NGCI: Next Generation Communication Interoperability

Gaming, Simulation and Virtual Training

Theme: 
Human-Computer Interaction

To address this need, the DHS Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) is developing a pilot project using Enhanced Dynamic Geo-Social Environment (EDGE) Virtual Training (EVT), as it seeks to create a cost-effective way to conduct realistic training involving multiple disciplines and jurisdictions. Through an Interagency Agreement with the U.S. Army, S&T will leverage EDGE to deliver a first responder-identified scenario of national concern and need that lends itself to a virtual training preparedness and response solution. Such training tools could be implemented in first responder training programs, which would ultimately reduce the time away from their jobs to meet training requirements, can better assist in understanding why certain standards of procedure (SOP) exist, explore current operating procedures for vulnerabilities, and reduce the local departments costs for sending officers to training.

The input of first responder subject matter experts (SME) will be incorporated throughout the development of the pilot with the ultimate goal being the delivery of an EVT product that is widely used throughout the response community. For input and feedback on the EVT activities, S&T has partnered with the Command, Control, and Interoperability Center for Advanced Data Analysis (CCICADA) Center of Excellence, led by Rutgers University in New Jersey, to engage with a diverse group of experts in serious games, game design, simulation, and virtual training to share their perspectives. Please, see http://ccicada.rutgers.edu/ for more information about the CCICADA Center of Excellence.

In order to understand more about the current challenges pertaining to the EVT initiative and S&T’s investment in virtual training for emergency response preparedness, this discussion will help address the gap of scalable, tailored, cost-effective, and efficient virtual environments and training game development in training for the First Responder Community.

Questions for the Community: 
From your perspective, what critical items must be addressed when developing the EVT product and piloting the program for a virtual training initiative?
What other government programs have developed virtual training, simulations, or serious games that could inform this project? What were the major lessons learned and/or best practices?
What are some methods for keeping people interested in coming back and playing the same environment?
What additional questions should this discussion explore?
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