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U.S. Navy fights piracy with MMOs

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The U.S. Navy has a new tool in its war against piracy on the high seas: MMOs. Specifically, the Massive Multiplayer Online WarGame Leveraging the Internet, or "MMOWGLI" if you like your awkward acronyms. Developed over several years to bring war simulations to the next level, MMOWGLI will go online May 16th and be used by civilians and military to figure out new ways to combat Somali pirates.

This unique MMO was developed by the Office of Naval Research to be used as a flexible training platform. Under the watch of a control team, players will secure and arm ships, plan for a variety of pirate attacks, figure out hostage situations, and raid pirate camps. There's no word on whether these raids will be 10, 20, or 40-mans.

ONR's Dr. Larry Schutte looks forward to seeing if this simulator will result in better preparedness: "We hope MMOWGLI will help us to understand what happens when your insights are combined with the observations and actions of another player -- will that fusion result in a game-changing idea or solution, or will the MMOWGLI platform teach us something about our traditional thought processes?"

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