Gamers: Teach the Navy How to Hunt Subs. Really.

Here’s something: The Defense Advanced Research Project Arm (DARPA) needs gamers to help test its new software: Anti-Submarine Warfare Continuous Trail Unmanned Vessel (ACTUV). It’s a mouthful. Basically it helps hunt and destroy enemy submarines.

Depth ChargingYou won’t be playing with live ammunition, but by incorporating the package into the sub-hunting game Dangerous Waters, DARPA says you’ll get as close to the real experience of tracking down the enemy below as you can get.

The game, available as a free download, allows players to control a submarine tracking vessel. Players have to navigate among commercial shipping traffic and enemy submarines that perform realistic evasive maneuvers. You earn points by achieving mission objectives (a leaderboard tracks game leaders). You can also share your experiences on the SUBSIM ACTUV forum.

DARPA’s being so good to us because it wants to “understand what approaches and methods are the most effective.” In other words, it wants to crowd source some tactics. Once the Navy gains enough information from players using the game, it will revise and add the new software to its ASW toolkit. Providing information is completely voluntary, by the way. You can just play to take out your aggressions if you want to.

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