Serious Games and Homeland Security: a different approach for communication

On January 2014 the project Decision Theater – Strategic planning for smart government (SCN_00548)

The Decision Theater (DT) project aim at developing a service delivery platform to model, evaluate and validate strategic choices and decisions of the PA. In particular DT is targeting to different kinds of users, and among them there are citizens who receive directions or incentives to implement the policies, or even better, who participate actively to the policy definition. DT offers them tools on Internet and Social Networks to understand the policies (for example, Web pages or even serious games to enter the policies) and provide feedback.

On of the tasks of this project will study the potentialities of an innovative approach to information exchange between the administration and the citizen, based upon Serious Games.

 

The basic features of a Serious Game are represented by the recreation of a specific scenario in the most realistic way, in order to allow the training of the player; the potentiality of such an approach is based upon the user’s involvement through the typical mechanisms of gaming (levels, scores, …).

There are still several research works in progress to apply the potentialities of gaming to develop new methodologies for process optimization and complex problem solving. According to some ICT market researches from Gartner Group, by 2015 more than 50 percent of the organizations that manage innovation processes will gamify those processes. Considering a certain level of “optimistic unreliability” of this kind of statistics and a kind of anticipatory phenomena, driven by ICT provider to open new markets, nevertheless we can look at this forecast with a great interest. In particular, if we consider the combination of serious games and crowd sourcing. In fact there are several applications for public services and administration: any kind of decision or process could be analyzed in an innovative way leveraging on thousands different points of view of motivated and engaged players.

 

Predictive applications can be imagined off-line as well as on-line: for instance we can preliminary investigate impacts and potential solutions of a humanitarian or natural disaster crisis in an area asking (e.g. promoting a web-game) people living in that region to play as a crisis manager (off-line solution with respect to the event). This kind of solution could be also used during the real crisis (on-line) looking for different solutions to the evolving situation.

It is clear that Cloud computing is the ideal architectural solution to support such kind of on-line, mass, multi-player analytic games.

 

One of the goals of this work package is to investigate and define the Serious Games characteristics for such a specific scope and leveraging on such architectural solution.

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