I managed to sneak some wargaming reading material away with me on half-term holiday as well as some miniatures to assemble and paint (WWII 28mm Warlord Games Soviets and a quite random collection of things from a hobby shop). In particular I read a reference I had picked up from UK Connections 2016 on "Why Wargaming Works" by Peter Perla and Ed McGrady, the latter who was speaking at the conference and also had the opportunity to socially chat with afterwards on the 'hobby' side of things (see below, it can be obtained via the link at the Connections UK website:Why Wargaming Works):
An interesting read; key points being 'the suspension of disbelief' as the gamer enters the 'game state', the power and the effect of the game and the fear of those in charge ("high starring generals" and "policy makers") who don't understand the "white magic" people experience when they are let to 'play' with their imagination and think things outside of the expected doctrinal responses. Wargaming provides a relatively low cost way to access the power to cut through reams of statistics and create live-events that coalesce the experience into meaningful dynamics, outside the participants normal 'comfort zone', for example by facing up to a broken plan and having to fix it within a limited time frame. Therein lives the commitment dilemma, to fix it you have to own it, to own involves responsibility for mistakes and transparency. Something as a hobbyist I can easily endure and walk away from (unhurt but perhaps with reflective frustration), but when your professional career is on the line, good luck - you just need to win almost at any cost. Fore reference to these dragons I would recommend listening to Stephen Downs-Martin for the perils encountered here ;)
PS: I still think the article is actually a brilliant read! If you get a chance listen to the audio of their various talks at UK Connections. As I mentioned I managed to catch Ed McGrady and he is a commendable speaker that really draws you in to the subject matter.