(From PCMAG.com) -- Years—and in some cases decades—after video games, virtual reality systems, and simulators have been embraced as learning tools, the U.S. Secret Service will finally put to bed a table-top game it uses in training and replace it with an electronic version, according to the Department of Homeland Security.
For the past 40 years, Secret Service agents have been using a miniature model environment called "Tiny Town" to play out their response to suicide bombers, bio warfare attacks, and other serious situations. This spring, it will be replaced by "Virtual Tiny Town" (more formally known as the Site Security Planning Tool), a video game-like environment with 3D models, smoke and chemical plume simulators, and in general, more interaction, as trainees will be able to see and move around the world in both first- and third-person perspectives.
Three 55-inch touch-screen kiosks will serve as the interface when the system launches at the Secret Service's James J. Rowley Training Center near Washington, D.C. this spring. The set-up connects to a computer running Virtual Battle Space (VBS2), which serves as the base simulation game.
The Secret Service's transition into the digital world of training came about with the help from the Department of Homeland Security Science & Technology Directorate.