Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Put Your Virtual Hands Up

In "U.S. Spies Using Custom Videogames to Learn How to Think," Wired describes three examples of serious games developed by Visual Purple that are designed for teaching critical thinking skills to national security personnel at the Defense Intelligence Agency. The reporter described demos from Rapid Onset, Vital Passage and Sudden Thrust. Apparently Rapid Onset features a white-robed guru and a mountaintop. As this page of trailers shows, there's another DIA game called Dictate about translation and interrogation. There's also a USDA themed game, although it doesn't look like as much scatological fun as Ian Bogost's agriculturally themed Bacteria Salad.

This Visual Purple trailer about "Power of Story" seems to indicate that the company has a strong preference for a narratological rather than ludological design philosophy. You can check out a sample interactive role-playing story led by heroine and "mystery woman" Promethea that begins at choosing between a branch to Bakersfield and one to Baghdad.

And while you are at the DIA website, check out these Terrorist Recognition Cards.

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