Cover: On Free-Form Gaming

On Free-Form Gaming

Published 1985

by William M. Jones


Download eBook for Free

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 2.1 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.


Purchase Print Copy

 Format Price
Add to Cart Paperback56 pages $23.00

This Note describes the procedures, appropriate uses, and limitations of the free-form game. It discusses free-form gaming as a procedure for organized study of the complex problems entailed in confrontations and crises, whether between nations or within organizations. The author suggests that to be useful, a study game must have a substantively informed design and playing teams whose members, in combination, bring knowledge of the issues and processes being simulated into the exercise. Free-form games have a number of limitations: They cannot adequately represent the multiple and diverse staff and systems operations that go on in "real life" national crises; they rarely can be used to cover a simulated crisis from beginning to end; and they do not lend themselves to detailed and mechanically rigorous comparative analysis across several games.

This report is part of the RAND note series. The note was a product of RAND from 1979 to 1993 that reported other outputs of sponsored research for general distribution.

This research in the public interest was supported by RAND, using discretionary funds made possible by the generosity of RAND's donors, the fees earned on client-funded research, and independent research and development (IR&D) funds provided by the Department of Defense.

This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit

RAND is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.