The FBI, amongst other US agencies, has committed to a long term agreement allowing them to license the Unreal game engine for use in training simulations.
The software will be used for training programmes, including simulations, in a bid to reduce the great expense of live training, reports the BBC. The Unreal Engine has quite a resume in gaming circles powering titles including Batman: Arkham City (Pictured right), Infinity Blade and the recently released Mass Effect 3.
The ‘long term‘ agreement will see the technology supported across a variety of gaming consoles, handheld consoles, smartphone platforms and a browser based Unreal engine “across secure government and corporate enterprise networks.”
The FBI will be using the Unreal engine recreate a crime scene simulation with multiple players.
Specific financial details were not revealed; however the statement did elaborate that the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) agency’s multi-year contract was worth in excess of US$10 million. IARPA will be using the engine to program “serious games that result in better decision making” instincts.
Colonel Robert “Pat” White, the deputy commander of the Combined Arms Center in the US and an advocate of simulation training, expressed his faith in the game simulation technology being used for army training.
“One of my responsibilities is setting the future course for training in the Army,” he said. “And as you all know, gaming has a significant role in that future.”
“Every leader struggles with limited time, dollars and resources. Those same leaders know it’s better to practice something first before you do it for real in live training. Live training is where our highest risk and greatest expense comes from.”
Other agencies and applications using the Unreal Government Network (UGN) include:
· Virtual Heroes, in collaboration with the Duke University Human Simulation and Patient Safety Center, is creating an anesthesiology training application for Army physicians.
· Virtual Heroes is developing the UE3-powered HumanSim platform for medical education and training.
· A top five defense contractor and a national laboratory have licensed UE3 and UGN to address their needs for custom model integrations and visualization.