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U.S. government releases open source gamification software

U.S. government releases open source gamification software

October 21, 2014 | By Alex Wawro




The United States' National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency has made some of its internally-developed gamification software available for free on GitHub under the MIT free software license.

Developers may find it useful as a tool for configuring a server to track "gamification" systems like points or badges against user accounts on apps or websites; at the very least, it offers interesting insight into how the NGA is using game design tenets in its training programs.

"We recently successfully used the software during an NGA senior leader training session to engage the group and show levels of individual expertise and progress to each other as they accomplished the training mission," stated NGA representative Ray Bauer in a press release confirming the release.

"The use of badging and awards recognizes what achievements matter most based on agency priorities, and rewards the user in the context of their work."

The NGA claims it is releasing this software on GitHub to "increase the impact of government investments by providing developers with the opportunity to take things in new directions." This isn't the first time, either; the agency has been quietly making some of its software open-source via its NGA GEOINT Github page.

The name comes from its primary mission: harvesting and analyzing "geospatial intelligence" (GEOINT) on behalf of the U.S. government, under which the NGA operates as both a military support agency (under the Department of Defense) and an intelligence agency.

While the NGA may well be the first U.S. government agency to release open-source game development tools, it's not alone in the practice: earlier this year Sony released its own open-source game development toolset, and Oculus later open-sourced the RakNet game networking engine after acquiring the company in July.


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