Welcome to the Berkeley Risk and Security Lab Podcast. Where technology, politics, and security converge.

Our podcast brings together guest specialists who delve into an array of captivating topics to broaden our perspectives. Join us as we unravel the intricate connections between society, innovation, and safety.

Season 1: Shall We Play a Game?

Welcome to the Risk Calculus, a podcast from the UC Berkeley Risk and Security Lab, where we explore pressing questions at the intersection of technology and national security.

In our first five-part mini-series, Professor Andrew Reddie takes a deep dive into an old way of thinking about risks that is being applied in new ways both here at the lab and beyond—wargaming. The renaissance of wargaming in academic and policy circles, along with a growing public interest in this approach to risk analysis, make it an ideal time to examine the method’s past, present, and future. What is a wargame? Who designs and plays these games? And how should we interpret what they tell us?

To unpack these questions, Andrew is joined by guests working at the cutting edge of research and practice.

Reading List


The Art of Wargaming: A Guide for Professionals and Hobbyists
Peter Perla and John Curry (1990)

Little Wars
H.G. Wells (1913)

Andrew Wilson’s The Bomb and the Computer The History of Professional Wargaming 1780-1968
John Curry and Andrew Wilson (2014)

The Craft of Wargaming: A Detailed Planning Guide for Defense Planners and Analysts
Robert Burks, Jeff Appleget, and Fred Cameron (2020)

War Games: The Secret World of the Creators, Players, and Policy Makers Rehearsing World War III Today
Thomas B. Allen (1987)

Journal Articles, Chapters, and Dissertations

Evidence of the Unthinkable: Experimental Wargaming at the Nuclear Threshold
Andrew W. Reddie and Bethany L. Goldblum, Journal of Peace Research (2022)

Next-generation wargames: Technology enables new research designs, and more data
Andrew W. Reddie, Bethany L. Goldblum, Kiran Lakkaraju, Jason Reinhardt, Michael Nacht, and Laura Epifanovskaya, Science (2018)

Would U.S. Leaders Push the Button? Wargames and the Sources of Nuclear Restraint
Reid Pauly, International Security (2018)

Hacking Nuclear Stability: Wargaming Technology, Uncertainty, and Escalation
Jacquelyn Schneider, Benjamin Schechter, and Rachael Shaffer, International Organization (2023)

Wargaming for International Relations Research
Erik Lin-Greenberg, Reid B.C. Pauly, and Jacquelyn Schneider, European Journal of International Relations (2021)

Wargames as Data: Addressing the Wargamer’s Trilemma
Andrew W. Reddie, Ruby E. Booth, Bethany L. Goldblum, Kiran Lakkaraju, and Jason Reinhardt, in Cyber Wargaming (2024)

Building Better Games for Policy Analysis Ellie Bartels, RAND (2020)
Moral Choices Without Moral Language: 1950s Political-Military

Wargaming at the RAND Corporation
John R. Emery, Texas National Security Review (2021)

Other Media

Film directed by John Badham (1983)

Wargaming and Crisis Simulation Initiative
Directed by Jacquelyn Schneider, the
Wargaming and Crisis Simulation Initiative has put together a wargaming archive, with publicly available wargaming data.