The U.S. Navy is calling upon gamers to help it solve the problems that the world could encounter in the future, showing that gaming skills have real-world applications.
The real-world problem that gamers will be tasked to solve, however, sounds like the plot for the Terminator franchise.
US Navy To Launch Online War Game
The U.S. Navy's Office of Naval Research is becoming concerned over the rapid developments in technology, particularly in the field of artificial intelligence. As such, it is looking to gather ideas to help humanity survive post-singularity, which is the term for a world where artificial intelligence has surpassed human intelligence.
The post-singularity world will feature a massively changed human civilization, though not necessarily for the better. According to Office of Naval Research director of disruptive technology Dr. Eric Gulovsen, the development of modern technology is leading toward singularity, but what happens post-singularity is largely unknown.
The U.S. Navy wants to prepare for such a scenario, and it needs gamers for its doomsday preparation. It has invited gamers to participate in its Maritime Singularity MMOWGLI, short for massively multiplayer online war game leveraging the internet. To participate, interested gamers will only need to enter their email address and state their interest in why they would want to join the online game, which will run for one week starting March 27.
"This is a complex, open-ended problem, so we're looking for people from all walks of life-Navy, non-Navy, technologist, non-technologist to help us design our Navy for a 'post-Singularity' world," Gulovsen explained.
This will not be the first time that the U.S. Navy will use an online game to help with its initiatives, as it has launched different MMOWGLIs in the past. The most recent one, which looked to create a more secure and prosperous South China Sea, asked participants to come up with various challenges and opportunities, with the scenarios then played out. The Maritime Singularity MMOWGLI will likely function the same way, but instead focused on the seemingly inevitable domination of artificial intelligence.
Skills Learned From Video Games
While playing video games have been viewed as time wasters by people who do not appreciate the industry, the activity has been proven to give gamers a variety of benefits, enough fort the U.S. Department of Education to consider video games as an educational opportunity.
A study has previously found that action games are actually good for a gamer's brain. The quick-moving targets, cluttered environments, requirement to make quick decisions, and the need to utilize varying attention levels in action games have been proven to have a better effect on a player's cognition compared to games that were designed for the purpose.
Another study found that action games can be effective in developing visuomotor skills. Through playing such video games, players will be able to boost their coordination of the visual information that their senses perceive with motor control, which is a crucial skill in many real-world activities such as driving.
In popular multiplayer shooter Overwatch, one of the available heroes named D.Va is Hana Song, a former professional gamer who is now piloting a robot to defend her homeland from threats. Hopefully though, gamers in real life would not have to do something like that any time soon.