You know how in movies when there’s a big battle in the characters’ futures and they go into some secret basement room behind a bookshelf and then seemingly begin to play some version of Warhammer 40k for strategy purposes? Well, that tabletop gaming, known as “Tiny Town,” played a big part in how the United States Secret Service trained for whatever dangerous scenarios had them jumping in between bullets and Presidents. Now, however, the Secret Service is on the verge of ditching their old tabletop ways for a more modern video game simulation. Old and busted? Tiny Town. New hotness? Virtual Tiny Town.
Launching this spring at James J. Rowley Training Center, Virtual Tiny Town includes a system of 55-inch touchscreen kiosks running a simulation called Virtual Battle Space, as well as smoke and chemical plume simulators. Trainees will interact with the virtual environment in both first- and third-person view, probably learning to dance around on their opponents’ corpses while taunting them through voice chat.
Virtual Tiny Town seems like a better way to help prepare for potential scenarios than regular paper Tiny Town, but probably nothing beats real life simulations where trainees have to actually use their body.
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