miercuri, 25 octombrie 2017

The Harmless Spheres of Games – From Game to Thinking and Military Action

The Harmless Spheres of Games – From Game to Thinking and Military Action
(Simpozion Asociaţia Internaţională de Simulare şi Jocuri - ISAGA 1998)

 “The love and wisdom of a child are the GAME
The game and wisdom of a young man are the LOVE
The love and the game of an old man are the WISDOM
In this work, the socio-philosophical category of game and playing is approached, by creating definitions and interpretation specific to the fields and the human action spheres. From all of these, parallel ideas concerning the pragmatic and ideational effort of the military action are extracted, giving a strong and a very object orientation, very grave, in correlation the military act. The determinant role of the computer is also suggested and is supported with arguments belonging to science, to the technical and scientific discoveries in the modeling of military “games”, as a complementary factor of the optimization of all the actions of the referenced field.
1. Definitions
2. The beginning of the military game
3. The military game in its actual stage. Modeling
4. The role of the computer in the modeling of the military games

During the entire socio-human evolution the objective principle of the perfect integration into the environmental structures and into the structures of knowing the Universe, in which the “being” gifted with thinking will perfect itself, created and validated determinations and causalities in a reciprocity report. In this report, the “game” became a means, a factor and an objective of each evolutional stage (of age, of knowledge and praxis), becoming a mobile, decisive sometimes, for the entire human perfectibility.
“To play” means to act during a limited period of time, after certain given, but restrictive, rules with the purpose of achievement and interactional partnership. There are life stages when these coordinates are not completely known, but they address to certain automatisms and reflexes, any methodical or perspective spirit being missing. These belong to the biologic status that is determined by time and which, due to aging, becomes recessive but not cancelled, become latent and can develop anytime during the biological, psychological and social evolution of the human being, at any age. From this point, the ludic aspect of the first manifestations of life can be appreciated, manifestations which, gradually, will turn into game and, later, through a new development, will become arguments of will and attitude, with very serious consequences sometimes.
The act of playing can be defined as a moment of inspiration, inventiveness and creation, as a sequence of spontaneous action and as an act of joy and spiritual satisfaction. Playing is specific to all ages; therefore it characterizes life and seems to be a way out of normality and a manifested explosion of the volitional character.
The “game” and the “playing” can be, through reciprocal substitution, elements of the same context or meta-context when they use the mind and force of each individual at maximum. They receive a great social relevance when they are anticipative in the mind of the individual of the next stages. Each from of game manifestation has an “enigma” inside and a competition spirit which will be concretized in spatial, cognitive and surprise dimensions, according to individual’s age and own particularities.
It is necessary for a strict demarcation to be made between the notion of playing, which is attributed, especially, to the childhood and which generates a ludic condition par excellence, and the notion of game, which is a determination which implies more profoundly the rational, the logic, the order and the finality. This determination is specific to a temporary period of life which is indefinite, “à la longue”.
Both playing and game represent a sphere which includes a large variety of human experiences and even more. Therefore, the game can succeed the act of playing but, according to the age at which it addresses, it can precede it sometimes. Thereby, a global and/or an inter-phenomenal analysis of the great sphere of game are required. Thus, the new and the novelty in the sphere of games are a novel way which compel to the effort of discovery, receptivity, thoroughness and continuous invention.
All these negations of the “lines of normality” belong to the human nature and they imply a superior way of reconsideration of the idea of normality and of the conception of normal, vis-à-vis the diversity of the spheres of human activity.
Therefore, the game is perceived as another way of manifestation of the human personality in its entirety, assuming norms and rules and even objectives and goals, particularly important and grave or, on the contrary, facile and welcoming, playing a stimulating and beneficial role on it.
That is why, in the dimension of thought and of military action, the game, as a philosophical notion and act of life must be accepted as a new way of perceiving the surrounding reality, of transforming and transfiguring it on the way of creativity and inventiveness, in the context of elaboration of certain plans and strategies which are particularly responsible and important.

