I was invited by Jeroen Linssen to visit his COMMIT-Project at the exhibition of „The big future of Data“ in Amsterdam. 59 golden demos were presented in a very special discotec: the exhibition center. (right opposite of the University und this way open to all). I was more than impressed. Though everything has somehow connected to a laptop and a screen, there was a real feeling of the purpose. Most of the purposes where easy to understand and very easy described with some comic oriented posters in English! (I loved it- everything was published in English, as this is the language of Europe! – I just mention it because German Universities would have done this in German.) The demo-collection are a direct result from Dutch industry and have inspired IT-scientiests of the Netherlands one-to-one at the work table. As a result, the prototypes are presented and open for communication.
So what did Jeroen do? He has developed a serious game called Loiter with several companies, in order to train the social skills of police officers recording conflict avoidance. Players interact with virtual juveniles (persons in a situation) in a 3D-environment using a full-body immersive virtual reality system. The virtual juveniles use artificial intelligence to respond to the player according to theories from social psychology. And this is really the challenge, to model human behavior and let virtual characters respond believably to human users. Why such a system? So far all police persons, who need to learn how to act in several situations, had learned this with their peers in the reality, on the street. There was no preparation. Look and see. Which is of course effective, but needs the time to learn. So the police was more than happy to support the study and prototype to have a future learning tool. The value in it is the „learning“ environment. After the situation in the virtual world, there is space and room for a debriefing, reflection and transfer. This is not possible in reality. So some cases are lost and not reflected, because there was no time. Interesting for me was the fact that the programmer of the software was from re-lion, a company so far famous for games with guns and killers. Further insight and a video illustrating the scene in dutch. www.utwente.nl or his page at https://jmlin.eu/phd/ Linssen was participant of the international network meeting this summer in Delft. www.ISAGA.org