Serious educational game developer Alelo has announced that its Tactical Iraqi Language & Culture Training System will soon be utilized by the U.S. Army's 73rd Airborne Brigade and other units of the Army’s Southern European Task Force (Airborne) in preparation for deployment in Iraq.
The serious game, which was originally developed by the University of Southern California, teaches not only what to say in Iraqi Arabic, but also how to speak the language as well through lessons that focus on relevant skills, everyday situations and tasks. In addition, the software also covers cultural awareness topics such as Iraq’s non-verbal gestures and norms of politeness and etiquette.
Alelo officials note that this latest deployment of the Tactical Iraqi course follows its use by thousands of U.S. Marines and U.S. Army personnel who have learned how to communicate in Iraq safely, effectively, and with cultural sensitivity. Trainees learn while having fun by playing immersive, interactive, non-scripted, 3D serious games that simulate real-life social interactions involving spoken dialogs and cultural protocols.
Players begin learning functional communications skills within a few hours of play. From the first lesson, they listen to and speak in Arabic using a headset microphone, getting immediate feedback and guidance. Alelo adds that many rate the course better than instructor-led classes.
Players win the game by correctly speaking to and behaving with computer-generated Iraqi animated characters. If the Iraqis trust the trainee, they cooperate and provide the answers needed to advance in the game. Otherwise, they become uncooperative and prevent the trainee from advancing. The game has no shooting; trainees must communicate, rather than fight their way to completing the game.