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Virtual Peace Sim Game Based On America's Army

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 5 years ago | from the where-everyone-looks-like-a-victim dept.

Education 186

fortapocalypse writes "Duke University in collaboration with Virtual Heroes (who created America's Army) has produced a game called Virtual Peace, the intention of which is to help the gamer develop disaster relief and conflict resolution skills. Virtual Peace also is the winner of the HASTAC/MacArthur Digital Media and Learning Competition, according to an article published by the university."

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I don't know (4, Insightful)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 5 years ago | (#25951525)

I just don't see a lot of mass appeal for a game that involves handing out disaster-relief supplies or carefully negotiating power-sharing deals in shaky democracies.

Re:I don't know (2, Interesting)

crossmr (957846) | more than 5 years ago | (#25951569)

Global political simulator? I think it does all right.
There were also some rts games made by a german company that involved environmental cleanup. I'm not sure how those did but they looked interesting.

Re:I don't know (2, Funny)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | more than 5 years ago | (#25952361)

Global political simulator? I think it does all right.
There were also some rts games made by a german company that involved environmental cleanup. I'm not sure how those did but they looked interesting.

Careful though: historically, Germans have poor judgment when it comes to determining what constitutes an "environmental cleanup".

Meh, the joke is all right, but could use a little work.

Re:I don't know (1)

LithiumX (717017) | more than 5 years ago | (#25952771)

I don't know... I saw a few text references to zombie infestations and eradication mixed into hurricane events in Nicaragua.

I think someone's got a sense of humor that they're afraid to show in the video.

Re:I don't know (3, Funny)

qoncept (599709) | more than 5 years ago | (#25951571)

Thank you for finding the PC way of saying what I was thinking. The best I could come up with is "this is the worst fucking idea for a game I've ever heard."

Re:I don't know (4, Interesting)

MicktheMech (697533) | more than 5 years ago | (#25951661)

I just checked out the video [virtualpeace.org] on the site. It's as lame as it sounds.

Re:I don't know (2, Insightful)

batquux (323697) | more than 5 years ago | (#25951763)

Actually, it's not. It's much, much worse.

Re:I don't know (1)

egr (932620) | more than 5 years ago | (#25951819)

uff talking about bad narrating

Re:I don't know (4, Insightful)

DeadDecoy (877617) | more than 5 years ago | (#25951713)

That really depends on the game mechanics. If it's fun, then the core idea can be whatever it needs to be. If you think about it, games with initially odd concepts have performed well: Sim City (or any of the Sim Series), the Tycoon series, Pheonix Wright, Eco, Katamari Damacy, Sonic. Not every game needs to be pigeone-holed into RTS or FPS to be fun. It's just easier for publishers to make the safe bet.

Re:I don't know (3, Interesting)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 5 years ago | (#25951833)

But the ones you listed don't have an overt propaganda mission (ok, "educational aim"). This is "Make Learning Fun"! - which generally isn't a very good way to teach.

If they wanted to actually get their point across, make it an expansion module to America's Army where you get promoted to a position that actually needs these skills to win the game. Think Petraeus in Iraq.

Re:I don't know (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25952237)

Phoenix Wright had an "educational aim" - it taught players that not everyone accused of a crime is actually guilty of that crime. You'd be amazed at how the court of public opinion believes that accused = guilty...

Re:I don't know (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25952375)

Was this a reference to OJ Simpson?

/guilty

Re:I don't know (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25952519)

No, Hans Reiser.

Re:I don't know (1)

DeadDecoy (877617) | more than 5 years ago | (#25952275)

Yes, you're right for the most part that educational games do suck. But, I think that's mostly due to poor game design rather than a bad core concept. Here's my counter example: Wired Article [wired.com] . You also make some good points on how to make the learning process fun or motivating instead of a tiring marketing drone :). Maybe the developers will follow your advice if they read slashdot, heh.

Re:I don't know (5, Insightful)

jamboarder (620309) | more than 5 years ago | (#25952337)

"But the ones you listed don't have an overt propaganda mission...

...make it an expansion module to America's Army..."

I hope this took you at least several hours to write because it's difficult to imagine the two thoughts occurred within within seconds or minutes of each other...

Re:I don't know (1)

digitalderbs (718388) | more than 5 years ago | (#25952205)

add Captain Novolin [wikipedia.org] to your list.

