The federal government of the USA has given 10.5 million dollars to Raytheon to develop serious games. Raytheon is a defence contractor that is best known for the tomahawk cruise missile and not known for their video games.

Raytheon is to make games that focus on changing (or at least making people better aware of) biases in thinking processes.

I find it curious that Raytheon is getting in on this action and I wonder what this means for the world of serious games if big money is coming from the military industrial complex.

IARPA said that some research has shown that serious games, what it calls videogames developed for educational, therapeutic, or other non-entertainment purposes, can develop positive learning for real- world skills or behavior changes.

“A broad consensus exists that human decision making relies on a repertoire of simple, fast, heuristic decision rules that are used in specific situations. These decision rules can sometimes bias general problem-solving (usually unconsciously) in ways that produce erroneous results. Cognitive bias problems are seen in many professions where analysis is an important component (such as intelligence, law enforcement, medicine, aviation, journalism, and scientific research). When an intelligence problem invokes these cognitive biases, analysts may draw inferences or adopt beliefs that are logically unsound or not supported by evidence. Cognitive biases in analysis tend to increase with the level of uncertainty, lead to systematic errors, filter perceptions, shape assumptions and constrain alternatives. Cognitive biases are unlikely to be eliminated, but research suggests that they may be mitigated by awareness, collaboration, and critical or procedural thinking processes,” IARPA stated.

Read more at Network World.