Duke Team Developing Peace Simulator

December 4, 2008 -

Virtual Peace, a simulation project underway at Duke University, uses game technology to train users in diplomacy and crisis response skills.

Prof. Tim Lenoir is leading the interdisciplinary project, which, ironically, has received assistance from Virtual Heroes, the North Carolina developer best known for its work on the America's Army recruiting game. Lenoir commented:

We’re trying to train people how to collaborate in groups -- particularly in internationally sensitive situations. The goal is to create an environment where people can practice their negotiation skills -- and it’s a whole lot better use of the gaming engine than shooting ’em up.

Players in the game assume the roles of various crisis response organizations such as Oxfam, UNICEF, Doctors Without Borders and the World Health Organization.


Comments

Re: Duke Team Developing Peace Simulator

There will always be war games, even if we exhaust WWII and Vietnam they will still be sci-fi and modern day 'what if' scenarios.

A peace making game would be a great change but how do you compete against another player? Acheiving peace without war pretty much requires co-operation between the two guys. And if both parties all ready have 'peace at all costs' on the mind I doubt it will be a big deal.

Wait there is a possibility that your citizens want war, and you have to maintain peace while remaining in office and making sure your citizens don't form their own army (declaring them as terrorists/extremists would probably work if they do form an army).

Oh well interesting concept.

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Re: Duke Team Developing Peace Simulator

 At first I read this as "Duke Nuke'em Team developing peace simulator" and thought "just like actual peace, a peace simulator will not occur during our lifetime.

Re: Duke Team Developing Peace Simulator

I saw the headline and thought "The Duke Nukem people are making a game about peace? Weird."

Re: Duke Team Developing Peace Simulator

Looks like it could be part of Second Life.

I don't know where they get off saying "and it’s a whole lot better use of the gaming engine than shooting ’em up." because an FPS engine just does not lend itself well to this kind of simulation. Most of the work in the game is done via windows apparently not in actual avatar interaction with the enviroment. FPS engines are most useful when your actions affect the physical enviroment around you, such as shooting or even just freerunning as in Mirrors Edge. For this kind of simulation the FPS aspect is more fluff and to keep the player from getting bored, it's not really putting an FPS engine to 'better' use. Maybe putting it to a more peaceful use would be more accurate but maybe he just meant 'gaming engine' as in gaming in general and not necessarily an FPS engine.

I can't say this game would have wide appeal unless you could level up and get epic gear, maybe a mount to get from office to office faster, flying mounts could cost something like 5000g for the skill and another 1000g for the flying mount itself and allow you to be diplomatic in other add-on countries in an expansion pack, later they could add some cold northern countries and a hero class negotiator that completely kicks ass and has nice gear........

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Re: Duke Team Developing Peace Simulator

At first I thought this was going to be about the Duke Nukem Forever team.

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Re: Duke Team Developing Peace Simulator

Peace is only humdrum as entertainment if the developer makes it so.  Any game can be exciting as long as it has conflict, and there can be as much conflict in a peaceful game as in a FPS game - it's just that the tools used in resolving it are different.

In the real world, issues aren't 'solved' by violence.  The violence comes because the people on either side FAILED to find a solution.  The whole point of a game like this is to find working solutions to real world problems.

Besides, anyone who seriously believes that non-combat games can't be fun has never played Tetris.

For a really great game in which the main character kills no one, check out The Last Express.  It's very old now (it came out in 1997), but it's a lot of fun (unless you believe that no fun can be had in a game unless you're carrying a sub-machine gun).

Re: Duke Team Developing Peace Simulator

Oops, I thought from the headline this would be a story about 3D Realms taking Duke Nukem Forever in a strange new direction.  It's a shame, really; I'd love to play a game where Duke hands out care packages and bottled water to impoverished citizens in a nuclear dystopia.

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Re: Duke Team Developing Peace Simulator

A game such as this is going to take a rather genius dev team frankly.  Peace is lovely to have in your real life, but is kind of humdrum as entertainment.  Even Shakespear knew that his audience didn't want to see people working out their problems like rational adults.  They wanted blood and killing.

-Ultimately what will do in mankind is a person's fear of their own freedom-

Re: Duke Team Developing Peace Simulator

"and it’s a whole lot better use of the gaming engine than shooting ’em up."

So since it's going to be so amazingly successful we can just ignore it 'til it's the next big thing? Thanks!

It's sad when people spit on the heads of giants while standing on their shoulders.

Re: Duke Team Developing Peace Simulator

Anyone else remember that fake NYT from the "Yes Men" about America's Army being repourposed as America's Diplomat?

Re: Duke Team Developing Peace Simulator

yes, yes I do

"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety" - Benjamin Franklin

"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety" - Benjamin Franklin

Re: Duke Team Developing Peace Simulator

I think we definately need more games with non violent means of conflict resolution. There certainly aren't enough. I have wanted a game like this for a while.

AS for those of you who think this will fail, what do you mean exactly? Are you saying this will not sell well? If so, you are right, but not for the reasons you think. It will not sell well, because it most likely will be given away. It is a university project and not a commercial project. University projects are usually given away.

I think that under those conditions, more people would be willing to download it and give it a try.

Games don't have to consist of players battling it out in one way or another. There are plenty of gameplay options available. It is only lazy developers and close minded players who keep the action genres in the top ten. As those types of players become a smaller and smaller part of the buying public (yes you FPS fans are a niche just a very profitable niche at the moment) You will see more and more gameplay options that include non violent conflict resolution.

Don't get me wrong. Conflict will always be a part of gaming, but conflict does not equal war. Conflict is something that drives a player or story. Without it, there can be no game.

E. Zachary Knight
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Re: Duke Team Developing Peace Simulator

Without good developers and serious cash i think this is gonna fail.

"and it’s a whole lot better use of the gaming engine than shooting ’em up."

Goddamn professor trolls using their oppinions as arguments in mathers that they know virtually nothing about.

You can't compare negotiation games with fps games, because they are different genres, just as you can't compare icedancing and kung fu.

RTS gamer

Re: Duke Team Developing Peace Simulator

This isn't a bad idea... but wouldn't it be more feasible to assume sales from a product that offered a bit more than "Hot negotiating action"!!

It might do better as part of a war game... to let people see both sides, and also show that some battles can not be won with conversation. Plus, as an included mode, it could be used as a mandatory aspect of completing said title. That way, the user would have to experience it.

"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety" - Benjamin Franklin

"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety" - Benjamin Franklin

Re: Duke Team Developing Peace Simulator

This is the nice idea to teach the people about diplomacy and crisis response skills.

http://spudmobile.co.uk/guitar-hero-world-tour.aspx

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