The US government has used video games previously as training tools and recruitment tools for various organizations like the police and military. However, according to a new report, the US Army and Department of Homeland Security are now exploring video games as a training tool to help teachers train for what to do in the case of an armed shooting in what might be the most depressing sentence featuring video games you've ever read.
As reported by Gizmodo, the simulation is developed by the Enhanced Dynamic Geo-Social Environment (or EDGE), a $5.6 million VR program developed by the US government and used previously to train fire departments and police agencies on how to respond to school shootings. A new updated version however will now be used to train teachers as well.
(Video from Gizmodo Media.)
There will be three playable roles in the new update: teacher, shooter, and officer. Each role has its own objectives and training protocols. For instance, as a teacher, the trainee must get panicked students into a safe location. As a shooter, the person has to find targets to randomly kill. And as an officer, the trainee learns to find and kill the shooter.
"The more experience you have, the better your chances of survival are," said Tamara Griffith, a chief engineer for EDGE. "So this allows you to practice and have multiple experiences [and] know what works and what doesn't work.
And if the premise sounds stressful, actual details of the training program include audio that incorporates echoing gunshots and children wailing. Keep in mind, victims within the simulation can be both adults or children.
"With teachers, they did not self-select into a role where they expect to have bullets flying near them. Unfortunately, it's becoming a reality," said Griffith. "And so we want to give them that chance to understand what options are available to them and what might work well for them."