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.
The United States Army is testing a new PC strategy game that teaches captains who are being deployed to Afghanistan how to think like local village elders do. The game is called CultureShock: Afghanistan and is being tested at the U.S. Army Engineer School via the captains’ career course at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. The purpose of the game, according to its creators is to teach cultural awareness and to show officers what drives the decision making process of local leaders whom U.S. forces will have to encounter and communicate with.
Robert Daly, who served as the head of Foundation 9 Entertainment's wholly owned studio, Pipeworks, today resigned, after several weeks of criticism over what some former military men were calling faked credentials. Daly became the target of harsh criticism when professionalsoldiers.com obtained his military records from the US's National Personnel Records Center and United States Army Special Operations Command, which showed he was an analyst, rather than a Special Forces soldier - which he publicly claimed to be a member of numerous times.
According to the Guardian, the independent UK broadcasting watchdog OfCom is examining ITV's use of footage from the Bohemia's ARMA 2 videogame in a documentary special that was presented as an IRA film from 1988. The video was shown during the show Exposure and was presented to viewers as real footage showing the IRA using weapons provided by Muammar Gaddafi.
According to this IndustryGamers report, Pipeworks studio lead Robert Daly has been called out publically over his claims that he served in the U.S. Special Forces. Pipeworks is the developer behind the Deadliest Warrior video game, which is based on the popular Spike TV show of the same name.
Speaking to the Associated Press, Blackwater founder Erik Prince and Zombie Studios lead designer Richard Dormer talk about why their upcoming Kinect game based on the controversial security firm has decided to steer clear of blood, killing civilians, swearing, and moral dilemmas.
Operation Supply Drop, a [501(c)(3)] non-profit charity that creates video game care packages for American servicemen and women deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, has collected $10,000 in donations in its seven months of existence. The group says that this is all thanks to the public which has been very generous in giving them the funds they need to fill the request for video game filled care packages to units in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The United States Army is using Crytek’s CryEngine 3 game engine technology to create a new simulation to help train soldiers. The Army plans to spend $57 million on the project. The technology that will go into the simulation and the technology to use it is being developed by Orlando-based Intelligent Decisions. The Dismounted Soldier Training System (DSTS) enables soldiers and units to train inside a video game environment that features real weather conditions, realistic graphics, squad-based interactions, and advanced motion sensor technology that provides full 360-degree movement within the game.
To celebrate the upcoming Memorial Day Weekend Gamers Outreach Foundation will host a 24-hour game-a-thon charity with the proceeds going towards entertainment products for troops deployed overseas. Gamers Outreach Foundation has teamed up with The Game Fanatics to offer a cool way for gamers to show appreciation to the military. The Game Fanatics is supporting the Gamers Outreach Foundation’s military division (Fun for Our Troops). Money raised through the fundraiser will go towards a portable gaming kiosk that will be donated to the Dallas Veteran's Affairs Medical Center in Dallas, TX. Gamers can also donate games and consoles to GOF.
The United States Army isn't the only military outfit that has a video game; the Chinese People's Liberation Army has apparently helped develop a similar first-person shooter alongside Chinese game development studio Wuxi Giant Interactive Group.
In development for nearly two years, the military simulation follows the daily grind of a typical CPLA soldier. The scenario takes players through the paces, learning various military tactics and culminates in a large-scale military battle. The game is called Mission of Honor and offers several modes including basic training, solo missions and team-based combat.
We assume the goal of Mission of Honor is similar to that of America's Army: as a recruitment and early training tool for young males in their late teens.
The game will be released soon, though how it will be distributed is still a mystery.
The United States Navy has begun crowd sourcing ideas for fighting Somali pirates using a massively multiplayer game, according to a Fast Company report. Using a new game platform called MMOWGLI (Massive Multiplayer Online WarGame Leveraging the Internet), U.S. military forces and Civilian players on converging on virtual pirates. MMOWGLI is the product of years of research, and will feature 1,000 military and civilian players. It will launch on May 16. The new program is the first effort by the military to integrate both crowd sourcing and gamification into traditional military wargames.
MMOWGLI was developed by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) to test the feasibility of using massively multiplayer online games to solve difficult strategic problems like real-world high seas piracy. The MMOWGLI game launching in May focuses on combating Somalian piracy, but the gaming platform is designed to be open enough that it can be adapted to other military hotspots and situations.