Fort Hays State University students, U.S. Army recruits and others are coming to the university Saturday, Nov. 1, for the first round of play of the America's Army, the online computer tactics and combat game developed by the Army.
Marthann Schulte, academic liaison for the Virtual College, said the idea came from Army Capt. Erick Hinckley, commanding officer of the Manhattan, KS, recruiting station.
Schulte said that 28 computer stations in Tomanek Hall, room 121, on the university campus were recently upgraded for Saturday's gaming, which is open to FHSU students, some of whom are Army reservists and local high school students. One Army recruiter, she said, is bringing a group of delayed-entry recruits.
Players are divided into teams. The gaming is not a group of individual players. The purpose of America's Army is to teach teamwork, leadership and communication. Players Saturday will be using three of the available maps for the game: Pipeline, Mountain Pass and Bridge.
Saturday's play is the precursor to a larger event scheduled for Dec. 6, said Schulte.
"This is like the beta test," she said.
The plan for Dec. 6 is to have more than one computer lab available so that teams in one building can make virtual war on teams in another building.
One idea floated by Capt. Hinckley, said Schulte, is to pit teams from Fort Hays State against teams from other locations in the state and country.
For more information on participating in Saturday's gaming, contact Schulte, (785) 628-4005, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Darrick Kimbrel, (785) 628-4704, email@example.com.