Second Life, Serious games, Virtual World Platforms

The Military on Second Life: ‘An Awkward Interface’

The U.S. Army would like to use MMOs to train future generals on strategic thinking. Call it a “first person-thinker” said Major Kyle Burley to Wired.

The piece was picked up by Virtual World News which noted the “benefits of virtual worlds for the military–cost savings, safety, flexibility, effective measurements, and more–and plenty of people within the military are already exploring their options.”

Wired, in its wisdom, asked Burley whether Word of Warcraft might fit the bill (I mean, it has the word War in the title right?) to which Burley calmly explained:

“No self-respecting colonel will take all those dwarves, mages and six-legged alligators seriously. “The collaborative element is useful – you’ve got chat and avatars –- but the actual content and setting aren’t what we’d like for having roleplayers have committee meetings with the State Department.”

Obviously, Burley hasn’t met self-respecting economists, like our good friend Dr. Castranova, who takes Warcraft and similar realms very seriously.

As far as Second Life? As VWN comments:

“And why hasn’t Burley just used Second Life for a prototype, then? Surprisingly, his answer has nothing to do with security (though that’s probably involved somewhere): “Awkward interface,” said Burley.”

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