Navy to battle Somali pirates with online game

Massively multiplayer game could offer real-world lessons

The Office of Naval Research announced plans to launch a new Internet war game to figure out how to battle pirates off the coast of Somalia.

ONR’s Massive Multiplayer Online Wargame Leveraging the Internet, or MMOWGLI, is scheduled to run for three weeks and recruit more than 1,000 players from across government. Though the current scenario is battling pirates, ONR is experimenting with MMOWGLI to see how online collaboration from a diverse group of players could solve real-life problems.

“At this stage, however, MMOWGLI is a simply a pilot/demonstration project,” said Garth Jensen, director of innovation for the Naval Surface Warfare Center Carderock division. “Therefore, we are exploring whether doing something like MMOWGLI within Navy is feasible, and if so, what we might learn from the experience.”

ONR plans to launch the game May 16.

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