All those years playing World of Warcraft may not have been for naught: The United States Navy has begun crowdsourcing ideas for fighting Somali pirates ... through a new video game project. The game platform, called MMOWGLI (Massive Multiplayer Online WarGame Leveraging the Internet--not a reference to Jungle Book), is the product of years of research, will include more than 1,000 military and civilian players, and is planned for launch on May 16. It marks the first major effort by the American military to integrate both crowdsourcing and gamification into traditional military wargames.
MMOWGLI was developed by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) in order to test the feasibility of using massively multiplayer online games along the lines of Warcraft and Guild Wars to help solve difficult strategic problems. The MMOWGLI game launching in May will focus exclusively on combating Somalian piracy, but the gaming platform is open enough that it can be adapted to other military hotspots.
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