The field of military training and military confrontations was, along the time, marked – often decisively – by the need of conformation to these manifestations of the being and of the social, the battles being, in countless situations, a certain type of affection. They could respect the conventions of a “game” at real dimensions or not.
Thereby, the ancient populations, which often were in a state of war, due to various reasons, had enough possibilities to develop some rudimentary game scenarios, often familial or among convivial associations, at a micro-group or a socially determined formation scale, respecting the transitivity from playing to game and, globally, from “game” to “war”.
Projected in the sphere of “belligerence”, the moment of antiquity gives us unquestionable arguments that, sometimes, primary forms that would later determine the evolved dimensions by overbidding the game and the non-game, by negating the state of normality and/or latency, by catching the possibility of the manifestation of the idea of harmony and incongruence existed even from the “initial” state.
First of all, man conformed to the fauna of the time, due to biological needs, fear or the impossibility of a profound knowledge of the natural phenomena, exacerbating the mythological valences, seeing a friend or a foe, an associate or an opponent in everything surrounding him.
In the Black Sea – Aegean Sea or the East – Mediterranean or the Persian – Caucasian area, the ancients (the Hittites, the Greek or the Babylonian), when overwhelmed by forces of extreme harshness, found the rules of the games in a “placid waiting” for the macabre game, sacrificing a part of their community or retreating into temples, often into a recrudescence of the amplification of the fighting “game”. The first iron knife, as a weapon, was not created by chance by a Hittite craftsman, who mimed the rule of a “dynastic family” game in order to counteract the insubordination tendencies of the disobedient individuals and collectivities. Metal weapons were used afterwards in defensive purposes against man or against the “offensive” of certain strong and ferocious animals (elephants, tigers, lions, dragons and then horses, oxen, aurochs). After the process of taming, the well-known chariots and battering rams were attached to them, thereby serving certain rules of adaption to the environmental conditions and to the conditions imposed by the situation of the confrontation. They were all elements of the military “arsenal” in the strategy and the tactics of their time, as a projection of the microsystems that characterize the game.
The leaders with religious, political and military opinions built towers, fortifications, then citadels and even fortified mountains, as in the case of the North- and South-Danubian Dacians, developing the conventions and the knowledge about the game, as a factor of the natural existence in the evolution of the communities, subordinating everything – afterwards – to the ideas of the intangibility of the cohabitation space and of the supremacy of the leader.
The periods of historical evolution enriched and amplified some elements of manifestation of the game, surpassing the level of “innocence”, naivety and empirical, reaching the level of its perfectibility, premeditation and implication in the social need. It is true that the reverse phenomenon also manifested but the material evolution and revolution in various fields led to the necessity of creating a codex of fundamental rules meant to sublime the concept of playing and game turning it into the concept of defense and offense (attack), at the real request and for the real coordinates.
Nevertheless, putting its valences into subsidiary, “the game” gained ingenuity and applicability valor at a macro-social level. Along with the social stratification, in the empire of confrontation and of the idea of possession, the game became an attribute of the people with power, a way of satisfaction and delight, even if the finality was of a macabre essence, often promoting the sadism.
The Roman arenas propelled only those people who – regardless of the means – were victorious, even if the number of deaths was indefinite. The ritual of throwing into a chasm, decapitation, mutilation, targeting certain symbols of vital organs (head, heart) by arrow piercing or splitting, all these are the signs of the exacerbation of the initial forms of game, which were imbued with macabre concept regarding the ways of life. The exercise of the gladiators – which led afterwards to the acceptance of the space of competition and fight at the level of individual or group, in the slave-owning, feudal and post-medieval epochs – consecrated “evolved” forms such as bow shooting, duel and crossbow piercing. The creation of firearms – even in rudimentary forms – transformed the multitude of ancient and medieval battles into the leveling of still or in movement “targets”. Still, we must notice that, along with the “developed” forms of battle, the old ones are still kept, they co-exist, some of them even having prehistoric roots.
But there was a permanent evaluation and re-evaluation of the so-called “traditions of confrontation” during the succession of the eras, in terms of belligerence, the phenomenon of innovation and discovering becoming a characteristic attribute of the great leading personalities, not eluding completely certain conceptions of defense and offense, even if their origin is lost into the proto-history.
The “war games” that were elaborated and scenarized with over 3000 years B.C. in the Imperial China with the “investment” and the “encirclement”, as a modality of the success of the WEI-HAI dynasty, founded by prestigious military theoreticians such as SUN-TZI, have correspondents in the Japanese arsenal under the generic of GO, finding a validation and a real possibility of applicability also in the Sumerian capital of UR, about 2000 years later.
Overrating the creative potential of the collectivities and societies that would follow, these forms and modalities found their projection in the medieval and post-medieval period, in military or paramilitary organizations of a Phalangist or caste type until the time of Frederic the Great.
The homerism and the gigantism of belligerence have been cultivated, having as incipient manifestations the dimensions of the game at a planetary scale. Their causes can be found in the need of retaliation which is given in a consensus with the grade of megalithism of the state social organization.
As a consequence of the evolution of the human communities, the formalization of the defense concept, in the broadest sense, has also brought with itself, volens-nolens, the formalization of the concept of battle formation, with the finality of the organization of the first military structures. The pedestal of this ample and twisted process actually lies in the primary forms mentioned above, which are now developed and perfected according to the current social traditions.
The bosses, the leaders of certain battle formations ensured the firmness of the preparation for future confrontations through physical hardening, training, printing of the spirit of sacrifice into thought, instituting an interweaving of certain inherited methods to play macabre games with the ones which are positioned on the principles of the battle experiences – even if they are at the beginning – on the principles of competition and of conscious argumentation of victory, of the reaching of the desired goal.

