Among Serious Games applications that have been recently developed by Simulation Team, I’d like to talk about Sibilla, that represents the result of an international collaboration and has been thought to allow participants to experience and learn group dynamics and information management.
Within this game the users are enabled to analyze and experience stress-related challenges related to cooperation within a synthetic dangerous situation. Sibilla, that consists of a web-based application, has been developed in order to improve collaborative and competitive training of security personnel in the prevention of attacks led by terrorists organizations or other criminals. The computer-based role play game described is suitable to be used also by organizational staff, managers and individuals in order to increase their awareness about some particular threats and consequently improve their ability to react to these issues avoiding dangerous situations which could potentially damage or destroy organizations, structures, equipment and individual lives. The main goals of Sibilla Serious Game consist of demonstrating the need for cooperation when a problem is addressed by a team of people working under pressure, focusing on the importance of the best use of available resources, encouraging analysis of problems while evaluating the reliability of information coming, often partially destroyed, from different sources, and finally supporting leadership training during stressful task-oriented organizational settings
In Sibilla, each player ( or a group of players) represents an agency aiming at preventing terrorists attacks against the nation. The participants know that various terrorist organizations are actively engaged in planning threatening activities. They do not know who or what is most dangerous or credible nor when such attacks might occur, where it may happen or how much and what is at risk.
The game begins with each agency provided with information on the importance of group dynamics in a temporary team, pointers on communication, cooperation and collaboration as well as a starting budget and a general review of the dangers the nation faces from such terrorist groups.
In addition to a starting budget, each agency receives random bits of information about suspected terrorist acts. They have limited resources: funds, data, personnel and time are limited. The players must leverage their knowledge, intuition and their budgeted money to improve the quality and quantity of information they have on terrorist activity and suspected subjects. They all “share access to “ ? or is it simply “They can access…” ? various specific channels: customs, informants, surveillance of suspects, financial and bank operations, police records of criminal activities, rumors and answers to inquiries. By sharing information and investing money intelligently, players increase the possibility of getting better evidence and clues that will allow them to understand the nature of the threat or threats and develop counter measures to dismantle it or them.
Players can share information with other agencies. The mechanism inside the Sibilla algorithm allows any player/agency to deny collaboration with others or accept and share information based on negotiated exchange of information or money. When teams collaborate they earn credit in terms of trust from the other agencies. They could, also, sign an agreement exchanging money for information. The more trust an agency accumulates, the greater the possibility it has to enhance collaboration and information exchanges that improve the odds for solving the threat mysteries.
Rewarding agencies for positive results, The Sibilla Awarding Algorithms allocates increased national security budget to them awarding a major percentage of the funds to the most efficient player.Good players soom realize they must work harder and play better. If the players do an excellent job, one of the agency/players could dismantle the plan and prevent an attack. That agency wins. If the players do not collaborate intelligently, effectively and efficiently, the terrorists win.
After playing the game, (whether the players discover and dismantle the plot or fail) ) they review both the negative and positive collaboration activity and assess the group dynamics, individual and group communication as well as the level and results of trust and mistrust.