Re:I don't know (1)

MaxwellEdison (1368785) | more than 5 years ago | (#25952005)

I tend to agree...and I've sunk more time than I'd care to admit into Aerobiz Supersonic [wikipedia.org] .

Re:I don't know (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 5 years ago | (#25952215)

I don't think it's PC to think about projecting American power by means more complicated than just killing bad guys. Even the military [defenselink.mil] knows better than that.

Re:I don't know (4, Funny)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 5 years ago | (#25951625)

I just can't see staying up until four in the morning to get the last of that bottled water to Indonesia... Next year they come out with "Checkbook Simulator" and Virtual Dishwashing!"

Re:I don't know (3, Insightful)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 5 years ago | (#25951845)

You haven't heard of the smash hit "The Sims"? It's been done, and people loved it.

Re:I don't know (1)

Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011) | more than 5 years ago | (#25951855)

Do you know the release date for Virtual Dishwasher?
Or Yard work Simulator?

I am getting so tired of waiting.

Re:I don't know (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 5 years ago | (#25952401)

I'm holding out for Gravy Trader myself. I heard the review copies got a score of 101%!

I'm sure I can find a review copy on a Bit Torrent site, but alas! I have no hands.

Re:I don't know (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25952757)

Do you know the release date for Virtual Dishwasher? Or Yard work Simulator?

Oh, there's already a game based around mowing the lawn [atarimania.com] .

Re:I don't know (1)

Tychon (771855) | more than 5 years ago | (#25952823)

Virtual Dishwashing features you as Sudwise Slick, the meanest soldier in the fight against the vile armies of Lord Grungeworth.

Featuring live sudsing action with wall-climbing abilities and breakneck speeds as you chain combo slides to build up the force you need to knock the grunge back into the depths of the drain. One false slip at these velocities will burst Slick's bubble and see the victory of Grungeworth's Operation Buildup, so watch your step.

Re:I don't know (1)

reginaldo (1412879) | more than 5 years ago | (#25951705)

I think it would be fun to see how much damage Hurricane "Scrambles the Death Dealer" wreaks on virtual Honduras, especially when relief is coordinated by someone who negotiates solely by using "Yo Mamma" jokes.

In all honesty, as an educational tool I think this would be very useful. I certainly don't understand all of the moving parts of a proper disaster relief effort. If this teaches my why FEMA has to be so huge and bureaucratic, then I would be amazed.

Re:I don't know (3, Insightful)

stuntpope (19736) | more than 5 years ago | (#25951899)

I don't believe it's intended as video game entertainment. It's an educational simulation to train people who may need to devise disaster response policy. Players run through the simulation, make certain choices, and then they all engage in an after-action review session to check the appropriateness, or effectiveness, of their choices.

Re:I don't know (1)

MaxwellEdison (1368785) | more than 5 years ago | (#25952043)

Players run through the simulation, make certain choices, and then they all engage in an after-action review session to check the appropriateness, or effectiveness, of their choices.

The AAR, great in theory...but harder to sit through than a 4 hour budget meeting.

Re:I don't know (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#25952171)

And hopefully, the appropriateness of the situations presented in the game...

Re:I don't know (1)

Triv (181010) | more than 5 years ago | (#25951987)

I'm guessing you were never in Model UN in high school - this looks to be exactly like that, but with a glossy, Second Life sheen.

It could be fun if it were done correctly or at least be educational, but this looks like it'll end poorly. I fail to see why getting kids into a room, assigning them characters and responsibilities and letting them argue with each other needs to have an OMG TEH INTERNETS MAEK AWESOME component to it.

Re:I don't know (2, Funny)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 5 years ago | (#25952563)

I'm guessing you were never in Model UN in high school

That's the thing that even chess club nerds are embarrassed to be associated with, right?

Cheat codes! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25952073)

I just don't see a lot of mass appeal for a game that involves handing out disaster-relief supplies or carefully negotiating power-sharing deals in shaky democracies.

Nah, you just have to find the cheat code that give you all the guns and full ammo. Then it becomes just like GTA except in the third-world. Watch out for the UN support troops; if you shoot too many of them, you'll be stuck inside a wall of bodies.

I think they're calling the codes hot tea [wikipedia.org] or something...

