US Navy creates an MMO to help catch Somali pirates

first_imgIf you’ve ever wanted to try your hand at catching pirates off the coast of Somalia, now you can. The US Navy has launched a new game designed to help solicit ideas of how to track and fight pirates. The game, unceremoniously called the Massively Multiplayer Online War Game Leveraging the Internet, or MMOWGLI, is less World of Warcraft and more interactive message board. Players accumulate points by submitting their ideas and getting votes from other players.The game starts you with a hypothetical scenario: the United States is being blamed for plundering Africa’s resources, relations with China are stretched to the limit, and both the US and China have warships off the coast of Somali patrolling for pirates. Those same pirates are blocking humanitarian aid for oil rig workers in the region.Once you get the gravity of the situation, you’re asked to come up with a 140-character suggestion for what tools you could use to turn the tide in this situation. Then, you’re asked to identify (also in 140 characters) what risks could be detrimental to your efforts to solve the problem. Players can then vote on one another’s suggestions and risks.As the game goes on, players with low scores and poor suggestions are eliminated based on the number of votes they’ve received. The top users with the most votes will proceed to the next round. The first thing to remember about the MMOWGLI is that it’s not so much an actual game with gameplay and graphics. It’s more of an exercise in crowd-sourcing ideas from the Web under the premise of a game.All of the players will be able to communicate with one another and build on each other’s ideas, though: so in that way it is actually massively multiplayer. Anyone can play the game, submit their own suggestions, and vote on ideas from other players. The first round of cuts will take place after the first week of play, and the lowest-voting ideas will be eliminated.The Navy plans to do three rounds of cuts, and at the end of the game the best and most popular suggestions will rise to the top. At the end of the game, all of the players will be able to see the winning ideas, grouped together. No, there’s no loot, no badges, nothing to win aside from the prestige of knowing that your ideas may be the way the Navy chooses to combat real-life piracy threats.Read more at MMOWGLI, via Wiredlast_img