Gaming charity Operation Supply Drop has successfully delivered a care package to a Special Forces team in Afghanistan as part of its ongoing efforts to deliver video games and fun to soldiers deployed in various combat zones around the world. The "Kentucky Windage" supply drop contained $4300 in video games, systems, peripherals and a High School Musical branded microphone for Guitar Hero (we assume this was a special request from someone).
The United States Navy has commissioned Organic Motion to create a Kinect-enabled simulation game that addresses the issue of rape. Rape and sexual harassment have been a topic of heated debate in Washington this month as lawmakers such as New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (supported by republican Senators Ted Cruz of Texas and Rand Paul of Kentucky) seek to move the oversight of rape cases from the military to civilian courts. Mainly Gillibrand is seeking this solution because the U.S.
Operation Supply Drop, a charity that creates care packages for servicemen and women on active duty in war zones, managed to create and send 12 care packages to five U.S. military units deployed across Afghanistan and one package to a soldier who was injured in Afghanistan and is currently recuperating at the Walter Reed national military hospital. Collectively, the 12 packages (part of their latest drive for the 4th of July, code named PIXEL FIREWORKS) contained $30,000 in video games, video game systems, and special peripherals donated by AbleGamers.
The AbleGamers Charity has donated multiple customized controllers powered by Evil Controllers to Operation Supply Drop, another charity that gives video-game related care packages to soldiers serving in places like Afghanistan and to injured veterans recovering at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
Organizers of the game-related charity Operation Supply Drop say that its Veterans Day event in November 2012 set the bar extremely high. The charity that sends packages that include games, video game systems, and accessories, received $100,000 in donations for deployed soldiers and soldiers recovering in military hospitals. A lot of the success of the charity drive can be attributed to the generous donations from companies like Capcom.
The Chinese military publicly released a shooter a few months ago called Glorious Mission and it has proven to be a hit - according to this BBC report. The game, which is obviously pro-Chinese military because it was designed initially as a sort of training tool for soldiers in the Communist country, has been downloaded more than a million times.
Gu Kai, vice-president of the software developers behind the game, Giant Network Technology, says this game will likely help bring in new army recruits.
Activision's Call of Duty Endowment announced plans to open up a number of chapters around the country using $1.1 million in grant money. They are calling this initiative "Chapterization." The Call of Duty Endowment also announced the appointment of its first full-time Executive Director - Dan Goldenberg. Goldenberg has 21 years of active and reserve military service and currently serves as a commander in the Navy Reserve.
This amusing video takes something Fox News contributor Charles Krauthammer said on Fox News about a year ago related to the government's use of drones for domestic surveillance within the borders of the United States by showing him how it could be done in Call of Duty: Black Ops II. The video is the product of the fine folks at Coffee with Games (which incidentally are two of my favorite things).
United States Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta is sounding the alarm bells about cyber terrorist attacks, saying that passing the CISPA bill or enacting some kind of executive order to implement protections are necessary to avoid what he calls "Cyber-Pearl Harbor."
He says that the U.S. should act preemptively to protect "national interests in cyberspace" by working fastidiously on some sort of safeguards for critical infrastructure.
There's a common and widespread misconception among the general population that flying a drone for the United States government or military is like playing a video game, but an in-depth article on the subject from Business Insider reveals that this is simply a falsehood. In fact, if you ask actual drone pilots they will tell you that their work is nothing like a video game...
Game developer Wargaming America is working hard to bring some game-based virtual simulation to the USS IOWA. The battleship recently took its final voyage to dock at the port of Los Angeles, where it will serve as a museum beginning next month. Wargaming's simulation promises to bring the battleship's "history to life by creating a bridge experience and an aerial combat game that will live on the ship and showcase its firepower and aerial defenders in action."
Electronic Arts has kicked off a new initiative called Project Honor that will directly benefit families of fallen members of those who have served in Special Operations. The program, which launches alongside Medal of Honor Warfighter, will team up with several combat gear manufacturers to donate to the Navy SEAL Foundation and the Special Operations Warrior Foundation.
On behalf of everyone here at GamePolitics we wish our readers a safe and happy holiday. We hope you are enjoying your extended weekend (assuming you had an extended weekend and didn't have to work for the "man" today) and are out having fun on the unofficial start of summer.
I won't rehash it here, but if you want a detailed explanation of what Memorial Day is all about and why it is a very important holiday to a majority of Americans, then you should check out usmemorialday.org.
The Associated Press reports that residents in the Northern city of Gao in Mali are not happy after Islamists smashed television sets used to play video games and watch television shows that were considered "un-Islamic." The effort was intended to show residents that they are under Shariah law there. The Islamist fighters took up a strong position in the northern part of the Northeastern African country after they were they pushed back by Malian government troops in March.
