FBI, Army Tap Epic Games For Training Simulations - InformationWeek
Government // Enterprise Architecture
01:52 PM
Building Security for the IoT
Nov 09, 2017
In this webcast, experts discuss the most effective approaches to securing Internet-enabled system ...Read More>>

FBI, Army Tap Epic Games For Training Simulations

Intelligence and military agencies license the game engine behind Gears of War and Mass Effect to simulate decision-making, medical, and crime-scene scenarios.

Top 14 Government Social Media Initiatives
Top 14 Government Social Media Initiatives
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
The FBI and other federal agencies are leveraging a popular computer gaming engine to train personnel for a variety of real-world scenarios.

Through reseller Virtual Heroes, Epic Games has licensed its Unreal Engine 3 to the intelligence agency and other government entities--including the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Agency (IARPA) and the Army--to use in decision-making, medical, and crime-scene training simulations, according to Epic Games.

Virtual Heroes, a division of Applied Research Associates, is licensing the engine through a new partner network--the Unreal Government Network (UGN)--that is sponsoring gaming projects for government partners.

[ See Angry Birds Space Mirrors Real Rocket Science. ]

Unreal Engine already powers a number of popular computer games, including Gears of War and Mass Effect. The U.S. military and other government organizations are increasingly seeing the benefits of using games like these as inspiration for new training tools for their staff.

"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," said Epic Games president Michael Capps in a press statement.

Through UGN, the FBI Academy is using UE3 to develop a multiplayer crime scene simulation game to use in training agent recruits. The engine also could find itself as the basis for more widespread training use by intelligence agencies through a partnership between the IARPA and Virtual Heroes as part of IARPA's Sirius program.

Sirius is aimed at developing so-called "serious games" that result in better decision-making by intelligence personnel by teaching them to recognize and mitigate effects of the biases they have when analyzing information, according to IARPA. The research agency is using UE3 as part of a $10 million, multiyear contract with Virtual Heroes/Applied Research Associates to support the Sirius program, according to Epic Games.

The Army--which already is using video games and virtual environments for training--also is leveraging UE3. However, instead of using it as part of creating training environments for soldiers--as previous game-inspired simulation work has done--the military arm will use UE3 in two medical applications.

The Army will use the engine in a platform for medical education and training called HumanSim, as well as the basis for an anesthesiology training application for Army physicians developed by Duke University's Human Simulation and Patient Safety Center, according to Epic Games.

Attend InformationWeek's IT Government Leadership Forum, a day-long venue where senior IT leaders in government come together to discuss how they're using technology to drive change in federal departments and agencies. It happens in Washington, D.C., May 3.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
User Rank: Apprentice
3/29/2012 | 9:06:44 AM
re: FBI, Army Tap Epic Games For Training Simulations
I think the military should be investing more time and money into this type of training.
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
2017 State of IT Report
In today's technology-driven world, "innovation" has become a basic expectation. IT leaders are tasked with making technical magic, improving customer experience, and boosting the bottom line -- yet often without any increase to the IT budget. How are organizations striking the balance between new initiatives and cost control? Download our report to learn about the biggest challenges and how savvy IT executives are overcoming them.
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll