When it comes time for the brave men who put the president's life ahead of their own to train for their missions, they play what is essentially a tabletop board game. But soon they'll be getting a sweeping upgrade using the medium that everyone knows is the best teaching tool of all - videogames (but not the one on the right).
The very basic planning and training mechanism that Secret Service agents go through before dealing with any real-life threats hasn't changed for 40 years. Just like all those old war movies you've seen, they use a tabletop board with various tokens and pieces to visualize where potential threats are and where various personnel and equipment need to be. This model environment is called "Tiny Town," and it's about to be demolished.
Replacing it is "Virtual Tiny Town," which uses a system of 55-inch touch-screen kiosks filled with 3D models and all sorts of user interaction to make the experience a bit more realistic. In fact, they even have smoke simulators and effects to simulate chemical plumes.
And at the head of it all is a game called Virtual Battle Space, a fully rendered simulation of any environment the agency needs.
It already sounds like one of the coolest games we've ever seen. Motion gaming is so 2010; give us chemical plume simulators in the next round of consoles.
The new system will be set up at the Secret Service's not-so-secret James J. Rowley Training Center in the DC area this spring.
[Source: PC Mag]
Jan 27, 2011