Simulator games come in all sorts of flavours from farming to space farming and from the real to the fictional. There are two simulator games that I are based in our current time frame that are both deisgedn to create a bettter understanding of the systems they represent. These games are SCRAM: A Nuclear Power Plant Simulation and DARPA ACTUV.

This post was inspired by a very basic nuclear power plant simulator which is worth trying and can be played here. Which got me thinking about how I’ve done a poor job of tracking nifty simulator game projects.

First, there is the DARPA submarine warfare research project.

The DARPA game got a lot of attention when it was first released (before I started this blog) and I wanted to record it here. The intent of this game was to crowdsource new tactics to hunt down enemy submarines, if I recall correctly, the American military was pleased with the results. The game can still be downloaded and played from the DARPA ACTUV site.

The DARPA ACTUV program is developing a fundamentally new tool for the Navy’s ASW toolkit. Before we can develop the autonomous software that will run on ACTUV’s computers, we need to understand what approaches and methods are the most effective. We have made arrangements for ACTUV to be integrated into the Sonalysts Combat Simulations Dangerous WatersTM game, and we’re offering this new ACTUV Tactics Simulator here for free public download and this is where you can play an important role!

The nuclear power plant simulator got me searching for more of the same. I came across a great story on SCRAM: A Nuclear Power Plant Simulation and how one person used the game to see if they could better understand what happened at Fukushima. I’ll leave it to you to see if playing the simulator game SCCRAM helped the author’s comprehension of what happened at Fukushima.

Here’s a news report on the game with an interview of the creator of SCRAM on ABC Nightline.

I haven’t played this game but it looks insanely boring; the lesson here is perhaps if you want to make a simulator fun like other games don’t make it a simulator.

The environmental and social conscious side of me would be remiss if I didn’t link to the negative impacts nuclear power plants have on our small world.