Homeland Security department developing game

For years, the government has used game technology for military purposes. America's Army was created as a recruiting tool, Full Spectrum Warrior was developed to help train soldiers in close-quarters combat tactics, and a modified version of the life sim There was being developed to create...

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For years, the government has used game technology for military purposes. America's Army was created as a recruiting tool, Full Spectrum Warrior was developed to help train soldiers in close-quarters combat tactics, and a modified version of the life sim There was being developed to create facsimiles of Iraqi villages.

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Now, the Department of Homeland Security is using game technology to help shore up defenses at home. ABC News is reporting that for the past year, the government agency has spent $600,000 funding Ground Truth, a game that would cast players as first responders to a terrorist attack or natural disaster. Success in the game would be dependent not only on the rapidity of the response, but a player's tack. Poor choices would equal larger casualties and a lower score.

Computer scientist Donna Djordjevich told ABC that she is designing the game to be on par with anything on a next-generation console. "I think it's very important to at least get to a certain level of production-quality or private industry-quality graphics, so that way people don't just turn away from it immediately and just dismiss it as old technology, old software. You have to stay relevant," she said. The game is being developed at Sandia National Labs, with grad students from the University of Southern California doing graphics work.

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