Tell me a story

It is only natural, in James Skurka's view, that the military should turn to the entertainment industry for help because simulation is really about the art of storytelling and making that story real and emotionally compelling.

A story provides a sense of context that makes it easier to learn new ideas and information, said Skurka, program manager for the Joint Simulation System. "What we want to do with virtual training is to tell really good stories. If we can get people emotionally involved, they remember their training very, very well," Skurka said.

One oft-told story in the simulation community is that the Army's efforts to modernize the service with cutting-edge information technologies began when the Army's then-chief of staff Gen. Gordon Sullivan sat in a simulator in the early 1990s and saw the power of information sharing between every soldier and commander on the battlefield.

Sullivan, for his part, asked that the service simulate so-called situational awareness because most of the U.S. casualties in Desert Storm were caused by friendly fire due to the sheer confusion and chaos of combat. "I don't know which came first, the chicken or the egg," he said.

Another story common among military simulation experts is of an aspiring Navy pilot who aced his flight training by modifying an off-the-shelf video game to mimic the training airfield.

The tales of two simulators will likely survive because they are good stories.

Featured

  • Telecommunications
    Stock photo ID: 658810513 By asharkyu

    GSA extends EIS deadline to 2023

    Agencies are getting up to three more years on existing telecom contracts before having to shift to the $50 billion Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions vehicle.

  • Workforce
    Shutterstock image ID: 569172169 By Zenzen

    OMB looks to retrain feds to fill cyber needs

    The federal government is taking steps to fill high-demand, skills-gap positions in tech by retraining employees already working within agencies without a cyber or IT background.

  • Acquisition
    GSA Headquarters (Photo by Rena Schild/Shutterstock)

    GSA to consolidate multiple award schedules

    The General Services Administration plans to consolidate dozens of its buying schedules across product areas including IT and services to reduce duplication.

Stay Connected

FCW Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.