I have a far, far greater interest in becoming a Hero, a Genius, and a Saint than I will ever have in being a hippie and protester, an academic or intellectual, or a modern Christian.
For the Hero is memorable and necessary, the Genius is original and useful, and the Saint is, ultimately, the one and only kind of Indispensable Man (or woman).
By contrast the hippie is, far more often than not, an utterly naïve fool, the protestor usually self-absorbed, the academic regularly specious, the intellectual mostly inutile, and the contemporary Christian of the West is, of course, an entirely modern invention.
Dungeons and Dragons, Pokémon card games and role-playing games are more than entertainment — they’re inspiration for the CIA.
David Clopper, senior collection analyst with 16 years’ experience at the CIA, also serves as a game maker for the agency. From card games to board games, Clopper creates games to train CIA staffers including intelligence agents and political analysts for real-world situations.
“Gaming is part of the human condition. Why not take advantage of that and incorporate into the way we learn?” Clopper said Sunday at a games-themed panel discussion at the South by Southwest Interactive technology festival. Clopper and other CIA officers discussed how the agency uses games to teach strategy, intelligence gathering and collaboration.
Clopper, who began making training programs based on popular tabletop games in 2008, described some of his creations for the CIA.
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In “Collection,” Clopper’s first CIA game, teams of analysts work together to solve international crises against a ticking clock. His second title, “Collection Deck,” is a Pokémon-like card game in which where each card represents either an intelligence collection strategy or a hurdle like red tape or bureaucracy.
For instance, a player could lay out a card to collect intelligence via satellite photos, but an opponent could block them by playing a “ground station failure” card. It’s meant to mimic situations analysts might run into in their actual work.
Also speaking on the panel was Volko Ruhnke, who is an intelligence educator at the CIA and a freelance game designer. Ruhnke said he is particularly interested in one type of game: a simulation tabletop game to train analysts and help with analytic tasks. It could help forecast complex situations by forcing players to handle multiple scenarios simultaneously.
Ruhnke himself created a commercial board game to simulate the Afghanistan conflict and walk players through military, political, and economic issues in the region. It gives players “a much more dynamic understanding of the issues of modern Afghanistan,” Ruhnke said, adding that a similar game could be of use internally at the CIA as well.
Old school games are the main inspiration for popular training programs — for now. But analysts expect to be using virtual reality gaming in training programs soon. Multiple branches of the military have used VR training for years, immersing service members in real life experiences through visual and audio simulations.
“The sooner we can get involved in using VR in games, the better,” Rachel Grunspan, Chief Strategy Officer at a digital innovation organization inside the CIA, said during the panel discussion.. “You want to get their heads inside the intelligence question you’re trying to answer, and VR does an amazing job doing that.”
Had a friend who said, “this is the face of evil.”
It also looks suspiciously like a polymerized death-mask. Or android skin grown from a synthetic iguana. I suspect if you cut into his face that rather than bleeding blood he’d slowly seep an embalming solution, turpentine, servo-fluid, or maybe a black Hydra ichor.
Footage has emerged of Foo Fighters lynchpin Dave Grohl listening to the first song he ever recorded on his own 27 years ago.
Dave wrote the song ‘Gods Look Down’ as a fresh-faced 20-year-old way back in 1989 for his hardcore punk act Scream. It eventually appeared on their 1993 swansong record ‘Fumble’, released when Dave was in a certain band called Nirvana.
In a newly unveiled outtake from Foo Fighters’ 2014 HBO series Sonic Highways, Dave and Foo Fighters producer Barrett Jones cast their ears on a version of ‘Gods Look Down’ Dave recorded on his own featuring solely his vocals and instrumentation.
With the pair sitting at the mixing desk, the footage shows the instruments slowly kicking in before Dave isolates his more high-pitched vocals and recoils in horror.
“I sound like a girl,” he says to a laughing Jones. “I don’t think my balls had dropped yet.”
Watch the footage here:
With a string of European and US festival dates already locked in, Foo Fighters are reportedly laying down their ninth studio album this year.
Forced to cancel their 2015 slot at Glastonbury when Dave Grohl fractured his leg, it’s widely predicted they will be joining Radiohead at Worthy Farm this coming June.