The US Navy Is Using A Video Game To Help Catch Pirates

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.

Wannabe SEALs Help U.S. Navy Hunt Pirates In Massively Multiplayer Game [Fast Company]

(Top image: Handout | Getty)


    Awesome idea there!

    now...what if a Somali pirate was lucky enough to get access to it...the battle goes

    Anyone remember that awful show 'Crash Zone'?

    One of the episodes revolved around a group of criminals putting a game on-line where the objective was to steal something... then they used the winners tactic to commit an actual robbery.

    Guys, someone's using a videogame! Real-life SEALs! Like, actual normal people! Using VIDEOGAMES! As in... what I waste my life on! Can you believe it?


    I imagine they'd have better luck catching them if they used gold dubloons.

    There is one problem and it can be seen in any/most FPS games these days.
    As soon as a player gets the ability to "respawn" there is no "fear of life" so a player asuming the role of a Somali pirate will just plough into a situation without wondering if he will get "sniped" while bobbing on the water (happened in real life hostage situation). Or a "captain of an oil tanker"-player will try to save his whole ship like Casey Ryback from Under Siege.
    Maybe all these things have been taken into consideration, but I have to say I like the idea of simulators for all situations.

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