Masthead graphic based on a painting by Gudrun Thriemer.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Liesbeth Renders, "Peace game to help train disaster responders," AlertNet, January 12, 2009.

Virtual Peace is a digital humanitarian assistance game and winner of the MacArthur/HASTAC Digital Learning Competition.

Video game technologies have long been used in simulation-based training for military operations, but thanks to researchers at Duke University they could soon come in handy in the world of disaster response. In collaboration with Virtual Heroes, a U.S.-based game developer, the team has developed 'Virtual Peace', a simulation game to train the next generation of emergency response and international negotiators.

Tim Lenoir initiated the project after becoming intrigued by the idea of using the same technology that encourages cooperation in resolving conflict. The end result is the award-winning project 'Virtual Peace', a simulation game based on the real-life emergency that followed Hurricane Mitch in 1998, one of the most powerful and deadliest Atlantic hurricanes on record which devastated Honduras and Nicaragua.

  The possibility of users joining the game from different physical locations and customising the simulation could make it an attractive tool, for humanitarian aid organisations.

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