Re:I don't know (1)

hey! (33014) | more than 5 years ago | (#25952155)

Well, what about Sim City?

I never got into FPS games, but I did at one point have a serious Sim City habit. The point of a game is to get you into a kind of "flow state"; so any game with a dynamically evolving situation that requires just the right amount of attention can do the job. Sim City worked because the city starts out growing, and once it gets to the size where expansion isn't rewarding anymore there's always a problem cropping up some place.

It seems to me that humanitarian relief is something that could be simulated in a game. Many great games, computer or otherwise, are about resource management. Do you put your resources into feeding a population in place? Or do you build refugee camps? Refugee camps centralize a lot of logistical problems, but by doing so increase dislocation, and can present persistent, long term security and development problems.

Like any other simulation game, the devil is in the details. To be playable a game has to realistic enough to be convincing and interesting, but not so realistic it is impossible to play.

Re:I don't know (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 5 years ago | (#25952175)

As long as the game mechanics are sound, who cares what the premise is? One of my favorite games for the 2600 is Plaque Attack, a dentistry based SHMUP. Yeah it's a retarded idea, but the end result is a lot better than Space Invaders on the same platform.

I Played as the US... (5, Funny)

vjmurphy (190266) | more than 5 years ago | (#25951557)

I played as the US in the Katrina emergency so that I could eat Cheetos and surf the web instead of helping anyone. After a few in-game days, I transferred some water to the survivors and attempted to blame everyone else.

Re:I Played as the US... (2, Informative)

Lookin4Trouble (1112649) | more than 5 years ago | (#25951695)

I see what you did there, a crack at FEMA. Bloody brilliant, if not entirely rooted in fact.

I'm pretty sure there's folks who were on the ground on day one who would disagree with you, including myself (No, I do not work for FEMA, but I am a Federal Employee, and made the trip down as soon as it became apparent that things were worse than expected). That said, I won't resort to calling your post flamebait, or anything else of the sort, even though I agree it is disappointing that certain executive officials may not have necessarily respond with the alacrity that the situation called for. In the meantime, please don't downplay the role myself and other volunteers played in search and rescue operations, as well as recovery efforts in the months after (both physical and economic).

Thanks

Posted with "No Karma Bonus" modifier, but not anonymous, so you can dig through my comment history and maybe glean who I do work for from there...

Re:I Played as the US... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25952435)

That's a pretty mealy-mouth post. You said so very little, yet used so many words!

I'm pretty sure there were lots of people "who were on the ground on day one" who don't give a rats ass about apologists like you expressing "disappointment" in the deep and widespread corruption that was uncovered during and after the hurricane.

Thank, pal, for your efforts. A few good apples in a rotten barrel do not stand a chance, though. That no officials were ever held accountable is way past horrible, rather it just bolsters my already well-earned cynical position.

Matter of fact, these kinds of incidents have evolved my position on the death penalty. It used to be no, it does not serve as a deterrent. Most violent crime, that's true.

But hey, I think for certain type of white-collar crime, it will serve as an amazing deterrent. Let's see CEO's and politicians and everyone in between continue their corruption unabated while their predecessor's body is still hanging on public display. I think somebody will be like "um, nah, I'm not gonna delete 3 years of white house emails, I wanna live. I quit. Yes, I'll testify."

I'm not sure if I'm joking anymore. Somebody compare the levels of obvious and visible corruption to the number of corruption trials held. Shit, how many years did it take for Ted Stevens to finally get nailed, for doing what he's always done since day one? Funny how something suddenly becomes illegal, even when nothing changes except when somebody comes along who is able to prosecute...nation of laws, my ass.

Re:I Played as the US... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25952733)

A few good apples in a rotten barrel do not stand a chance, though.

Speaking of corruption, how many times have you heard a Police Chief or General or CEO saying "It's just a few bad apples..."? The complete saying is "A few bad apples spoil the whole barrel". Are they admitting that their organizations are spoiled, or corrupt? You'd think a smart journalist would ask the obvious question "Excuse me Chief, are you saying that your whole organization is spoiled, like a barrel of apples with a few bad ones in it?" But maybe there are "a few bad apples" in the mass media who make sure such questions are never asked.