Physical strength, as a fundamental element of the ancient games, was completed with the ingenuity of the later strategies, which represented an evolutional step towards the foreseeing of the possibility of victory, in conformity with the political conjectural imperatives. Pre-modern societies selectively took, perfected and innovated other ways of serving the military action, of serving the armed game.
Progressively, in a consensus with the social evolution, the particular type games, family, micro-group and territorial social unity games specific to certain past historical stages gained the fundamental features of the developed war game; it represents an example of dynamic simulation of the decisions made in a conflictual situation, which implied people and battle materials, strategies and superior tactics, with thoroughly contoured purposes and juridical motivations based on the idea of margin, border, social wealth and ethnic intangibility.
Game wars were and are an ideational representation of certain conflictual situations, which implied people and specific “battle materials”, strategies and special tactics, imaginative or real, in which both the sides claimed the object of victory and, depending on it, they perfected both their individual preparation and the preparation of the material elements, using the infrastructure and the superstructure as dimensions of the military action.
Thereby, the typical manifestations of a military “game” were modeled through specific modern means. Fundamental or secondary aspects of the particular type were considered, evaluating the construction of models and interdependence of the involved sides, the optimum and thorough solution being sought in the context of a certain conflict.
World wars or the state of belligerence between great lands or peoples compelled to a continuous improvement – as an element of instruction and preparation through “war games” – it being perfected in a total state of conspiracy, secrecy or as a method of intimidation, in a state of full general knowledge, regarding the psychology of human communities, of political and military leaders, with the purpose of gaining strategic or operational advantages.
The simulation of certain games with a close character and with a particular addressability also became in many armies and situations – whether it was peace or a declared state of war – a current method of high military diplomacy meant to create so-called “influence zones” by using – respecting the proportions – the most sophisticated means and ways of waging a “war game”.
The history of humanity, but also the contemporary international political situation, brings unquestionable arguments of the reuse of the ancient forms and conventions of the “game”, of their exacerbation through means which the actual science and civilization possess. Therefore, they are seen as a beneficial and stimulating factor even today; they are seen to be generators of good in the life of man, from the earliest age to full maturity. Their rules also represented an object of the military research and action, becoming an element with strong implications, on multiple plans, in the great arsenal of strategic-operative-tactical conceptions of all the armies of this world.
The term of “game”, inherited from our ancestors, totally changed its meanings and signification, it amplified and diversified itself and led to the elaboration of new concepts and social-military categories as: exercise, enemy, progress, battle unit, tactics, operation, strategy, theater of operations, target range, application, etc., which nowadays armies are currently operating with. Although – consciously or unconsciously – the primordial element of their evolution – the “game” – it remains a natural form of manifestation of man, which brings diversity in thought and action even in the military field.
Thereby it is confirmed that the exhaustive appreciations of the military sociologist ARTUR COLLINS, who states that the success in battle of some armies does not depend on exhaustiveness of great maneuvers but – especially – on the ingenuity, intelligence and the spirit of inventiveness which manifest at the convenient time – as a consequence of the actual situation – all of them having their origin in the very well known “games”, which – afterwards – became “war games”.
Surprisingly, even after the discovering and producing of the nuclear weapons and systems, they, before being real forces of destruction, were and remained – as an element of discouragement and influence – an oversized planetary model of the initial rules of the “game”, as a general acceptation.

