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ECU collaboration provides unique insight into ANZAC Day

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

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The School of Computer and Security Science has released a 3D computer game and website, which aims to provide young Australians with a unique insight into the ANZAC Day mission of Australian submarine AE2. 

The game puts the player in the role of commanding the AE2, which became the first Allied submarine to successfully penetrate Turkish defences in 'The Narrows' – the narrowest part of the Dardanelles Strait that separates the Gallipoli Peninsula from mainland Turkey. The mission is the same as that undertaken by Lieutenant Commander Stoker and the crew of AE2, almost 100 years ago.

"Players must use all their skills and take into account a number of different factors, including the location of Turkish fortifications, mines and currents, the speed and endurance of the submarine and the terrain of the Straits," said Senior Lecturer from ECU's School of Computer and Security Science, Dr Martin Masek.

The program was developed as an educational tool, and is particularly aimed at Generations X and Y who have grown up with computer games.

"The culture of internet use of Generations X and Y is heavily influenced by mobile phones and computer games," said fellow researcher from the School of Computer and Security Science, Dr Mark Brogan.

"Serious games such as AE2 Commander are a way of connecting younger Australians with important national collections at the National Archives and Australian War Memorial that define us as a nation."

The technology uses data gathered from the US Geological Survey to create a realistic and detailed reconstruction of the Dardanelles and surrounding areas, giving participants the chance to relive the mission as the sailors did in 1915.

The game and website was realised with funding from the Ian Maclean Award granted by the National Archives of Australia.

Acting Director-General, National Archives of Australia, Dr Stephen Ellis, said the Archives' grant program aims to promote archival research in Australia and encourage scholarly use of the Archives' collection.


"It is most pleasing to see records held by the National Archives of Australia used in such an innovative way. I congratulate Dr Masek and his team for developing this game which will educate and connect young people to our past through the technology of today," said Dr Ellis.

The AE2 game and web site are hosted by Western Australia’s scientific supercomputing centre, iVec.

For more information, and to view the website, visit http://ae2.ivec.org/ 

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