Figuring the more heads the better, the United States Navy has decided to "crowdsource" ideas for new tactics to help fight Somali pirates, and to do that they're using a video game.
It's a custom-built game called MMOWGLI (Massively-Multiplayer Online WarGame Leveraging the Internet), which will kick off next week for around 1000 military personnel and select civilian players. Using the same basic structure as other notable MMOs like World of Warcraft, it will allow players to assume the role of either military personnel, commercial crews or the pirates themselves.
A control group monitoring the game will evaluate the strategies all players use, and if any are found to be worthwhile testing in real life, then it's mission accomplished.
MMOWGLI is a new platform that can be adapted to suit other conflicts and regions, so if the US military wanted to get people to help them in Afghanistan, then presumably it could be tailored to that need.
You can check out MMOWGLI's scenario briefing here.
(Top image: Handout | Getty)