US Secret Service Uses Gaming Tech for Training in “Tiny Town”

The Secret Service has a new weapon in their training arsenal. Together with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science & Technology Directorate (S&T) the Tiny Town table top models that have been used for forty years to teach security planning have gotten a digital upgrade. Thanks to inspiration from video games, the old models are getting a digital upgrade.

The new virtual “Tiny Town” will be instrumental in training new recruits as well prepping Secret Service agents and officers for specific missions using 3D models and virtual in-game environments. The base simulator is called Virtual Battle Space (VBS2) a tool developed in cooperation with the United States Marine Corps and the Australian Defense Forces. Advanced training scenarios include armed assaults, biological, chemical or radiological attacks, and suicide bombers.

Here’s the specifics on the virtual “Tiny Town” system:

  • 3D models and game-based virtual environments
  • Simulated chemical plume dispersion for making and assessing decisions
  • A touch interface to foster collaborative, interactive involvement by student teams
  • A means to devise, configure, and test a security plan that is simple, engaging, and flexible
  • Both third- and first-person viewing perspectives for overhead site evaluation and for a virtual“walk-through” of the site, reflecting how it would be performed in the field.

The system is displayed on a 55” Perceptive Pixel touch screen and can be viewed on a large LED 3D TV.

The big question is where can I get my hands on one of these? This looks like the best real-time tactical strategy setup imaginable. Check out the Homeland Security site for more details.

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