March 29, 2012

Game Engine Licensed To U.S. Government Agencies

Epic Games announced a long-term deal with Advanced Research Associates to license the Unreal game engine for use in government agencies including the FBI and the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA).

The IARPA Sirius program, a $10M multi-year contract, will use the software to, “develop serious games that result in better decision-making by teaching participants to recognize and mitigate the effects of their own biases when analyzing information used to make decisions.”

Other uses for the Unreal Engine include a collaboration between Virtual Heroes, a division of Applied Research Associates, Inc. (ARA), and Duke University Human Simulation and Patient Safety Center to create an anesthesiology training simulator for Army physicians along with other medical training and education platforms.

The FBI Academy plans on using Unreal Engine 3 (UE3) to create crime scene simulations that meets their training criteria.

Dr. Michael Capps, president of Epic Games, says “We recognize the growing market needs of our government customers and are excited to have Virtual Heroes provide a full spectrum of focused services and support using our game engine technology.”

The UE3 technology supports multiple platforms where applications can be developed including iOS, Android, Flash, PC, Mac, Xbox 360, PlayStation, PlayStation Vita and Wii. Virtual Heroes is capable of being deployed securely across government and corporate networks using browser based technology.

Gaming technology has been found to go hand-in-hand with military training. Colonel Robert “Pat” White said in a speech recently, “Every leader struggles with limited time, dollars and resources. Those same leaders know it´s better to practice something first before you do it for real in live training. Live training is where our highest risk and greatest expense comes from.”

Andrew Poulter, who leads “Project Kite”, the Knowledge Information Test Environment, a program to increase the reality of wartime simulators in the UK told the BBC, “Military-built simulators were state of the art, but now, for 50 pounds (80  US dollars), you can buy a commercial game that will be far more realistic than the sorts of tools we were using.”


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