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.