The Department of Defense has been in the news on a number of occurrences in past months highlighting the use of virtual worlds by the organization. They are utilizing virtual worlds for a host of different applications, one of which deals with post-traumatic stress in our soldiers, see this story for more details. This project is called The T2 Virtual PTSD Experience and is based in Second Life. By being based in Second Life it does allow an extra layer of interactivity as the player/ trainee is able to interact with anyone else that is experiencing the simulation. It just goes to show that the immersive nature of virtual worlds make them a prime candidate for this type of training and much more!
Another article on the defense.gov website published back in May featured Frank DiGiovianni, the director of training readiness and strategy in the office of the deputy assistant secretary of defense for readiness. As quoted by the article, “Five years from now, if Frank C. DiGiovanni has his way, warfighters from every service will learn aspects of their trade on a world in cyberspace.” Furthermore, “For the DOD virtual world experts are working on “a governance model that makes sense” in which everyone in the world can participate, DiGiovanni said, much like the Constitution allows American citizens to participate in their government.
“A governance model allows you to take all the efforts that are going on and synchronize them, integrate them, so you have a comprehensive whole, and not four separate efforts,” he added.
“I don’t want four separate worlds, I want one world … to be able to leverage all that content building that’s being done by everyone out there,” the director said.
The Strategic Plan for the Next Generation of Training for the Department of Defense, which was published in 2010, features leveraging emerging technologies to enhance the overall DoD training capabilities.