Peace Time: June 26, 2001


Back in the 1980s, a naval officer down at the Department of Defense medical school used video disk technology to create an interactive simulation for combat surgeons. Great piece of work, but no one else picked up on the idea. Nearly twenty years later, the Army spent $30 million to set up the Institute for Creative Technologies at the University of Southern California to do the same thing. The ICT effort may catch on, if only because it's not explicitly an "army project" and you kind of expect over the top behavior from Hollywood folks (but not navy MDs.) Moreover, the mandate of ICT is to draw on the talents of the movie and computer game communities (especially those on the west coast) to apply their talents to simulations the army can use. Another, but largely unspoken, reason for investing in a semi-autonomous organization thousands of miles from the Pentagon is because being that far away from the usual gang of generals and bureaucrats, the creative types may be able to get down to creating useful simulation tools without the usual interference and Pentagon games. 


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