Army Heading To Serious Games Summit

The U.S. Army announced today that as a result of the growing interest in America’s Army as a training and homeland defense platform within government, America’s Army game team leaders will play a prominent role in the upcoming Serious Games Summit. The conference will address the use of interactive gaming technology in non-entertainment sectors. The conference will be held Monday-Tuesday, Oct. 18-19, 2004 in Washington, D.C.

Leaders from the America’s Army game team will be featured presenters and panelists in sessions that cover top line design, production, technology, and assessment issues related to the use of games in education, policy, national defense, homeland security, training and other non-entertainment sectors. Colonel Casey Wardynski, the America’s Army game director and project originator will deliver a presentation entitled "Moving America’s Army from Recruitment to Testing and Training Platform." The lecture will detail how the America’s Army game technology has become a platform and tool for testing new equipment and training, and experimenting with tactics.

Bill Davis who leads the America’s Army Future Applications team will participate in the "Non Combat Military Game Efforts" panel in which speakers will discuss game efforts including language training, cultural training, values and medical skills that are important to military missions in the 21st Century. The America’s Army Game Deputy Director Major (ret) Chris Chambers will be a panelist in the "Games as Mass Media Dialogue Devices" session exploring games as an effective communications tool.

Conceived and managed by the Office of Economic Manpower & Analysis (OEMA) at West Point, the America’s Army game is developed and distributed by the U.S. Army. One of the most popular online games in the world, the America’s Army game serves as a strategic communications tool which provides millions of players with an inside perspective and a virtual role in the U.S. Army. Since America’s Army produces extraordinarily engaging and realistic environments and experiences, a wide variety of agencies are collaborating with the America’s Army team to develop extended applications of the game for values and cultural training, education, and operational support. As a learning platform America’s Army provides a proven, easy-to-deploy and widely used technology base that is modular and scalable. The Army Game team has created the Government Applications and Future Applications team so that the Army can garner the greatest benefits from its investment in America’s Army.

The America’s Army Government Applications team, located in Raleigh, North Carolina, uses the game’s technology for effective and engaging virtual learning. The team repurposes America’s Army assets and develops new assets to create distributed low cost learning environments for use within the Army in the following domains: Force Protection, procedural first aid and survival, critical thinking and leadership, maintenance training, intelligence skills training, mission rehearsal and shortage MOS training.

Working closely with a range of agencies from Soldier system project managers to the Department of Homeland Security the America’s Army Future Applications team at the U.S. Army’s Armament Research Development Engineering Center (ARDEC) is purposing America’s Army as a platform for applications ranging from mission rehearsal to modeling advanced weapons systems and fire controls.

By way of supporting R&D efforts, the Future Applications team is able to explore how Soldiers will use new systems in combat, the effectiveness systems and the costs of new weapons in terms of increased requirements for ammunition, communications or organizational structure. The ARDEC team also develops virtual training tools based upon the America’s Army environment.

America’s Army applications will be featured in an interactive area during an opening night reception on Monday October 18th at the Lowes L’Enfant hotel. At the reception, participants will get to see the latest version of the America’s Army game and speak with its developers about upcoming public versions as well as training and modeling applications.

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