Let’s play Sim Iraq!

By Mark O’Neill

The latest tool in the US government’s arsenal in the war on terror – a virtual reality Sims game. Or as the Pentagon likes to call it, a ‘Human, Social, and Cultural Behavior Modeling program

Just a few days ago, I mentioned how the US intelligence community was using ‘Second Life’ for training. Now it seems it is also building virtual reality models of Iraq to get to know the place better.

They are hoping that by using these Sims-type games for training, they will discover :

how people communicate; what avenues of communication are traditionally trusted; who in that culture holds power and influence; how do tribal and trade associations interact; and where/how can societal behaviors contribute to options for stability and reduction in conflict potential.

Or they can just do what I did when I played the Sims. Set up a penthouse, buy a hot-tub and invite lots of hot girls around for a party.

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One Response to Let’s play Sim Iraq!

  1. Again you misinterpret a US government agency from your side of the Atlantic, and again you have LOLed me. The agency who is putting out a request for software designers to bid on the contract are not looking to use the software to discover

    how people communicate; what avenues of communication are traditionally trusted; who in that culture holds power and influence; how do tribal and trade associations interact; and where/how can societal behaviors contribute to options for stability and reduction in conflict potential.

    Those are inputs. Put into the system by experts. They hope to build a model that by manipulating the variants they can better determine how events or decisions will affect societal interactions.

    Its not a SIMS game anymore than modelling for climate change uses avatars that shiver in the cold.

    One of the bigger questions to ask would be:

    Can complexities of human interaction be modelled so the outcomes could be trusted and verified as accurate?

    And what is more complex? Human interactions or the weather? Do you trust climate change models? If so, what if models of human interactions, which is far less complicated, work as well as weather models? Then the government would know exactly who to kill and when to achieve its goals.

    Its hilarious to me that people that criticize the US intelligence agencies and military and their efforts of the war believe a lesser funded agency like NASA or NOAA have computer models that predict the future of the world with climate change models.

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