I'm still waiting for them to start putting the CEO's of the banks, credit agencies, etc, on trial for starting the Global Financial Crisis. How long do you think before they start arresting those guys?

Why doesn't somebody make a game teaching CEOs, politicians, etc, how to not rip people off, and how to root out corruption in the government?

Re:I Played as the US... (1)

Trespass (225077) | more than 5 years ago | (#25952735)

That's a pretty mealy-mouth post. You said so very little, yet used so many words!

I'm pretty sure there were lots of people "who were on the ground on day one" who don't give a rats ass about apologists like you expressing "disappointment" in the deep and widespread corruption that was uncovered during and after the hurricane.

Thank, pal, for your efforts. A few good apples in a rotten barrel do not stand a chance, though. That no officials were ever held accountable is way past horrible, rather it just bolsters my already well-earned cynical position.

Matter of fact, these kinds of incidents have evolved my position on the death penalty. It used to be no, it does not serve as a deterrent. Most violent crime, that's true.

But hey, I think for certain type of white-collar crime, it will serve as an amazing deterrent. Let's see CEO's and politicians and everyone in between continue their corruption unabated while their predecessor's body is still hanging on public display. I think somebody will be like "um, nah, I'm not gonna delete 3 years of white house emails, I wanna live. I quit. Yes, I'll testify."

I'm not sure if I'm joking anymore. Somebody compare the levels of obvious and visible corruption to the number of corruption trials held. Shit, how many years did it take for Ted Stevens to finally get nailed, for doing what he's always done since day one? Funny how something suddenly becomes illegal, even when nothing changes except when somebody comes along who is able to prosecute...nation of laws, my ass.

So basically you're screaming "Off with their heads!" in a shrill, ineffectual voice and trying to justify it as a political position? Neat.

gg nextmap

Chomsky would be proud. Now get back to work. That coffee won't make itself.

Re:I Played as the US... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25951839)

I played the Mayor of New Orleans and got bonus points for doing nothing and blaming the POTUS instead of myself, the Parish President, or the State Governor. I got even more points for taking in billions of dollars and letting most of it get wasted in corruption and graft!

Re:I Played as the US... (1)

megamerican (1073936) | more than 5 years ago | (#25952071)

You forgot to mention that after blaming everyone else you asked for more money and more power from congress. Congress is doesn't want to seem like it is doing nothing so it then happily grants your request.

Fun side missions include, illegally breaking into people's homes, taking away guns from rich white people who aren't affected by the flood and arresting people who try to get back into their homes even though their home isn't affected! (and yes all of these things have been done by FEMA).

Who said this game wouldn't be fun? It is a psychopaths wet dream!

Re:I Played as the US... (0, Redundant)

megamerican (1073936) | more than 5 years ago | (#25952119)

Please forgive my obviously bad grammar in the second sentence!

Re:I Played as the US... (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 5 years ago | (#25952159)

How on earth did you get through the first phase of the game? Arabian horse breeding is not for the timid!

Re:I Played as the US... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25952673)

Don't worry, you're doing a heckuva job! [commondreams.org] .

Re:I Played as the US... (2)

jameskojiro (705701) | more than 5 years ago | (#25952739)

I played as the United States during the Indonesian Earthquake and actually played the same way you did during Katrina and everyone blamed me.

I played again and this time provided relief and everyone still bitched and complained about the US.

I then sent "relief aid" to the rest of the world in the form of C-4 wrapped around Pu235.

No one bitched about the US after that.

Get used to hearing it... (4, Funny)

Doc, the Weasel (827155) | more than 5 years ago | (#25951595)

I need to mobilize the National Guard and send food to the affected areas... "Spawn more Overlords!"

Booooring. (1, Funny)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 5 years ago | (#25951639)

Hey, would you like to come over to my house and play a new game?

Sure, what is it?

It's called Virtual Peace!

Virtual Peace, huh. That's a cool name for a sex game! Is it like Leisure Suit Larry?

No, Peace, not piece, you know, as in non-violent lovey-dovey.

So it's a girl game?

Well, not exactly. It's about saving people from disasters and injustice through negotiation and treaties.

Oh. Do you get to kill people, like in Star Wars where they were all like What are you doing!? And she was all, "Aggressive negotiation!"

No. It's just a sim where you run around passing out supplies. You get feel good points though, which you can use to upgrade to a bigger backpack, or better running shoes, or a nice biosuit.

