Virtual worlds and 3D simulation are increasingly being used in government agencies. These activities are extending well beyond the gaming community alone, and include applications designed for health, business, environment, defense, infrastructure and other formal government agencies. Many of the earlier problems and issues that were apparent in providing sumulated environments and virtual reality in 3D have been solved, and virtual worlds and simulations are no longer restricted to large, computing intense universities and company's. A continuum ranging from individuals to large government agencies all now experience such applications.
However, many federal agencies found Second Life, while a great learning experience, had limitations. The problems included security and access, technical difficulties with access and the expense and time needed to maintain the virtual environments," reported FCW.
The immediate benefits of virtual worlds and 3D visualization are to be found in educational and training applications. At the, for example, “The CUBE”, BCIT's Simulation Development Lab, will allow BCIT staff and students to design, develop and implement a range of simulator training and learning systems using 3D commercial simulation tools. The project will create interactive 3D “virtual” objects, which will be used to teach concepts in a manner that would otherwise be impractical or impossible due to size, weight or cost, as well as risk associated with potential outcomes."
Others include Fragile Earth Studios, EON Reality's Virtual Learning Program, NATO's Serious Games, University of Texas Nurse Training Simulation, nGRAIN Training in Defense Simulations, and programs like TU Delft Infrastructure and Environment program that includes simulation for updated construction processes. Even geo-political game simulation is becoming valuable for interpreting and experiencing changing international border and political issues.
As mobility technologies improve in terms of wider access and faster data transfer speeds at reasonable costs, further expansion of gaming and 3D simulation is likely to call for more 3D data, based upon reality, that can be used to drive advanced spatial applications for education and training.
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