WILL Interactive is a serious game design company founded in 1994 by Sharon Sloane, Lyn McCall, and Jeffrey Hall. It initially developed simulation games aimed at educating teens on drug abuse, violence and sexual safety, but has since expanded, creating interactive games for the health care industry, law enforcement, and the United States Military, among others.
WILL Interactive uses live action, interactive movies. Using a “slice of life” method, with stories shot on location, based on true stories, their games “teach people how to think instead of what to think”. They developed their own interactive behavior modification system, VEILS (Virtual Experience Immersive Learning Simulations) that allow players to become the lead character in a live action feature-length movie, and make decisions to effect the outcome. These games take about two and a half hours to play, posing more than 80 moments of decision, and creating over 1,000 permutations in the game.
Army and military training games
WILL has developed training programs for all five branches of the United States Armed forces. Saving Sergeant Pabletti, a game WILL developed for the U.S. Army in the 1990’s, revolves around twelve trainees working together to save their wounded team leader. Saving Sergeant Pabletti was developed to combat sexual harassment following the Tailhook scandal; more recently it was used after the Abu Ghraib prison scandal. Other Will titles for the U.S. Military include Installation Command and Liberty Call.
Developed for the United States Army, Gator Six prepares soldiers for their deployment by giving them an opportunity to make life or death choices in a safe setting before being required to make them in the field. Created using lessons learned by soldiers returning from Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, the user makes decisions before deployment and the game allows the player to see how they continue to affect them down the line. It also helps to prepare for leadership, addressing a death in the unit, troop morale, communicating across cultures, and family responsibility. A small demo version is available online .
In 2006 the US Military reported the highest suicide rate among active serviceman since records began in 1980. Following the success of past programs such as Gator Six, the United States Army has consulted WILL Interactive to combat the alarming rise in suicide rates, as well as work to reduce the stigma attached to seeking mental health care in the armed forces. Traditional suicide prevention programs, including lectures and power points, do not take advantage of the technology and resources available. This suicide prevention interactive video will give serviceman of all levels an opportunity to assume two roles: an Army specialist on a new deployment, or an Army Sergeant home after multiple deployments; one will suffer from depression or suicidal thoughts, while the other, as a bystander or friend, has the opportunity to see the warning signs and help. The program should be released at the 2008 Military Suicide Prevention Conference in April.
Health care industry
Will Interactive has developed Anatomy of Care with Washington Hospital Center to deal with poor customer satisfaction. In 2007 CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield awarded a grant to Will Interactive to develop a program aimed to reduce violence in Washington DC charter schools.
Will Interactive created it's 'Campus' platform geared towards upper middle and high school age students. Some of Will Campus’ educational video game titles include Hate Comes Home, The Challenge, Interactive Nights Out 1 and 2, Just 2 Days and Generation Rx. Generation Rx, which was developed to combat prescription drug abuse in Kentucky High Schools, was a finalist in the 2007 SIIA CODIE Awards for Best Social Studies Instruction Solution and received the Children’s Technology Review Editor’s Choice Award for the highest quality children’s products in the interactive media category. Hate Comes Home combats racism among other concerns, and was developed with the Anti-Defamation League. The company received a grant in 2007 from CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield to develop a program to reduce violence in various Washington, D.C., charter schools.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Video games getting serious
- ↑ Videogame Simulator Job - Job of the Week - Portfolio.com
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- ↑ http://www.gazette.net/stories/083107/businew11739_32356.shtml
- ↑ FederalDaily.com > Army Suicide Rate Highest Since 1980
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 http://www.tsjonline.com/story.php?F=3110088
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- ↑ Serious Games Source: 'Serious Game To Address Drug Abuse In Children'
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