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Gaming the System: Defense Acquisition University Rolls Out Casual Gaming Site

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It’s certainly no Call of Duty.

But, a new casual gaming website from the Defense Acquisition University, which serves the Defense Department’s procurement workforce, will let workers brush up on their skills and, just maybe, have a little fun.

Alicia Sanchez, a research scientist who works as DAU’s games czar, sat down with DoDLive Bloggers Roundtable last week to take questions from defense reporters and bloggers about the new site.

Sanchez said most of the games were easy to play, but she cautioned skeptical bloggers not to be deceived by the games’ simplicity.

“All of our games come from the perspective that we’re reinforcing core competencies,” she said, “so we don’t expect a lot of the users who come here to not be able to play them. We’ve designed these so that most acquisition professionals could be successful in playing them and they’re really designed to reinforce concepts

The casual gaming site will allow DoD to start implementing learning changes within the organization, she explained.

“The use of games in education and training from our perspective has always been . . . grounded [in] the topics of simulations,” Sanchez added.

“We want people to be able to do their jobs better by providing them with experiences that they can’t otherwise have . . . And we realize that the difference between an expert and a novice often is this huge cache of life experiences and experiences on the job,” she continued.

Now, most of the games feature two-dimensional graphics (think Super Mario), but Sanchez said by February she hoped to roll out 3-D games as well, and her long-term goal is to have 10,000 in six months time.

“And you know, the acquisition workforce is 147,000 strong. And so it’s a high-arching goal,” she added.

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