With nearly a quarter of mass shootings in the USA occurring in or around schools, a ‘serious’ videogame is in development that will train teachers to respond to such scenarios.
It is the work of the US Army, the department of Homeland Security, and Cole Engineering Services, a tech firm who develop simulation-based training programmes and serious games. It is based on a soldier training simulation, but is being repurposed for school shootings, with input from the mother of a victim of the Sandy Hook massacre.
Gizmodo’s video on the game features Tamara Griffith, of the Army Research Laboratory, explaining its goals:
“The more experience you have, the better your chances of survival. This allows you to practice, and have multiple experiences, to know what works and what doesn’t work.”
Teachers are able to lock doors and order children to line up along interior classroom walls to keep out of sight. As Griffith explains, this is not something that they chose to deal with in their career, but “unfortunately, it is becoming a reality, and so we want to give them that chance to understand what options are available to them.”
Homeland Security say the simulation will be ready to launch in spring this year.