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Monday, November 29, 2004

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Serious Game Summit Overview
7:40 AM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

CGI animation and visual effects resource website VFXWorld has posted a four-page overview of the Serious Games Summit (SGS), which took place in Washington, DC, back in October.

Previously part of the annual Game Development Conference, the summit - attended by hundreds of industry insiders, vendors, and educational and government training developers - focused on the increasing role computer and video games play in education and the training of highly-skilled professionals from various industries. At a fraction of the cost of traditional, on-the-spot technical training, CGI simulators are being relied on more and more for gaining valuable practical experience for high-risk situations, including medical and military applications.

Case in point, the overview takes a closer look at the development and creation cycle of two "serious" games in two different fields - the paramedic training game ACLS Interactive, and the U.S. military-funded simulator America's Army. Apart from providing an overview of their design and production periods, the story also relates a few anecdotes from each of the games' development cycles, including some of the difficulties experienced mixing military and civilian personnel in the creation of America's Army:

Unfortunately, a major cultural clash was in the offing, between the game creation team and the military officers in charge of the project who also formulated the training objectives. The differences in lifestyle were not subtle. According to (executive producer) Zyda, one group showed up at 0700 (7:00 am) in uniform. The other ambled in at around 11 in T-shirts and flip-flops. However, the first group left at 5:00 pm (precisely), while the second worked like madmen to midnight and beyond. This cultural clash was ameliorated with adept leadership, patience, insight, understanding and by keeping the program manager away from the dev team.
The overview can be viewed through the link below, however a free subscription is required to access the article.

VFXWorld: Games Turn Serious at the Inaugural Summit
America's Army: Special Forces 2.4
Medi-Smart Medical Training Resources
U.S Army

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