Training Videogames Bought By Defense Intelligence Agency

Simulation studio Visual Purple has supplied three custom designed videogames to the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency. The goal is to help bring the next generation of U.S. intelligence analysts up to speed.

Given a choice between a droning classroom lecture or a videogame, the best method for teaching Generation Y was obvious. "It is clear that our new workforce is very comfortable with this approach," says Bruce Bennett, chief of the analysis-training branch at the DIA's Joint Military Intelligence Training Center.

The three games, Sudden Thrust, Vital Passage, and Rapid Onset have multiple story lines that branch depending on the player's choices. A typical game takes from 90 minutes to 3 hours.

The games are all intended to focus the player's attention on how we know what we know. Approved analytical process are followed to solve the game.


(Terrorist watches hostage)

This development continues the trend in using computer gaming as a way to develop talented "players' for real-world intelligence analysis and military life. See America's Army And The Last Starfighter and the America's Army Arcade Game for earlier examples.

Since the players can make choices that affect the outcome of the game, these kinds of games are the first step to providing full real-time game-like simulations of real-world events. (One of the above-mentioned games, Vital Passage, begins with scenes of a tanker under attack in the Persian Gulf during the Iran-Iraq war.) Frank Herbert wrote about this kind of technology in The Dosadi Experiment:

He entered a larger space full of projection-room gloom with shadowed figures seated facing a holographic focus on his left. McKie identified Jedrik by her profile, slipped into a seat beside her...

McKie saw that every seat in the room had an arm keyed to the simulations. The figures at the focus were being adjusted to the combined memories [of those present].
(Read more about the personality simulator)

Via Wired.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 4/30/2008)

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