Striving to blur the lines
between reality and fiction, the US military has developed a video game system that teaches troops how to avoid
dangerous situations by learning Iraqi gestures. In the simulation, dubbed Tactical Iraqi
, users must
communicate with digital Iraqis with both verbal and gesture commands. From the article: "The program teaches
military personnel some key gestures such as an up-down movement with the right hand to ask someone to slow down and
gives them tips such as removing mirror sunglasses when approaching local people... 'In Iraq, to show sincerity you
have to put more effort into your gestures,' said Dr Vilhjalmsson. 'In Western countries, we control our body language
more. In Arabic culture, it is important you show how open you are.'"
Other simulations contracted by
the US military and being developed by USC include Afghan and Arabic specific language and gesture programs. Further
proof of how the medium is going beyond just fun and games.