PAXsims

Conflict simulation, peacebuilding, and development

Daily Archives: 20/03/2020

KWN: Online workshop on gaming the pandemic

KWN

Ivanka Barzashka, Director of the Wargaming Network at King’s College London, has announced an online workshop on (war)gaming the current COVID-19 pandemic:

We will postpone Strategic Wargaming Week to a later date to focus on using wargaming techniques to understand the impacts of the pandemic and to inform decision makers and the public.

We are convening an online workshop on 1-2 April 2020 to understand how wargaming methods:

(1) have contributed to research and education of health-related crises,

(2) could be used to understand the short and long-term effects of the current pandemic and how to address them,

(3) could be used to educate and train decision makers and the public.

We are inviting presentations on past projects relevant to the current problem, as well and proposed future projects. Those who submitted a proposal under the previous call and wish to present their ideas are kindly asked to resubmit their pitches.

The deadline for abstracts is 25 March 2020. Please submit your proposal here.

You will be informed by 27 March 2020 if your presentation is selected.

If your organisation is interested in supporting potential projects, please get in touch.


For further resources, see PAXsim’s COVID-19 serious gaming resources page

Operation POMPEY WiiDOM

The following was contributed to PAXsims by Sally Davis.


 

After 5 days in quarantine I found a way to get out of the house without spreading the plague to my building-full-of-elderly-neighbours. It turns out you can connect Wii hardware to a PC by Bluetooth. I’m using the WiiBuddy API to get hold of the input in Unity:

  • The balance board returns a Vector4 with the load on each of the four load sensors (top left, top right, bottom left, bottom right). A quick bit of maths identifies individual steps, and while the player is stepping, the character walks forward.
  • The wiimote returns a Vector3 for roll pitch and yaw. I’m using pitch to rotate the character left/right, to copy the Wii Fit cycling game where you hold the wiimote sideways like bike handles.

Then I’m using MapBox‘s Unity SDK, which lets me stream in outstandingly optimised OpenMaps data within the bounds of the camera view. I’ve got a really basic setup going at the moment, using flat terrain and satellite imagery. It’s extruding buildings where the data exists—turns out that’s not many in Portsmouth (and, hilariously, Spinnaker Tower is rendered as a generic towerblock), but major cities are pretty well modelled.

At the moment it doesn’t care where you walk, so I can set out across the ocean, and walk through buildings. It’s awfully tempting to turn this into a Godzilla Simulator. As a 1-day “can I escape Wii Fit Island and go for a walk somewhere new?” experiment, I’m declaring operation POMPEY WiiDOM a success as-is.

I’m going to tidy things up, replace the somewhat inappropriate character artwork (I happened to have characters for a wargame lying around), and add some game mechanics like counting distance travelled and flags to collect. Then I’ll see about releasing an copy for the Good of Humanity in these strange times.

 

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