James "Pigeon" Fielder joined CSU as an Instructor after retiring from the U.S. Air Force as a Lieutenant Colonel and Associate Professor of Political Science at the U.S. Air Force Academy. He is also serving as a Marine Corps University Non-Resident Krulak Fellow for academic years 2021-2026, is the Director of Professional and Educational Games for Mobius Worlds Publishing, and consults on organizational wargaming, crisis response exercises, and scenario planning.

Dr. Fielder researches interpersonal trust and emergent political processes through cyber-based interaction, and through tabletop and live-action gaming as natural experiments (also known as ludology, or the study of games and gameplay). He also has over two decades of experience designing, executing, and assessing training exercises and wargames, from small-group tabletop discussions to multi-day exercises engaging 5,000+ participants. He is also a managing editor of Active Learning in Political Science, associate editor of Simulation & Gaming, on the editorial board of The MORS Journal of Wargaming, was a TEDxMileHigh speaker on games, and has been interviewed on game-related topics by Reuters, USA Today, and NBC News. In addition to the professional publications detailed below, Pigeon is also writing a steampunk setting and a post-apocalyptic setting for the Prowlers & Paragons roleplaying system.

He received his military callsign (or nickname) for having pet pigeons, including one bird, Heathcliff, that he's had since 1996!


Harvey, Mark, James D. Fielder, and Ryan G (Eds.). Games without Frontiers: Simulations and Games in the Political Science Classroom. Taylor & Francis, August 2022.

Fielder, James D. “Ghosts of the Titanomachy: Structure, Commitment, Economics, and Risk as Causal Mechanisms in an Online Battle.” Simulation & Gaming. Vol 53, No 3 (2022): 265-284.

Fielder, James. D. Current World Problems. Dubuque, Iowa: Kendall Hunt, 2021. (2nd Edition forthcoming August 2022).

Fielder, James D. “Cyber Security Policy in Kenya.” In Romaniuk, Scott N., and Mary Manjikian (Eds.). Routledge Companion to Global Cyber-Security Strategy. New York: Routledge, January 2021.

Fielder, James D. “Building the Magic Circle in Online GamesAround the Table, Q4 2020: 24-27.

Fielder, James D. “Start on Day 3: Liminality in High-Stress Wargames.” Ludogogy no. 8, 4 November 2020.

Fielder, James D. “The Monsters Among Us: Realism and Constructivism in ‘The World of Darkness’ Roleplaying Game Setting.” In Picariello, Damien (Ed.). The Politics of Horror. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2020.

Fielder, James D. “Reflections on Teaching Wargame Design.” War on the Rocks, 1 January 2020

Fielder, James D. 2019. “The Narrative History of the Chocolate Wars: Designing a Short and Tasty Bargaining Game.” Journal of Political Science Education, Vol 15, No 1 (2019): 82- 93.

The Pigeon’s Checklist for Classroom Game Design.” Active Learning in Political Science, 4 February 2019.

Fielder, James D. The Internet and Dissent in Authoritarian States. In "Conflict and Cooperation in Cyberspace: The Challenge to National Security," edited by Panayotis A. Yannakogeorgos and Adam B. Lowther, 161-194. New York: Taylor & Francis, 2013.

Fielder, James D. “Bandwidth Cascades: Escalation and Pathogen Models for Cyber Conflict Diffusion.” Small Wars Journal 9(6): 2013.

First Generation Story

I have my mother's sacrifices to forever thank for being first gen. She was a single parent until I was 16 and scraped together every dime she had to send me and my twin brother to college. She also worked in The Washington Post's classified ads department for 36 years and, lacking reliable childcare options, regularly brought us the Post where we met numerous journalists, printers, and even editorial cartoonists such as Herblock. Between being immersed in the newspaper world and watching the evening news with my grandfather ("Pops"), I was eagerly drawn into the narrative of current events, politics, and history as it happened. I joined the U.S. Army after college partially to offset college loan burdens my mother took on, never thinking I'd make a career of the military--if someone told me on the first day of Army Basic Training that I'd retire as an Air Force officer teaching at the U.S. Air Force Academy, I'd of told them they were nuts. My mother now lives near my brother (a Red Hat Consulting Architect) in the sleepy oyster town of Rock Hall, MD. She's definitely earned her roosting!


  • POLS 131 – Current World Problems

  • POLS 347 – Comparative Authoritarianism

  • Game Design Handout


    I created this handout for fellow Colorado State University Faculty. I use the game design checklist for every game, exercise, and scenario I run and it works like a charm! The handout also includes recommended readings, software solutions, and a broad selection of games to improve your mechanics repertoire. Feel free to share… and keep me in mind if you need a Game Master. :-)