‘Serious game’ to help PQC migration

The global actor system of PKI users is largely decentralized, with a few global regulating bodies that provide useful insight ranging from technological standards to responsible innovation frameworks. For PKI users in the Netherlands, there is one national regulating body, which is a subsidiary of the Government (Logius) and functions as the national PKI authority, but only for the public sector. However, PKI is a ubiquitous cybersecurity system and is used by actors in both the public and private sectors, including both users and developers. Thus posing challenges for its governance and the orchestration of a transition to quantum-safe (QS) PKI when only one sector can be reached and governed, leaving at least half the market out of the loop. To overcome this hurdle, HAPKIDO proposes a serious game that facilitates users in the transition.

A serious game can be understood as a game that does not seek entertainment as its main purpose, and the HAPKIDO game more specifically seeks to explore genre of educational and simulation games. It does so by simulating real-life scenarios for a group of players, presenting them with transition related tasks that they have to solve within a given timeframe. The game aims to highlight multiple relevant parts of the transition, such as the element of time, urgency, risk, and collaboration both within and across organizations, as well as raise awareness of the impending transition and facilitate knowledge-sharing amongst PKI actors, establish readiness, and facilitate a general level of comprehension of the complexity of the case.

To do so, the game centres on three core elements: awareness, comprehension, and collaboration. The goal of the game is to impact the players to such an extent that the knowledge and insight gained from the game can extend into real-life.

Game playing sessions are currently being hosted by the developer to continue evaluation and development of the game until its ability to achieve its goal is fully scientifically verifiable. The game is currently being played with public sector employees across the policy and municipal levels, with collaboration from members of Dutch Government’s the Post-Quantum Transition Group. The final results of the game and its impact will be published in future project reports.