Umm... Could we just play Grand Theft Auto?

Yeah, sure! It's way more fun anyway. Wanna know a quick way to make money? After you pick up the hooker you kill her and then she drops money. Cool huh?

Word.

Re:Booooring. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25951721)

How many dildos do you own?

Re:Booooring. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25952147)

Just one, but it feels so good in my asshole

Forging Peace. (1)

Ostracus (1354233) | more than 5 years ago | (#25951641)

"Duke University in collaboration with Virtual Heroes (who created America's Army) has produced a game called Virtual Peace, the intention of which is to help the gamer develop disaster relief and conflict resolution skills."

They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore. - Isaiah 2:4 [wikipedia.org]

Re:Forging Peace. (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 5 years ago | (#25951783)

I did not know that translated to "make crappy edutainment games instead of popular first person shooters".

Re:Forging Peace. (2, Funny)

Kent Recal (714863) | more than 5 years ago | (#25952097)

Uh huh. Thanks for reminding us that the bible has a retarded quote for just about everything.

Re:Forging Peace. (1)

grayshirtninja (1242690) | more than 5 years ago | (#25952509)

"Those who beat their swords into plowshares usually end up plowing for those who didn't." - Benjamin Franklin.

Another great quote by Ben Franklin... (2, Interesting)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 5 years ago | (#25952607)

"I am Ben Franklin! Master of sex and Voodoo!" - Benjamin Franklin

Re:Another great quote by Ben Franklin... (1)

Omestes (471991) | more than 5 years ago | (#25952745)

"I am Benjamin and I approve this message" - Oscar Wilde

Reality Check (0)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 5 years ago | (#25951691)

Can someone give me an example where "conflict resolution skills" has had ANY effect on the world stage? This seems like the "Wage Peace" bumper sticker for the electronic age - nice saying, but there's nothing actually there.

Re:Reality Check (3, Insightful)

tthomas48 (180798) | more than 5 years ago | (#25951755)

Um... Cuban Missile Crisis? Just first thing that popped into my head. There have been a couple times in the past when conflict resolution skills have come in handy.

Re:Reality Check (1)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 5 years ago | (#25951937)

I don't think that is the "conflict resolution" these people have in mind. Khrushchev made a play and was told "get the missiles out of Cuba or you're fucked", and he blinked. I seem to remember a shitload of warships involved as well.

Mind, I don't disagree with your basic premise - conflict resolution in which violence can be involved is a useful skill. But I don't think that's what the game authors mean.

Re:Reality Check (1)

strong_epoxy (413429) | more than 5 years ago | (#25952775)

And dozens of B-52s loaded for bear just outside their borders.

Re:Reality Check (1)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 5 years ago | (#25951981)

You mean, "If you don't do what we say we will blow your ships out of the water?" kind of conflict resolution? I don't think that is what this game is about. I would guess that the vast majority of times where conflicts have been avoided by peaceful means, we never heard about it. By the time we are deep enough in it for the general public to care, you have generally already botched the peaceful conflict resolution.

I would liken the Cuban Missile Crisis to calling the dad a hero that studied law while doing his prison sentence for rape murder and drug smuggling, and when he got out, he didn't go back to raping murdering and drug smuggling. He got a decent job working at a non-profit organization.

Re:Reality Check (1)

LandDolphin (1202876) | more than 5 years ago | (#25952115)

Turning his life around from a drug smuggling rapist into a productive member of society seems like it could qualify as heroic.

Re:Reality Check (2, Insightful)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 5 years ago | (#25952169)

No, heroism is going from ordinary to extraordinary. Going from scumbag to ordinary is reform.

Re:Reality Check (1)

LandDolphin (1202876) | more than 5 years ago | (#25952437)

So a man who was never suppose to walk again because of an accident pushing through his disability and learning to walk again did nothing heroic because walking is "ordinary"?

Re:Reality Check (1)

TheGeniusIsOut (1282110) | more than 5 years ago | (#25952825)

Only if he chose to get mangled in the car accident.

Re:Reality Check (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 5 years ago | (#25952479)

You mean, "If you don't do what we say we will blow your ships out of the water?" kind of conflict resolution?

