Army names top builders of virtual worlds

One of the winners named in the Federal Virtual Worlds Challenge is NonKin Village, in which trainers can create a virtual foreign village to help U.S. troops explore interactions with people of other cultures.

The U.S. Army is looking for a few good worlds -- virtual worlds, that is.

The Army Research Laboratory Simulation & Training Technology Center announced winners for its annual Federal Virtual Worlds Challenge in which contestants from around the globe compete to produce the best virtual solutions for training and other applications.


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One of the winners was NonKin Village, which received first place and a $5,000 prize in the Patterns of Life category. Developed by Innovative Management Concepts Inc., the reconfigurable virtual village provides trainers with a setting and society that can be used to help military forces learn about foreign cultures and norms, according to a news release from the company dated May 25.

“Trainees can use it like the mock villages at U.S. military forts to gain experience in foreign cultures and to learn to be sensitive to local norms, values, relationship building, and stakeholder issues prior to arriving in the country or region where they must interact with, and possibly influence and assist, natives in that culture,” IMC said in the release.

The team behind NonKin Village includes representatives from IMC, which is a service-disabled veteran-owned small business, and Barry Silverman from the University of Pennsylvania’s Ackoff Collaboratory for Advancement of the Systems Approach.

Winners have the opportunity to demonstrate the applications for government users and policy-makers.

Other winners include:

  • Grand Prize: CliniSpace: Parvati Dev and Wm. LeRoy Heinrichs, Innovation in Learning Inc. ($25,000)
  • Patterns of life: 1st Place ($5,000) for NonKin Village goes to Barry G. Silverman, ACASA Lab, and IMC Team, University of Pennsylvania.
  • 2nd Place ($3,000) for Second Life Checkpoint Exercise goes to The USC-ICT Virtual Intelligent Guides in Online Realms (VIGOR) Team.
  • 3rd Place ($1,000) for Uruk: The First City goes to Anton Bogdanovych University of Western Sydney, Australia.
  • Training: 1st Place ($5,000) for CliniSpace goes to Parvati Dev and Wm LeRoy Heinrichs, Innovation in Learning, Inc.
  • 2nd Place ($3,000) for Hurricane Shelter Simulation goes to Andrew Boyarsky CUNY School of Professional Studies.
  • 3rd Place ($1,000) for Standby Monitor Regulator Station goes to Kevin Simkins, VyperSim.
  • Concept exploration: 1st Place ($5,000) for Intelligence Training goes to Robert Daniel.
  • 2nd Place ($3,000) for Curiosity AI goes to Shannon Bohle.
  • 3rd Place ($1,000) for Next Gen Prototerra AI Demo goes to Robert Flesch.

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