game name for yourself & tell us a little bit about you.  All personal identifiable information (PII) is kept private. If you are playing as part of your component, identify yourself under Affiliation as you create your player profile.
     
  • Email confirmation.  Since dark portal MMOWGLI is exclusive to NDU students, faculty and staff, we've added an email confirmation step. Please check your email for this confirmation after you create a new account.  If you do not received this email in a timely manner, please send us a Trouble Report (https://portal.mmowgli.nps.edu/trouble).

Play the game, change the game!  Simply click on one of the two top Root Cards to contribute your responses.  To respond to other's ideas, choose from one of four categories: Expand, Counter, Explore, and Adapt.

Want more information? Not sure how to play?  No problem.  Check out our
resources on the dark portal MMOWGLI information page (https://portal.mmowgli.nps.edu/darkportal). It provides a great way to get the overview game information, find resources on cyber security, etc. For the latest game news, read the dark portal MMOWGLI blog (https://portal.mmowgli.nps/darkportal-blog).  You will also find tips on how to play the game and even a quick way to get caught up via the dark portal MMOWGLI Reports Page.

If you have any further questions, contact Gina Cordero, 202-685-2529 or corderog@ndu.edu   We look forward to your contributions! Play the game, change the game!

 


Paulette Robinson, PhD
Deputy Director, Advanced Education Initiatives
Center for Technology and National Security Policy
National Defense University
202-685-4753

Reports Page

Good Evening Players!  We've seen a recent increase in the number of registered participants, so I wanted to use this blog to help players new to the game get caught up.  With over 1,000 Idea Cards played and 10 Action Plans created so far in the game, the Reports Page will help get you up to speed and contributing in no time!

To access the dark portal MMOWGLI Reports Page, simply add "/reports" to the end of the dark portal MMOWGLI url. 

https://mmowgli.nps.edu/darkportal/reports

Once you are on the Reports Page, you can select either Idea Cards or Action Plans to view.  Additionally, you can export the game text to html or xml which might be helpful for papers or reports!

So, what is the Reports Page? The dark portal MMOWGLI Reports Page is your quick overview of all Idea Cards and Action Plans played so far in the game.  While you can certainly flip through individual Idea Cards, card chains, or view the entire spectrum of cards played in the Idea Dashboard, the Reports page allows players to view Idea Cards in an organized template. 

Here, you'll notice that Idea Cards are grouped together by "family" as well as colorcoded and indented.  By scrolling over the text, you'll discover the tooltip that appears, allowing you to read the entire Idea Card. 

Action Plans are also available in the Reports Page.

Now that you know what the Reports Page is and how to use it, we hope you'll be able to jump right in and play the game, change the game!

From Idea Cards to Action Plans

Hello players!  Thank you for your continued contributions despite the government shut down.  So far, over 650 Idea Cards played and 8 Action Plans created!  Speaking of Action Plans...what are they?  How do you create one? Why are they important?

Action Plans are the who, what, why, when and where of one, single Idea Card.  An Action Plan is your opportunity as a player to tell us more about your idea.  In an Action Plan, you are not restricted to 140 characters or less.  In addition, you can even add images and video to enrich your plan. 

Action Plans are important because they are another way to win generate points!  Innovation Points begin to rack up when you create an Action Plan and/or contribute to them.  There are many ways to collaborate on an Action Plan without being an author.  For example, players can contribute their knowledge by adding to the Comments section of an Action Plan.  Players can also vote on the quality of the Action Plan.

Also, Action Plans with a red number need expertise! These are just a few of the ways you can contribute!

Know that you know what an Action Plan is how do you create one?  Simply select the Trouble Report link at the bottom of the game page.  Within the first paragraph, you'll see a link on how to create an Action Plan.  Fill out this form and your request will be answered shortly. 

 

In the end, collaboration on Action Plans is what MMOWGLI is all about.  Generating "knowledge accidents" and making them a concrete plan.  Thanks for your continued contributions.  Play the game, change the game!

Player Profiles

Good Evening dark portal MMOWGLI players! As promised, we'd like to share with you some more MMOWGLI tips.  Today's blog is all about Player Profiles.  Everyone has one, and now you'll know how to use it to your advantage!

In Game Email: Did you know that MMOWGLI has it's own in game email system?  That's right.  If you'd like to reach out to other players, you may do so by sending them an email.  Find the player you'd like to email in the game and select the Send Private Email button.  If this player has elected to receive external mail, they will receive a forwarded copy of their in game mail to their external mail.  If this option is not selected, the player will be able to check their mail the next time they log in.  Remember! All private, identifiable information (PII) is kept confidential.  Player will only be known by their game name when sending and receiving in game mail.

 

My Buddies: In MMOWGLI the number of players participating in the game can rise very quickly!  It can be difficult at best to keep up with everyone.  You'll find that you and certain players begin to collaborate on a regular basis.  To keep track of these players you may choose to follow other players in the game.  To do this, find the player's profile that you would like to follow and select the Follow option.  These players will now show up in your My Buddies tab.

