FORT MONROE, Va. - Two U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) organizations won the top awards at the "Innovations in Department of Defense Gaming" competition March 23 at the Defense GameTech Users' Conference in Orlando, Fla.

The competition was designed to showcase game technology that is utilized in an innovative manner to accomplish realistic and effective military training. The competition committee limited its awards to the top two. The awards were presented by Frank DiGiovanni, the director of training, readiness and strategy, Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (Readiness).

The first place prize went to the TRADOC G-2 Intelligence Support Activity (TRISA) Operational Environment Lab, which sponsored the development of the 3D "First Person Cultural Trainer" (FPCT) in partnership with the Arts and Technology program at the University of Texas at Dallas.

The FPCT is a high-fidelity, game-based simulation, that brings culture to life in a 3D, first- person simulation. Users interact with lifelike avatars who are dressed in culturally appropriate clothing and who display facial and body language unique to that culture. Using advanced computer logic FPCT challenges users with realistic and sometimes perplexing conversations as cultural norms are manifested. Currently, FPCT is set in Iraq and Afghanistan, however work continues to allow easy and rapid modeling of any desired culture and area of the world.

The Joint Training Counter-IED Operations Integration Center (JTCOIC) won second place for its creation of machinima (videos based on gaming) for use in enhancing and augmenting institutional training. It has produced 200 videos, physical models, terrain databases and software scripts for deploying units, military centers and school systems from all the Services and those of Coalition partners. Their products have been downloaded more than 34,000 times.

The JTCOIC replicates recent battlefield events for the individual and collective training venues. It also develops video recreations of high-profile battlefield events for lessons learned, for example the Battles of Farah, Keating, Ganjgal, and Wanat. It also uses modeling and simulation to evaluate potential solutions to battlefield problem sets.

Both the TRISA OE Lab and the JTCOIC are managed by the TRADOC Deputy Chief of Staff or Intelligence (G-2), and are key components of what's called the Army's Training Brain. A networked enterprise, the Training Brain is designed to replicate current and future operational environments and non-organic capabilities in order to promote continuous learning for soldiers, leaders, units, capability developers and concept writers. It supports and is essential to the implementation of the Army's transformational concepts, such as the Army Training Concept and the Army Learning Concept 2015.

Both organizations will have the opportunity to present their winning products at ImplementationFest 2011, an event sponsored by the Office of the Secretary of Defense Advanced Distributed Learning Initiative.