The Florida National Guard has found a novel way of helping its state's unemployed soldiers work in the private sector: a program called Operation KickStart. The program uses gamification techniques to educate and teach participants in a game-like social platform environment. It also provides them with support through mentors and coaches that can teach them the best practices for starting a new career and being successful at it.
The Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania man charged by the FBI with stealing the identity of Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen has been turned over to the U.S. Army this week. Twenty-eight-year-old Brandon Lee Price must first face a charge for going AWOL from his unit. He isn't in custody - instead he has been returned to his unit (the 10th Mountain Division) in Fort Polk, Louisiana. He is accused of leaving his unit at Fort Polk without authorization in early July 2010.
Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom claims that the United States Military had 15,634 accounts on its file sharing and storage services prior to the U.S. government taking down the site and having its founders arrested in various countries.
Speaking at length with TorrentFreak, he provided the site with a bunch of information about the U.S. government's use of the server. It seems odd that the U.S. government would have so many accounts on a service whose sole purpose (according to those going up against it) was to infringe on other people's copyrighted works.
In an editorial on Huffington Post, Activision Blizzard CEO (and co-chairmen of the company's charity, The Call of Duty Endowment), says that American corporations are not doing enough to help veterans returning home from two wars only to find a job market that doesn't want to hire them. This new battle at home, as Kotick calls it, puts veterans in a higher bracket of unemployment than the national average.
Testing began on a video game created by researchers at the Oklahoma University funded by a $10.7 million grant it obtained in October of last year from the U.S. government. University students signed up to play the game and check for coding typos and other obvious problems, play tester and communications senior Chelsey Schuessler told the UO Daily. In the next phase of the project, which begins in August, researchers will test the game to see if does what it is intended to do: prevent biases in decision-making.
iRobot makes Roomba, the little circular robot that vacuums your house on its own. But you probably didn't know that that same company makes robots for the military and has done so for quite some time. In fact, iRobot created the PackBot, a robot that the military uses to dispose of bombs. According to Techland, the latest robot created for the military is called "Warrior," and is controlled using an Xbox controller.
The First Person Cultural Trainer (FPCT) has been awarded the Best Game award in the Government Category of the 2011 Serious Games Showcase and Challenge. FPCT is sponsored by U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command G-2 Intelligence Support (TRADOC). The Serious Games Showcase was part of the Interservice/Interindustry Training and Simulation Education Conference (I/ITSEC), and was held in Orlando, Fla., from November 28 through December 1.
CTA Digital has revealed a new partnership with the U.S. Army to manufacture branded video game accessories. The company says that this is the first licensing agreement it has entered into. Oddly enough, tax payers may be saying the same thing. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The company will reveal three new U.S. Army branded gaming headsets, three rifle controllers, and a "battle ready backpack" for game console systems at CES in Las Vegas on January 10-13 (booth #31265).
As pointed out by our very own Beemoh, The United Kingdom's Ministry of Defense wants to update its military simulations with the latest first-person shooter technology. This, they say, will focus the concentration of soldiers that train using the software.
Non-profit gamer charity The Ablegamers Foundation has awarded the Disabled Veteran Grant 2011 to three disabled veterans - just in time for the holidays. The group awarded two Xbox 360 gaming systems complete with a one-year subscription to Xbox Live Gold, and one completely customized Xbox controller from Evil Controllers to the recipients of its annual event.
Gamers Outreach celebrates the fourth anniversary of their military division, Fun for Our Troops this month. The organization provides games and hardware to U.S. military troops - something it has been doing since its inception in 2007. Gamers Outreach collects new and used video game and console donations, which they use to create video game care packages for troops serving overseas in areas of Afghanistan and Iraq. To date, they have sent a total of 332 packages (and over 2000 games) to individual troops, units, and MWRs throughout the world.
An Oklahoma research team led by communications professor Norah Dunbar and the Air Force Research laboratory have managed to score an unprecedented grant of $10.7 million USD to develop a video game to train intelligence officers in the government.
Dunbar, along with Scott Wilson, associate director for Innovative Technologies at the OU K20 Center, is overseeing the development of the game, which is called Intelligence Crisis: codename MACBETH (or "Mitigating Analysts Cognitive Bias by Eliminating Task Heuristics").
EA's studio DICE has released some interesting stats from its recent Battlefield 3 online multiplayer beta test that are worth mentioning. According to DICE's internal figures, around 8,125,310 players took part in the multiplayer beta test. In fact DICE even counted how many bullets were shot during the entire test! Players fired a total of 47 billion bullets and killed 1.5 billion other players. Around 19 million of those players were killed with a knife, while an additional 21 million COM-stations were destroyed.