Move over Second Life , a new virtual world is being created for the federal government called vGov. According to Government Computer News: "The vGov virtual world environment is now being built and is expected to go online starting in July. It will be used for employee education, continuity of operations training, cybersecurity education and disaster response..."
vGov is a joint federal effort with the Department of Agriculture, Department of Homeland Security, Air Force and National Defense University iCollege joining forces to create the vGov virtual world behind a secure firewalls that require authentication to enter. The virtual world will initially be limited to federal employees.
One thing for sure, the technology used to create these virtual worlds is not just a game. Virtual World News described the USDA contract and the technology which is pretty cutting edge. Here's an excerpt:
"... Like many enterprise-class virtual worlds, Teleplace's is designed for use in training, collaboration, and project management. What sets Teleplace's solution apart is that it allows application sharing across platforms, even through firewalls or cloud computing systems. Another key component of Teleplace's solution is vPresence, a communications suite that combines VOIP, text chat, and video conferencing features within a single virtual conferencing center...."
I can easily see this virtual world interface taking off, not just in the federal government, but also in the state and local government spaces. I anticipate virtual worlds for training and interaction in a business environment, which is currently limited in popular virtual worlds like Second Life. In my opinion, virtual worlds are currently viewed as games by most professionals, but I see that changing in the coming few years. Here's a good article describing the evolution of virtual worlds and training in global businesses.
I also see this trend becoming more widespread in the next few years, and we'll all have avatars within less than a decade in my opinion. In the meantime, bleeding edge adopters of fun workplace training will be busy creating virtual worlds for governments and businesses with appropriate controls, dress and acceptable use provisions. I'm not sure if Second Life will be the ultimate leader or not, but vGoc points the way for all of us.
To learn more about vGov, you can watch this video which describes vGov in detail.
Any thoughts on virtual worlds being used for training? Do you have an avatar?
Daniel J. Lohrmann is an internationally recognized cybersecurity leader, technologist, keynote speaker and author.
During his distinguished career, he has served global organizations in the public and private sectors in a variety of executive leadership capacities, receiving numerous national awards including: CSO of the Year, Public Official of the Year and Computerworld Premier 100 IT Leader.
Lohrmann led Michigan government’s cybersecurity and technology infrastructure teams from May 2002 to August 2014, including enterprisewide Chief Security Officer (CSO), Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) roles in Michigan.
He currently serves as the Chief Security Officer (CSO) and Chief Strategist for Security Mentor Inc. He is leading the development and implementation of Security Mentor’s industry-leading cyber training, consulting and workshops for end users, managers and executives in the public and private sectors. He has advised senior leaders at the White House, National Governors Association (NGA), National Association of State CIOs (NASCIO), U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), federal, state and local government agencies, Fortune 500 companies, small businesses and nonprofit institutions.
He has more than 30 years of experience in the computer industry, beginning his career with the National Security Agency. He worked for three years in England as a senior network engineer for Lockheed Martin (formerly Loral Aerospace) and for four years as a technical director for ManTech International in a US/UK military facility.
Lohrmann is the author of two books: Virtual Integrity: Faithfully Navigating the Brave New Web and BYOD for You: The Guide to Bring Your Own Device to Work. He has been a keynote speaker at global security and technology conferences from South Africa to Dubai and from Washington, D.C., to Moscow.
He holds a master's degree in computer science (CS) from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and a bachelor's degree in CS from Valparaiso University in Indiana.
Follow Lohrmann on Twitter at: @govcso
Building effective virtual government requires new ideas, innovative thinking and hard work. From cybersecurity to cloud computing to mobile devices, Dan discusses what’s hot and what works in the world of gov tech.