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Virtual Heroes' Moonbase Alpha Wins Top Serious Gaming Honor at I/ITSEC

June 2009 - Redwood City, CA and Washington, D.C.
Virtual Heroes' Moonbase Alpha Wins Top Serious Gaming Honor

Moonbase Alpha, a NASA space exploration-themed game developed by The Army Game Studio and ARA’s Virtual Heroes, won top honors in a serious gaming challenge held at the annual Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference in Orlando, Fla., held Nov. 29-Dec. 2.

Twelve finalists in the Serious Game Showcase & Challenge were chosen by a panel of leaders in the gaming, industry and academic fields, and finalists were invited to showcase their serious games at the 2010 conference, where more than 17,000 attendees viewed and voted on each of the finalists. Awards were presented in the business, government, student and “People’s Choice” categories. Moonbase Alpha topped the government category.

“This marks a terrific, industry-wide honor for ARA, Virtual Heroes and our partners. Moonbase Alpha’s award represents the committed teamwork, vision and creativity that went into the development and execution of the game,” said Jerry Heneghan, Virtual Heroes’ Managing Director.

Released in July 2010, Moonbase Alpha is a single-level demo/prototype of a much larger NASA massively multiplayer online game directed at science, technology, engineering and math education (STEM) that Virtual Heroes and its partners will build. The free game is rated “E” for “Everyone” by the ESRB, and play takes about 20 minutes. In Moonbase Alpha, the player assumes the role of an astronaut at a lunar base who witnesses a meteorite impact that cripples the life support capability of the settlement. Players must repair and replace equipment to restore oxygen production to the settlement.

All showcase entries were judged in three primary areas: 

  • Solution to a stated problem
  • Technical quality
  • Playability/usability 

The Serious Games Showcase & Challenge has become an I/ITSEC favorite over the past five years, according to Team Orlando, an alliance of government, academic and industry professionals who aim to improve human performance through simulation. I/ITSEC’s U.S. Air Force Col. Jack Franz said the challenge experienced 30 percent growth this year and included a select group of national and international submissions.  

I/ITSEC, known as the world’s largest modeling, simulation and training conference, promotes cooperation among the armed services, industry, academia and government agencies in pursuit of improved training and education programs, identification of common training issues and development of multiservice programs.

Contact Virtual Heroes or call (919) 582-3300.