BreakAway Games, the strategy and sports game developer that is now a leading creator in the 'serious games' world, has teamed up with Texas A&M University to receive a major government grant for a crisis health care simulation game. The game, to be called Pulse!!
, will be used to train both civilian and military medics in responding to bioterrorist threats.
The project has received $4.3 million in federal grants from the Department of the Navy's Office of Naval Research. The money will be used to establish a team composed jointly of BreakAway staffers and Texas A&M students at the Corpus Christi campus. BreakAway will lend 3D artists, programmers, and project managers to oversee the student team in developing the Pulse!!
"Virtual simulation training provides more flexibility, greater efficiency, and improved ability to assess progress, as well as a safe space for the learner to fail," said BreakAway CEO Doug Whatley. "Virtual patients –- powered by artificial intelligence engines in a virtual healthcare environment -– react as live patients would, and students see the immediate consequences of their actions."
The first phase of development on Pulse!!
is due for completion by September 2006. Once the base game is complete, future phases will focus on building new scenarios for health care workers to train in. Gamasutra has recently interviewed BreakAway CEO Doug Whatley
regarding a host of 'serious games'-related issues.