Strike Group Defender
How can the military train sailors to respond to missile threats? Simply lecturing about appropriate responses does not prepare sailors for the real-time decisions they would have to make if faced with an incoming threat, and staging practice attacks is not realistic. Our staff, partnering with the game developer Pipeworks and the Office of Naval Research, have come up with a solution. The video game Strike Group Defender challenges users to defend virtual ships against incoming cruise missiles. The realistic simulations enable trainees to hone their skills in preparation for real-world situations; but unlike the real world, the game allows trainees to replay scenarios using different tactics to learn which ones work the best. The competitive nature of the game keeps training sessions interesting and often motivates players to experiment with the game on their own time. Using data collected during every game, virtual tutors can give players tips on how to improve their strategies and performance. We are hopeful that game-based instruction will be a useful tool for future Navy training and education.