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US government developing school shooting survival sim

Army and Department of Homeland Security working on first-person game that lets users play a teacher, cop, or shooter

Video games are sometimes accused of being a contributing factor to recurring school shootings in the US, but the government is hoping games can help lessen the tragedy of such events. As reported by Gizmodo, the US Army and Department of Homeland Security are jointly developing a first-person simulation game to help teachers understand what to do if they're ever in an active shooter situation.

The new simulation is the latest iteration of EDGE (Enhanced Dynamic Geo-Social Environment), a $5.6 million program which to this point has been used to train police and firefighters about how to respond to school shooters.

"The more experience you have, the better your chances of survival are," EDGE chief engineer Tamara Griffith said. "So this allows you to practice and have multiple experiences [and] know what works and what doesn't work."

The game will encourage teachers to follow a set of best practices in such a situation, from locking and barricading doors to lining people up against the walls. It will also allow users to play as police officers trying to kill the shooter, or as the shooter, trying to kill whoever they come across.

"With teachers, they did not self-select into a role where they expect to have bullets flying near them. Unfortunately, it's becoming a reality," Griffith said. "And so we want to give them that chance to understand what options are available to them and what might work well for them."

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Brendan Sinclair: Brendan joined in 2012. Based in Toronto, Ontario, he was previously senior news editor at GameSpot.
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