Conflict simulation, peacebuilding, and development

Daily Archives: 13/11/2010

ICT moves to new facilities

We’ve previously discussed a number of the cutting-edge simulations that have been developed by the USC Institute for Creative Technologies, in particular those focused on counter-insurgency and other military operations. With ICT’s recent move into new facilities in Playa Vista on October 28, there’s been renewed coverage of their work, including these pieces in the USC Daily Trojan, the Los Angeles Times and Engadget.

Those interested in the development of virtual reality and other simulations may find the reports of interest.

Cuba, zombies, and training psychopaths

PaxSims readers may remember the controversy over the play-as-Taliban option in the recent videogame Medal of Honor (subsequently resolved by simply renaming the Taliban-looking team in multiplayer mode “OpFor”). Now we have another case of videogames and international sensitivities:  Cuban furor at the try-to-assassinate-Castro mission in Call of Duty: Black Ops.

According to the pro-Cuban website CubaDebate:

What the government of the United States did not achieve in more than 50 years, it now intends to do virtually. The video game “Call of Duty: Black Ops”, released Tuesday worldwide, takes the player into the environment of War Cold and planning special operations, the first one of which is to assassinate the leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro.

The company says its new version of Activision’s “Call of Duty” on the internet can play up to 18 people simultaneously, which guarantees virtual armed clashes and spectacular assassinations, undoubted entertainment for psychopaths.

The logic of this new game is doubly perverse: firstly, it glorifies the attacks that the United States government illegally planned against the Cuban leader (Fidel has survived more than 600), and on the other hand, it encourages sociopathic attitudes of American children and adolescents, the main consumers of these virtual games….

Unfortunately, there’s not yet an official Cuban comment on the game’s surprise “extra” ending, which pits John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Robert McNamara, and a very-much-alive Fidel Castro against a horde of zombies overrunning the Pentagon.

Now back to our more serious PaxSims discussions..


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