IEEE publishes Security Awareness Training with 2b3d Studios, UW and NSA

The 2013 IEEE Professional Communication Journal recently published Leveraging 2nd Life as a Communications Media: An Effective Tool for Security Awareness Training with 2b3d Studios CEO Ran Hinrichs, Dr. Barbara Endicott-Popovsky, Director of the Defense Center’s of Excellent at the University of Washington and Dr. Deborah Frincke,

2b3d Studios shares its CEO with the University of Washington. Mr. Hinrichs developed and teaches the Certificate of Virtual Worlds at the University. He instructs his students in the process of gamifying educational environments. 2b3d Studios with its award winning products seen on their website shares some of its expertise with visits to the class, in something known as Building Jam sessions.

As a consequence of Mr. Hinrichs instruction and 2b3d Studios modelling expert building behavior, the students have a great example of how to succeed in the world of virtual development. Although 2b3d Studios is not directly involved with the University in their Certificate program, Mr. Hinrichs has created this class in order to stimulate the market with a future of developers. One of the key tasks is taking on a “simulated client” and creating their idea of an educational environment.  In this case the client was the Pacific Northwest National Labs, where Dr. Frincke formerly served.

In the paper that was produced for the IEEE, Dr. Frincke provided the gaming script for computer security education that was built under the tutelage of Dr. Endicott-Popovsky’s subject matter expertise, and Mr. Hinrichs’ expertise in serious game building.  The students did the work. The result was Cybersecurity Island, in Second Life.

Unfortunately, the island had to make way for the next generation of students who continue to benefit from Mr. Hinrichs teaching leadership, and the occasional look over the shoulder from 2b3d Studios to glimpse at the emerging stars. But, the class filmed a machinima, “a video episode taken into a virtual world with avatars as the actors, and the virtual environment being the setting. The producers then overlaid sound effects to tell a story. The end product can be viewed at  Student work is collaborative and raw, but definitely shows how to go from script to concept given the emerging skills of the students.

As CEO of 2b3d Studios, it is an honor to work at the University to provide industry mentoring.  In the past years of the mentorship, the students have built ideas around Sustainable Seafood, a Virtual Media Museum, a game based Mayan Island, and currently an InfoVille town in which students have to compete for points by trading a service or a product to the residents of Infoville.   Engaging with the University is inspirational in looking at the way students handle ideas.

Security training awareness is a key development opportunity for cybersecurity education. Mentoring the University class is a first step in playing with new ideas for the security community.  Moving forward 2b3d Studios looks forward to engaging the security community in some hard core development of security awareness training.  See you in a virtual world.  Will it really be me?  That is the security question of the year.  The answer will be Yes, it is me and I can prove it.

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