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Serious Game Training Solutions

Training in a virtual world can be a crucial supplement to classroom and field training, providing a safe, low-cost method to improve skills quickly. The current generation of recruits, raised on computer and video games, is comfortable interacting with virtual environments, but these “serious games,” which are developed using video game technologies, can benefit trainees of any age and experience.

Alion uses open source and commercial gaming engines for cost-effective performance. Through our expertise in game development and 3D visualization, Alion can support critical training requirements of every description.

DCT medic_260-2 Scene from Damage Control Trainer
VMPA-bridge Scene from VMPA
Scene from Safe Surgery Trainer

Damage Control Trainer

A prime example of an effective serious game is the award-winning Navy “Damage Control Trainer,*” which is required training for every Sailor to practice shipboard navigation, communication protocols, and basic damage control. In controlled tests at the University of Central Florida, this serious game delivered 50-80 percent improvements among Navy recruits after just one hour of playing this serious game.

Virtual Maintenance Performance Aid

The “Virtual Maintenance Performance Aid” (VMPA) training game, developed by Alion to improve shipboard maintenance skills, has been adapted to enable student Readiness Control Officers (RCOs) on Littoral Combat Ships to practice damage control, tactical team training and force protection in a fully interactive virtual ship environment. Supporting both single and team training, VMPA is easily modified and its native high level architecture (HLA) interface makes for rapid interoperability. The solution includes the ability to integrate with ship driving simulations, allowing the RCO and Officer of the Deck to practice simultaneously in a team environment.

Safe Surgery Trainer

Reducing medical errors and increasing patient safety continue to be top healthcare priorities. Assisting in this effort, Alion has built a virtual training game for patient safety for the Office of Naval Research. The Safe Surgery Trainer (SST) was developed with partners University of Central Florida, IDEAS and Synensis Health to help medical personnel reinforce safety protocols, enhance team performance and improve outcomes for patients. SST will enable medical teams involved in surgery to practice virtual training scenarios in an immersive environment. Players can additionally engage directly with patient safety objectives by experiencing the roles of other staff (i.e. nurse, surgeon, anesthetist).

Why Games Work

Serious games can be an effective training tool. “Games work for the same reasons that learning works,” states Alion serious gaming expert Curtiss Murphy in his award-winning tutorial “Why Games Work and the Science of Learning" (download PDF).

Curtiss discusses the science of learning, an explanation of why games work, as well as game design techniques. By striking the right balance between instruction, immersion, engagement and feedback, learning becomes more interactive and fun, helping students succeed. The tutorial has been recognized as the Interservice/Industry, Training, Simulation and Education Conference’s (I/ITSEC) “Best Tutorial.”

*Produced in partnership with Raytheon BBN Technologies.


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