US Navy creates game to help solve real-world problems, fight pirates

By on May 12, 2011, 8:00 AM

The US Navy has announced a new video game: the Massive Multiplayer Online War Game Leveraging the Internet (MMOWGLI). Developed by the Office of Naval Research (ONR), the large-scale game is an experiment in generating collective intelligence to solve piracy-related problems. MMOWGLI is launching in just a few weeks (the official timeframe is spring 2011).

If you've always wanted to fight Somali pirates or take down a notorious terrorist leader, this game is for you. You also have to enjoy large games, as this looks to be one of the biggest online games ever created.

ONR plans to launch the new Internet wargame internally on May 16, 2011. It will start by recruiting a community of more than 1,000 players to collaborate on solving real-world problems facing the Navy. More specifically, for three weeks MMOWGLI will recruit online players from across the government to suggest ways of combating piracy off the coast of Somalia.

The piracy problem is just a means to demonstrate the platform, but MMOWGLI itself can be applied to any scenario. ONR intends to tap a diverse group of players from the ranks of academia, defense, as well as government and nongovernment organizations. In short, MMOWGLI is meant to identify solutions to difficult challenges by leveraging the intellectual capital of a broader community. It is still a pilot project, but it definitely sounds like it has potential.

"MMOWGLI is an online game designed to find and collectively grow breakthrough ideas to some of the Navy's most complex problems--those 21st-century threats that demand new forms of collaboration and truly outlying ideas," Dr. Larry Schuette, ONR's director of Innovation, said in a statement. "We hope MMOWGLI will help us to understand what happens when your insights are combined with the observations and actions of another player. Will that fusion result in a game-changing idea or solution, or will the MMOWGLI platform teach us something about our traditional thought processes?"

MMOWGLI should not be confused with what the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is doing. The organization last month asked gamers to test submarine-tracking simulator. Currently, ONR isn't asking gamers at large for help, but it will be soon.




User Comments: 14

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r3dark said:

yea cant w8

i cant w8 for the release date! xD! i signed up for it a while ago...

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Sweet! Since i'm in the UK, am I allowed to sign up for it? and if so, where?

Vegasplaya said:

It seems like a very promising and developmental game, but it doesn't seem too soon to ask for a screenshot or some other view of the game itself.

I'd like to see the interface and graphics...

r3dark said:

atm is for ppl in the navy and department of defence, they may ask gamers to join and help out at a later date ill let you know if i hear anything else.

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Cheers, sounds quite promising

Guest said:

Seems Good...but....thay Thing comes from US and The Navy...so that means War and Control...this game its another step to control the humand kind (no conspiracy Theory bcuz this really looks like that)...They will use it for good things and all the other things.

Guest said:

I'm wondering if there will be a side project named "BBALOO"

Guest said:

I get to live my real life, ( NAVY not Pirate), in a game, very surreal.. This better be a game worthy of people they plan to portray..

r3dark said:

i you want to get some real experience why not join the navy, its where i got my 3, and 1/2 years of experience. besides this is going to be used as a training tool for people in the us navy anyway. nothing beats OJT (on the job training). not to say that i still get sea sick on boats though...

I get to live my real life, ( NAVY not Pirate), in a game, very surreal.. This better be a game worthy of people they plan to portray..

madboyv1, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Guest said:

I'm wondering if there will be a side project named "BBALOO"

You know I was wondering the same thing after I realized what the acronym sounded like.

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

burty117 said:

Sweet! Since i'm in the UK, am I allowed to sign up for it? and if so, where?

As long as you promise not to give letters of marque to the pirates and set them off against Spanish shipping.

Guest said:

"get to live my real life, ( NAVY not Pirate), in a game, very surreal.. This better be a game worthy of people they plan to portray.."

So you should be able to swab decks, hot bunk, and have same-sex marriages in game?

Whoaman said:

How would the American elite make any money without a war?

No more Bin laden?

No problem!

Impoverished Somali pirates are the new great evil (joining ancient harmless beneficial plant called cannabis).

Gump said it best.

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