U.S. Army Funds the DUI Game

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Students at the University of Calgary developed a drunk driving video game-style simulator. The U.S. Army recently provided funding to the game’s developers to make improvements to the game in hopes of using it as a DUI prevention tool. The U.S. Army intends to use the game to help soldiers returning from Iraq adjust to home life.

When playing Booze Cruise, gamers enter their weight and the number of alcoholic drinks they have consumed. Then they must attempt to navigate their vehicles home, avoiding other vehicles and pedestrians, before the time expires. The game factors in delayed reflexes and blurs the screen to mimic the drunk driving experience.

Said professor Jim Parker in an article in the Globe and Mail: "They come back and they also haven't driven a car in two years. So they can drink, they can drive, and bingo, they get into trouble. The goals are pretty pure here. They're trying to keep their guys from getting hurt."

The Examiner reported the Army plans to put the new and improved game into use within the next month.

The game, in its basic form, was originally developed in 2007. Developers looked for bidders to help make further improvements to the game, and the U.S. Army stepped up to the plate.

Jim Parker, University of Calgary professor of both computer science and fine arts, has led the project. Parker says the concept of the DUI game is to make users understand that it is not possible to "think yourself sober."

Not everyone is a fan of the Booze Cruise game. Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Canada feels that the game will teach people the skills to drive drunk, rather than acting as a DUI preventative.


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