In nowadays conditions, besides using the classic weaponry or the ultramodern one, the “war games” also seek to know the immediate or lasting effect in the presumptive operations, the danger of their use even though they will be instrumented or not in a given or determined time.
Besides the other elements of evolution, preparation and soldierly instruction, ample military doctrines exist today and they also position the theoretical and practical valences of the “war games” at the base of their conception. Super-intellectualized and ultramodern, they imply the use of modern technics, of the latest discoveries from field of informatics, microelectronics, robotics and artificial intelligence.
The introduction of computers in the modeling and electronic simulation of the military games is catches at a high interest, they currently being a part of the endowment of the fighting troops. Examples: the known games with technical means, the games with developed means of programming such as TACSPIEL, STAGE, GENEX and other, which are being used even nowadays by some states with a long warlike action, in different zones of the globe, in some regional conflicts.
Given the superior way of the conception of modern military actions, of reaching the desired goal, of elaborating certain developed strategies of the national armies and of the particularities from country to country, of assuming certain geographical spaces with significant material resources or with valor of a military interest (bases, strategic points, the definition of certain beach heads with the purpose of a perspectival action), the scientific research of this profile even took the methodology of the “war game” in order to improve it and to adapt it to the conditions of the current historical moment. Thus, extremely effective forms and solutions were elaborated in order for the “game”, with its equivalent that simulates the offense and the defense, to become a real method of psychological intimidation. This was possible by exposing the battle technics and material, by creating an unquestionable authority and by raising the military prestige. Secondly, even political, diplomatic and economic successes were gained in the interstate relations. The informatics research certainly had an important role here, both in the formation of the strategy of the games and in the evaluation of the results.
In our epoch, threatened by the institution in the planetary area of the very well known “arms race”, in which the factor of the destruction dimension of certain armies became a competition of maximum amplitude, even international military organisms were created, as a contemporary necessity, named “blocks”, which, declaratively, appointed themselves as defensive, keeping-of-peace organisms but which, essentially, are inspired by primary elements of the “game”. They have an inner potential which highlights the possibility of the unleashing of certain conflicts with devastating results. This is proof that the non-preserving of the games of a “game” of the classic type can generate conflicts. Until now, since their creation, these blocks have only initiated conflicts, but quenched not even one.
Paradoxically, the political consciousness of the entire planet is forcefully connected to this “macabre game”. Even if the rules and the means of action of a certain “game” of this type are known and amplified only by some political and/or military leaders who draw artificial limits of a particular interest on the world map, often the rules are not understood by the common man, they are actually against him. With all the antipathy that war inspires to the common man, he can only be attracted into this “grandiose game”, but with unfortunate effects.
The political reason, the new international democratic relations, the more and more authoritative voice of the peoples, of certain leaders of states and governments highlighting the supreme ideal of the defense of the life on Earth in a more and accentuated way, as well as the arguments of global ecology make some traps and conceptions about the world war “game” to be denied today. Superior forms and methods of coexistence are sought, forms of promotion of certain modalities of cohabitation and peaceful resolution of the disputes, as well as progressive rules of action and conduct. Peoples, states and governments support the aforementioned attitudes, which are meant to serve the purposes if global peace, abolishing with a determination those classic structural forms which are promoting the principle of disunion, of opposition against the system and the block, against the universal peace and tranquility.
The solutions against conflicts also represent the object of an ample informational analysis, which is treatable and even treated with the aid of cybernetic means, considering the multitude of data that needs to be correlated. Such a situation was reached that the global peace can no longer be reduced to the peace of man, to the peace of peoples, but has to be extended to the peace of everything that is alive on our planet.
The aggression against nature that was done by man during the last two centuries is so strong that life, in its entirety, has its existence endangered. It is possible, in time, for some professional armies, meant to act on the two dimensions of the military game (offense-defense) to be directed to fight against ecological aggressions. The redoubtable concentration of force and power of organization of any military system, by tradition, makes possible the conversion of the initial, primary purposes in order to resolve the most important, the amplest and the more generalized current conflict, “the man-nature conflict”.
We hope that in the third millennium, man will understand that this planet belongs to all the creatures which accompanied its existence.

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