My Favorite Ideas: Another way to keep up with Ideas instead of players is to use the My Favorite Ideas section of your Player Profile. To make an Idea Card your favorite click on the star in the upper right hand corner of the Idea Card you like.  The star color will now change from white to yellow.  Finally, this card will now appear on your Player Profile under My Ideas > My Favorite Ideas.

 

Builds on My Ideas:  As game play continues on, you'll probably interested in seeing who's building on your ideas.  To navigate quickly to this, go to your Player Profile > My Ideas> Builds on my Ideas. 

We hope you'll find these tips helpful as you play the game.  Please be sure to check back with us daily for more MMOWGLI tips and game information.  Thanks for your contributions.  Play the game, change the game.

MMOWGLI Navigation Tips

MMOWGLI Navigation Tips

Hello dark portal MMOWGLI players!  So far we've had an excellent response to the opening of the game. As you contribute your ideas, we'd like to offer you some navigation tips to help you find your way around the game.  As always, if you have any questions, concerns or comments, please don't hesitate to fill out a Trouble Report.

Idea Dashboard:  This button allows players to view every card that has been played in the game to date.  By scrolling over the text in the cards, you will notice a tooltip that displays the entire text of the card.  This way you don't have to individually click through every, single card to get caught up.  Next, you'll notice there are a number of filters in place.  If you're only interested in Counter cards or Super-Active card chains, you can display just that set of cards in the game.  The Idea Dashboard is extremely helpful if you've come into the game a little late and need to get caught up!

View Card Chain:  The Idea Dashboard gives you a macro overview of all the cards played in the game, the View Card Chain button gives you the micro.  If you're participating in an Idea chain that becomes lengthy, this button allows players to view all the cards that have been played in this thread.  Cards are color coded and indented to quickly give a visual indication of each card type and relationship to the Parent card.

 

Marking Favorites:  In MMOWGLI, you may find yourself having favorite cards or ideas.  There's a way to mark those cards in the game so you can quickly identify them.  In the upper right-hand corner of each card is a white star.  Simply click on the star to mark that card as a favorite.  The color will change from white to yellow.  Now, whenever you select your player profile, you'll see a list of all the cards you've marked as favorites.

 

Tomorrow's topic will be Player Profiles so please check the blog each day for helpful hints and the latest game news.

Thanks for your contributions! Play the game, change the game!

Dark Portal MMOWGLI Update

Notice to players: the MMOWGLI games are not being shut down due to the lapse in federal government funding. Participants who are active duty or International Students are encouraged to play as we do have a Game Master on contract.

Players can still submit a Trouble Report, but any game infrastructure issues will not be able to be addressed until the furlough has ended.

dark portal MMOWGLI is Open

Welcome NDU students, faculty and staff to dark portal MMOWGLI!  The Dark Portal exercise provides a forum for information exchange and consensus decision-making in the context of a major national security event.  Participants will examine the gravity, complexity, and difficulty inherent in responding to a series of physical and cyber incidents affecting critical infrastructures and key assets in the United States and will explore potential responses to those incidents.

This is the first NDU-wide project that's ever been undertaken to harness the minds of the faculty and students to generate innovative approaches to a significant National Security problem. Our goal in creating dark portal MMOWGLI is to experience how this type of gaming platform can be used for education, brainstorming, and addressing complex problems.  Crowd sourcing has proven to be a very effective way to find creative approaches to tough issues and participating in this MMOWGLI will give you a hands-on understanding of how this is accomplished.

You can win NDU awards for your game play for yourself as an individual and for your component.  Awards will be presented at an NDU townhall!

So how do you get started?  Registration is quick and easy.  Follow these steps to get into the game and get started!

1. Visit the dark portal MMOWGLI game page and select, "I'm New to MMOWGLI"

 

2. Pick a game name & tell us a little bit about yourself! (All PII is kept confidential!)

 

 

3. Log in and watch the Call to Action video!

Hint: Not sure how to play? Check our our resources on the portal!  The Player's Portal is a great way to get the latest game information, find resources on cyber security, and of course, read the blog!

4. Play the game, change the game!  Simply click on one of the two top Root Cards to contribute your responses.  To respond to other's ideas, choose from one of four categories: Expand, Counter, Explore, and Adapt.

Hint: Have a question, suggestion, or difficulty??  Fill out a Trouble Report!

Dark Portal Opening Early

With the possibility of a government shut-down,  NPS has agreed to open the Dark Portal game a day early on September 30th.  Check out the blog for guidance on how to log into the game on Monday when it is open!

Welcome to Dark Portal MMOWGLI

Welcome to Round 1 of NDU's Dark Portal MMOWGLI!

Round 1 explores the Environment.  Together we will examine and explore the following questions: 

  • What authorities/statutes/laws govern US Department/Agency contribution to the task?  How do public and private sector actors respond?  Are there other methods or policies that should be explored to better respond to the environment we are operating in?
  • What are the mechanisms/authorities/incentives/disincentives that facilitate (or halt) collaboration with private sector entities and international partners?
  • What are the implications of government and/or private sector action or inaction?

Once we understand the environment, we can move towards framing the problem in Round Two.

Your contributions are essential. Please join in. The portal is a great information resource for game play. Check the blog for game news. Thanks for your ideas. Play the game, change the game!

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