The FBI gets Unreal with video game technology
Epic Games’ Unreal 3 engine has been around for quite some time, if you’re not familiar with it chances are you’ll be familiar with the games it powers; Unreal Tournament, Borderlands, Blacklight: Retributions and Tribes Ascend.
So powerful is it that the FBI Academy, through the newly launched Unreal Government Network (UGN), has announced it will be using the Unreal 3 game engine for training cadets.
Then engine’s creators have signed a long-term Unreal 3 reselling agreement with Virtual Heroes, a company that focuses on interactive learning simulations. As part of the deal United States agencies and allied governments will make use of the engine for various purposes on the UGN.
You might think this sounds odd but it’s actually quite common, not to mention a lucrative and growing market in the games’ industry; here’s what Michael Capps, the president of Epic Games, had to say,
“We recognize the growing market needs of our government customers and are excited to have Virtual Heroes provide a full spectrum of focused services and support using our game engine technology.”
The engine is being used to develop a “multiplayer crime scene simulator” to help train recruits. Along with this a “top-five defence contractor” and a “national laboratory” are using Epic’s engine to train their staff.
The engine is also being used to help develop medical training programs for platforms like HumanSim.
Virtual Heroes is probably best known for America’s Army, which was a recruitment and training game for the US military. The company currently employs over 170 people and it will probably grow even larger thanks to the current situation.
The military has long used simulators for training, and the advances in the Unreal 3 engine can only help to create a more life-like and detailed scenarios in which to train and evaluate future recruits and help advance medical treatments.