Um. No. While, of course, that was a big part of the public face of the US response, the reality was considerably more involved. The Wikipedia article on the crisis [wikipedia.org] covers much of it; to portray the substantive "conflict resolution" of that crisis as this kind of simple threat is extraordinarily inacccurate.

Re:Reality Check (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25952309)

Can someone give me an example where "conflict resolution skills" has had ANY effect on the world stage?

Well, pretty much anywhere in the world where there was war and now there is peace - the one exception being if the war was resolved by all-out genocide.

Here's one specific example, though. Compare what happened to Germany after WWI to what happened to Germany after WWII. Why was the reconstruction successful in one case and a miserable failure in the other? Fundamentally, conflict resolution.

The basic idea behind conflict resolution is that you work out a deal that both sides can live with. Germany was OK with the peace terms imposed on it after WWII but not with the peace terms imposed after WWI: hence, dramatically different results.

Another, more recent example, is the whole business with Northern Ireland. Eventually, a deal was worked out that everyone could live with and people stopped blowing each other up.

Conflict resolution is not about rolling over and letting the other guy win. Conflict resolution is about finding a way to avoid rolling over that doesn't beat up the other guy so bad that he devotes his life to trying to destroy you. Conflict resolution is that idea that life has enough possibilities that there's almost always a possibility out there that everyone is OK with.

Re:Reality Check (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25952573)

Can someone give me an example where "conflict resolution skills" has had ANY effect on the world stage?

I really don't understand what you mean... Conflict resolution is exactl what UN peacekeepers are trained to do and what they do every day. I don't know whether that has any effect on "world stage" (whatever it is), but it certainly prevents conflicts from escalating and saves lives all the time.

That's fine but... (2, Funny)

Marc Desrochers (606563) | more than 5 years ago | (#25951693)

What about PvP?

Re:That's fine but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25951793)

well i'm a holy priest in WoW, and this game description sounds more or less like what I do.

think i'm gonna have to roll a rogue or something.

Re:That's fine but... (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 5 years ago | (#25951857)

PvP is indirect in this game. You have to starve the person to death by giving supplies to someone else. It takes strategy and skill as opposed to some of those other lame PvP games on the market.

Re:That's fine but... (2, Informative)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#25952011)

You might be joking; but selective apportionment of resources is actually a very, very powerful political tool. You see elements of it in the politicized civil service appointments of virtually any nation(or the selective use of aid to advance policy objectives); but the real deal usually involves some tinpot president for life seeing to it that his voters get to eat and the other guy's voters get to starve.

Re:That's fine but... (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 5 years ago | (#25952085)

It's also a popular way to kill off ethnic groups that aren't your own.

Idea isn't necessarily bad (2, Insightful)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 5 years ago | (#25951801)

The idea itself isn't necessarily a bad one. Not all games have to be violent, and 'fun' computer games can be had without violence, sex, or comedy.

That said, it's the gameplay that makes it work or not work. It sounds like this one is going to be a flop (not to mention it sounds rather politically motivated, another thing that can potentially ruin a game...)

Re:Idea isn't necessarily bad (1)

db32 (862117) | more than 5 years ago | (#25952307)

Oh please...are you telling me that Tetris isn't horribly suggestive?

You enjoy your having 'fun'. I am going to keep playing the Fallout series that has violence, sex, comedy, AND drugs. My fun will be without the quotes.

Re:Idea isn't necessarily bad (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 5 years ago | (#25952475)

Just for clarification, I put fun in quotes (albeit single quotes) for a fairly simple reason: it seems that many people in many culture think a fun computer game can't be made without violence/sex/comedy. Or a movie, for that matter.

Also note that, my own personal convictions aside, I did not solely mention vices in my post but something neutral like comedy as well (of course, comedy can certainly be based on non-neutral themes).

Re:Idea isn't necessarily bad (1)

db32 (862117) | more than 5 years ago | (#25952729)

The problem is violence, sex, and comedy are probably the top three interests of the human mind. Even when it isn't terribly overt, a great many things boil back down to those three things. That whole lets sit and think out a puzzle stuff probably tends to come after those 3 on average. Even for those that fancy themselves as strictly intellectuals are driven by the first three, and the ones that deny frequently turn out to be the more dangerous people. The more aware people recognize those animalistic impulses and can manage them without denying it or getting out of control.

