Conflict simulation, peacebuilding, and development

Daily Archives: 11/06/2010

virtual GI Joe and Jane

According to a recent article in the government and technology newsletter NextGov, the US military is canvassing industry and academia on the possibility of constructing a Second Life-style virtual world for military training and other purposes:

Army wants to build a massive virtual world to train soldiers

Bob Brewin, 7 June 2010

The Army wants to develop a massive virtual world populated by 10,000 avatars that are managed by artificial intelligence and operate over a 32-mile square simulated landscape.

Officials at the Army Research, Development and Engineering Command’s Simulation and Technology Training Center said they want a systems integrator to put together a virtual world that includes soldiers, vehicles and weapons that can move around a landscape built from Defense Department digital terrain elevation data.

The Simulation and Technology Training Center also said in its request for information that it wants to incorporate technologies used in massively multiplayer online games and offer classified and unclassified versions.

The Army is looking for the contractor to create avatars that have the same kind of Web 2.0 communications found in the real world, including chat, instant messaging and links to smart phones….

The full solicitation can be found online at the Federal Business Opportunities website. There has been increasing interest in government and the military on virtual worlds for a variety of potential purposes, as indicated by the Federal Virtual World Challenge sponsored by the Simulation and Training Technology Center of the US Army Research, Developing and Engineering Command.

Let’s hope that the military’s virtual world doesn’t include some of the horrifying perils of virtual life in Second Life. There’s just no way you can train soldiers for those….

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