Tech

May 18, 2012

Navy recruit players for online wargame to tackle energy challenges

The Navy’s Energy and Environmental Readiness Division, together with the Office of Naval Research, is inviting civic and military collaboration in energyMMOWGLI (Massive Multiplayer Online Wargame Leveraging the Internet) May 22-24.

The game will build on efforts to improve the U.S. Navy’s combat capability and energy security, particularly by promoting energy efficiency and diversifying its energy supply (use of alternative energy), which will ultimately reduce reliance on fossil fuels from overseas.

Scheduled to run for three days, energyMMOWGLI will immerse players in a future energy scenario from the year 2022 (view scenario at http://portal.mmowgli.nps.edu), and will ask them to generate ideas about how to reduce energy consumption, improve energy efficiency, and diversify its energy supply for the sake of future strategic readiness.

The game will be “an examination of what our energy future looks like if we fail to act now,” said Cmdr. James Goudreau, director of the Navy Energy Coordination Office. “Every day that petroleum prices increase, it erodes our ability to train for and execute operations that our nation demands of us. Little by little, that results in decreased combat capability, and that is something we simply cannot accept.”

Through use of the energyMMOWGLI, Goudreau says, “We hope to increase the awareness of energy security as a national security issue as well as stimulating discussion that will allow the Navy to achieve greater energy resiliency and combat readiness.”

Inviting broad-based participation – both civilian and military – is part of the strategy for a more secure energy footing in the context of a more uncertain energy future.

“We’re hoping for an extremely diverse set of players including talented thoughtful players from academia, industry, military, government, NGOs, and global citizens,” said Goudreau.

The game invites players to bring everything they know about energy from strategies they use at home to their workplace conversations, from their professional knowledge to their wildest imaginings. MMOWGLI is “an online game platform designed to elicit collective intelligence from an engaged pool of world-wide players to solve real problems facing the Navy and Marine Corps,” said Dr. Larry Schuette, director of innovation at ONR. The energyMMOWGLI game motto is: Play the game, change the game.

Players can view the future scenario and pre-register now online at http://portal.mmowgli.nps.edu. The Naval Postgraduate School and Palo Alto, Calif.-based Institute for the Future are partnering with N45 and ONR on the energyMMOWGLI project.




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