Gaming and Shared Situation Awareness
CENTER FOR NAVAL ANALYSES ALEXANDRIA VA
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The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency DARPA is interested in exploring key factors that affect how teams, particularly distributed teams, develop what is called shared situational awareness SSA in an operational environment. The DARPA Program Manager for the Wargaming the Asymmetric Environment program asked CNA to address these issues, with subcontracting support from ThoughtLink Incorporated. The focus of the project was to demonstrate how wargaming could be used as a testbed for conducting experiments to explore these key factors in team SSA. The approach centers on the use of a simplified, though not quite abstract, game that allows us to tailor its design and mode of play to focus on the specific research items of interest. In tie case of SSA, we designed the game so that the bulk of the operational task faced by the players lies precisely in building a shared picture-their SSA-of their operating area. This approach removes much of the potential confounding between SSA and game playing skill, a problem that can be associated with measuring a teams performance in a game primarily by measuring its success in performing a specific operational game task such as winning the game. This paper summarizes our survey of SA and SSA research, and describes the game we used as our test-bed, and outlines our experiment and its results. We conclude by discussing what we learner and speculating on where our research could lead in the future.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics