The Atlantic Magazine Features UrbanSim, ICT’s Counterinsurgency Computer Training Game

Published: January 6, 2010
Category: News

UrbanSim, ICT’s turn-taking strategy game created in collaboration with the U.S. Army’s Simulation and Training Technology Center (STTC), is the subject of a feature story in the Jan/Feb 2010 issue of The Atlantic Magazine.  The article covers how the game was modeled on the real world experiences of officers in Iraq and Afghanistan and how it is being used to help Army commanders practice counterinsurgency operations before entering the battlefield.
“Members of a tribe, for instance, want jobs, but they won’t work if they don’t feel safe. Instead, they might join the insurgents,” writes reporter Brian Mockenhaupt. “Patrolling neighborhoods, meeting with tribal elders, and creating more economic opportunities—tactics straight from counterinsurgency manuals—can reduce the likelihood of that outcome in the game.”
The article also states that the game is intended to teach commanders new ways of thinking about multiple problems in a fast-changing environment and notes that computer games provide an inexpensive and portable training option that allows for the comparison of different approaches by having multiple students run the same scenarios.
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