I can pretty much promise that without the violence/sex/comedy inputs elsewhere in your life that no game without them would be very fun.

Re:Idea isn't necessarily bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25952815)

(not to mention it sounds rather politically motivated, another thing that can potentially ruin a game...)

As far as I know, there is no political party that is categorically opposed to disaster relief and conflict resolution. Unless you're handing out condoms in Africa or trading arms for hostages, I can't see what possible political message it could be sending.

Conflict resolution (5, Funny)

BigGar' (411008) | more than 5 years ago | (#25951861)

America's Army teaches conflict resolution.
By killing all those that disagree with you, you resolve the conflict.

Re:Conflict resolution (1)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 5 years ago | (#25952017)

Great - NOW I lose my mod points! Hundreds of thousands of years of human history agrees with you - 30 years of bong smoking idealism thinks you are an unevolved warmonger.

Pass me that rock, will you? I'm tired of saying "Nice doggie..."

Healthy Gaming (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25951873)

More news on health and exercise related video games:
http://www.healthygaming.com/blog/ [healthygaming.com]

Expansion pack for America's Army... (3, Funny)

Vexler (127353) | more than 5 years ago | (#25951883)

...will be checking to see whether your avatar has served in the Virtual Peace Corps before deciding to let you join.

Watch out (3, Funny)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 5 years ago | (#25951887)

While flying supplies into the outback, we were shot down by the kangaroos anti-aircraft fire.

So...in other words... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25951893)

It will suck ass just like their previous work?

Because they built a game to satisfy the desires of people who do not play video games, but want to manipulate those of us that do, to do their bidding?

I for one welcome these idiots. There are not enough idiots with spare money to burn these days. Seems they all went broke or they wised up. Now who wanna invest real money in worthless stock? Yeehaw, can we do it all over again?

Instead of calling it Virtual Peace... (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25951925)

... why don't they just call it Instant Pussification or perhaps Spreading the Ghey?

Two words (1)

dword ZZork (1421463) | more than 5 years ago | (#25951971)

I mean really, I've been waiting for this game for so long it's just not even funny. VIRTUAL PIECE: it'll sell millions!

Video goodness (5, Insightful)

Triv (181010) | more than 5 years ago | (#25952075)

There's a video up on the referenced website, and it's freakin' hilarious - there are 20-30 kids seated at computers and wearing headsets and playing around in a virtual world, completely ignoring the fact that, if they took the computers away, they'd be sitting in a room with 19-29 other students who could easily pose the same arguments and take on the same personalities IN PERSON. It's called Model UN, and it's been going on in high schools for at least a decade. The selling feature of this thing looks to be that it's happening in a virtual world that looks sorta like the conference rooms in the real world where decisions were made about Hurricane Mitch, and that you can make your avatars look like the real-life politicians involved.

The internet is not and should never be a replacement for exercising an imagination. I can't help but shake the feeling that somebody needed to justify a shiny new computer lab and this is what they came up with.

I'm working on a new game (4, Funny)

Vinegar Joe (998110) | more than 5 years ago | (#25952207)

I'm calling it "Oil For Food".....

Am I the only one... (1)

VE3MTM (635378) | more than 5 years ago | (#25952231)

Am I the only one who had visions of a real-time strategy game when they read the summary? I thought it sounded like an awesome idea.

Instead what is it? A virtual conference? Lame.

It's a sim, not a game (2, Informative)

Eil (82413) | more than 5 years ago | (#25952243)

Before you get all excited, note that this doesn't appear to be a game at all as the summary implies. ("Editors on crack" alert.)

Instead, it looks like it's just a simulator with one scenario that's used as an educational aid in one class at Duke University. It's not available for download. I don't even know why it's a .org domain. From what I can tell, the site explains this Virtual Peace in a very vague manner and appears to just a way for those involved in the development to get their big faces on the web (and probably in print).

Virtual Boredom (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25952293)

On the box in small print it should read: Gaydar not included.

Rape, pillage, loot and plunder (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25952299)

Would be alot more interesting if you could create virtual havoc for others. Take the good with the bad, I mean hey, it's a virtual simulator so why not make it "Real" by allowing the bad elements to also influence the outcome. Who wouldn't want to do a little looting, or even sell the relief supplies to the survivors at outrageous prices. How bout a Humvee drive-by with flash grenades and an RPG?

