Tactical Iraqi on

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14 Νοε 2013 (πριν από 3 χρόνια και 7 μήνες)

59 εμφανίσεις

Making

Things

P
uplic
:
Democracy

and
Government

F
unded

V
ideogames

and Virtual Reality
Simulations


By Elizabeth
Losh

University

of
California


Two games


Game 1:
Tactical Iraqi


Game 2:
Virtual Iraq


Made by University of Southern California


Funded by US military (DARPA)


Runs on Unreal Tournament 2003 engine

Tactical Iraqi


Goal: To teach basic arabic to US soldiers


3 Game modes:


Mission game


Skill Builder


Arcade game

Mission game


No fighting


3rd person style


Perceptual realism (houses, objects, nature)


Social realism (NPCs, rituals, ceremonies)


Goal: Assist in reconstructing a girl school

Mission game




Mission Game

Skill Builder


Not really a game


More like an interactive exercise


Goal: Improve pronounciation and vocabulary


Content: Listen to audio, respond in mic.


Virtual tutor gives feedback and
encouragement.


Skill Builder



Arcade game


Top
-
down action game


Control agent by voice commands like left,
right, shoot.


Lead designer:

You had to put in something
you blow up
” to provide an enjoyable
videogame experience.


Arcade Game

Game 2:
Virtual Iraq



Goal: Help PTSD victims


First person


”Heavy” Virtual reality (Goggles, directional
sound, sensations and smells).


Based on previous similar games like


Virtual World Trade center (Help victims)


Virtual bus bombing (To help victims, not to teach
how to bomb busses, duh)

Virtual Iraq


Only

played

during

therapy

sessions (not
alone
)


Therapist

adjusts

the game


Therapeutical

purpose
: To
make

the
player

experience

traumatic

events
similar

to his
own

traumatic

experiences


Despite

what

you

may

think
,
this

should

have
good

therapeutic

effect


This

should

help

the patient
construct

memory

and narrative of the
traumatic

experiences

and
thereby

open

up for
dialogue

with

the
therapist
.

Virtual Iraq

Testing of
Virtual Iraq


No tests yet!

Testing
Tactical Iraqi


Test 1:


Some players tried to cheat


Some only tried to ”Win” and not to learn.


Some players hid in skill builder, afraid their
language skills were inadequate to be succesful in
Mission Game.


Testing
Tactical Iraqi


Test 2:


Special

Forces (elite)
soldiers

were

used

as test
subjects


Much

better

results
!
They

understood

the
goals

and
didn’t

fool

around
.


Test 3:


Non
-
military

teenagers.
Good

results
!


Tests
conclusion
:


Maybe

the simple GI Joe
can’t

learn

language

this

way
?


Maybe

target

group

is
limited
?


?


Media Quotes


LA times:


”situated learning enables
participants to develop
forms of cultural literacy that soldiers
would
otherwise be lacking”


Official Website of
Tactical Iraqi
:


A typical soldier will learn more arabic ”in one
day” with Tactical iraqi than a ”whole tour in Iraq”.


Stuff in the text that should be mentioned or
possibly refused as nonsense:


Comparisons of Mnemonic techniques and
videogames:


Movement in game worlds provide semantic
context in which communications can be made
more inteligible.


More stuff in the text that should be mentioned
or possibly refused as nonsense:


Main
character

in
Tactical

Iraqi

can

ONLY
be

male.


There

are

only

some

female

NPCs

and digital
tutors.






So
what
?


Or

is it a problem for the
persuasive

gameplay
?


Drama in the forums!


When the BBC ran an online feature praising
Tactical Iraqi
on
February 19, 2006, it
unintentionally triggered a furious debate in
the blogosphere.


(dramatic music)

Drama in the forums!


Weblog
editor and game developer
Gonzalo
Frasca

writes on
Watercooler

Games’ forum,
directed

to the
developers of
Tactical

Iraqi
:


“You are not and will never be
my
colleagues
. The Army money that
funds your projects is
tainted with
blood and what you are doing is just
simply wrong.
Unlike the
poor guys
taking the bullets in the frontline, you
guys had
an education
. You should
know better. Shame on you!”

Drama in the forums!


A forum reader responds:


soldiers “have a far
better
chance of realizing the human
impact of what's been done
there, and finding ways to help
instead of hurt, if they can
communicate with the people
there”


Drama in the forums!


Frasca
:


There

is

no

such thing as an
ideological neutral piece of
software.”



(
Frasca

also

compares

the
game’s

proponents to Nazis
who

were

just
following

orders
)

Drama in the forums!


USC Institute for Creative
Technologies member Andrew
Stern
responds:



As you know
, military
funding
(…)
helps
fund many researchers, including
some you
know. (The project I'm
consulting on is Army
-
funded.)
Such
research
, like the interactive narrative
research I'm working on
for ICT
, can be
applied to many other domains.
(Wasn't the
Internet itself
originally a
military
-
funded
project (…)?

Drama in the forums!


Frasca:


”(…)
I still think that you
made a wrong choice. (…)
The
safest choice, in my view, is to
step aside”

Drama in the forums!


Tactical

Iraqi

developer team
member

Hannes
Vilhjálmsson

then

responds
:


“Being a peace activist myself, I had to
overcome a great deal
of stigma
before
accepting technical lead on the project.
But
two things
in particular made this
easier:


(
1) When I met in person a group of
soldiers that had just returned from duty
in Iraq I
was struck
by their awareness of
the mess they were in and
their
desperation
to get out of there alive
-

and to them, being able
to make
friends
not enemies was absolutely crucial for
their
own survival
. (…)



Drama in the forums!


2
)
“The
game rewards nonviolence over
violence
-

in fact, you fail the game
immediately
if things
start to take a
violent turn. I got a certain kick out
of
removing
all weapons from this Unreal
Tournament mod. I
was pleasantly
surprised to see that the soldiers were
not too
annoyed by
this, instead they
really got into the groove of finding out
how to
say things like ‘pleasure to meet
you.’(…) In my mind, coming up
with an
engaging alternative to violent gaming
is a challenge
worth
tackling



LizLosh’s conclusion




creating political spectacles can have positive
as well
as negative
implications.


If
government
-
funded
videogames and
virtual reality simulations
serve as forms of public display,
as critics
we need to grapple with
how best to interrogate
that visibility
and understand the potential
for rhetorical
exchanges, although
we may well have to wait for
political spectacles that
are more
sophisticated than the current
military offerings
.”



Powerpoint by Jan Borg


jbor@itu.dk