Learn From Valve (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25952305)

Zombies makes everything better.

I've got a bad feeling about this... (1)

Zathain Sicarius (1398033) | more than 5 years ago | (#25952403)

If any of you have played The Sims or any of its expansion packs, you know that somebody is going to play this game just to see how much they can screw over a country...

"ROFFLES! LETS NOT SEND WATER!!!"
"ZOMG I CAN DO BETTRR... SEND TSUNAMIS!! LULZ!"

Then of course they'll hop in games with people who are playing it seriously, and much griefing will ensue.

This is an undergraduate course at Duke University (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25952423)

It's like saying flight simulators are boring because you can't shoot the other planes.

This "game" is a simulator used to help train our potential, future world leaders how to resolve conflicts without resorting to the type of diplomacy typified in America's Army.

You will also notice there is no way to download this "game." It seems this is part of the course curriculum, as the private area of the website points out.

Sure, it may be more fun to blow someone's head off with a sawed-off shotgun, but really, would you do it for real, just for fun?

Re:This is an undergraduate course at Duke Univers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25952635)

"This "game" is a simulator used to help train our potential, future world leaders how to resolve conflicts without resorting to the type of diplomacy typified in America's Army."

Sadly, having a clearly published policy that violence is a last resort may lead to a situation where conflicts are minimised in the short term, but become much larger in the long term.

This if the other actors in the game do not have "reasonable, honest behaviour that maximises benefit for all" as their goal, and if they know the rulebook you play by.

Also, how would future world leaders react in a world that suffers from a population glut and a food slump? Suddenly "Hand out X packets of food to Y people" may not be a satisfactory answer.

Re:This is an undergraduate course at Duke Univers (2, Funny)

Kattspya (994189) | more than 5 years ago | (#25952719)

Why the hell do you think I joined the military, to get college money?

Who is going to shoot the looters? (2, Interesting)

jameskojiro (705701) | more than 5 years ago | (#25952667)

When handing out relief supplies in devastated areas, who is going to be shooting the lowlife scum looters?

I propose an add on module for online gamers to join as either looters or people who shoot looters.

This is a little disturbing. (4, Informative)

k1e0x (1040314) | more than 5 years ago | (#25952695)

America's Army was known to be a "reciting tool" intended to show kids how "cool" being a grunt in the infantry is.

In light of current politics, there is something on the "to do" list for the major players in government, and it's called National Service. Obama, McCain, Clinton and Bush all supported this and they have been using careful wording to sugar coat what is basically forced government conscription.

Rep. Rahm Emanuel Obama's choice for chief of staff wrote a book called "Big Ideas for America" where he writes. (emphasis added)

It's time for a real Patriot Act that brings out the patriot in all of us. We propose universal civilian service for every young American. Under this plan, All Americans between the ages of eighteen and twenty-five will be *asked to serve* their country by going through three months of basic training, civil defense preparation and community service.

Here's how it would work. Young people will know that between the ages of eighteen and twenty-five, the nation will enlist them for three months of civilian service. They'll be asked to report for three months of basic civil defense training in their state or community, where they will learn what to do in the event of biochemical, nuclear or conventional attack; how to assist others in an evacuation; how to respond when a levee breaks or we're hit by a natural disaster. These young people will be available to address their communities' most pressing needs. ..

Some Republicans will squeal about individual freedom..

On one hand, they say this is voluntary.. Groups like "Service Nation" that had a big rally in New York attended by McCain and Obama on, yep.. you guessed it 9/11 to exploit the date to promote their plan, they *claim* it will be a persons choice.. However if "Some Republicans will squeal about individual freedom" As Rahm says.. then he is clearly NOT planing for this to be voluntary.

I have no indication of it.. but I wonder if this game is, like America's Army, propaganda in order to convince people that "National Slavery" is a good thing and they they should love working for their masters in government.

I have a bad feeling about this... (1)

CptPicard (680154) | more than 5 years ago | (#25952721)

I'm sure it will turn out just like that Itchy & Scratchy episode where they had removed all violence and they were instead just kissing and hugging and handing each other gifts...

This would have probably been a much better game (1)

pizzach (1011925) | more than 5 years ago | (#25952835)

if PETA made it. Just sayin'.
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