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Institutions Supporting Virtual Peace

MacArthur   HASTAC   Duke   Virtual Heroes   UNC   Plantronics

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation is one of the largest independent foundations in the US, supporting creative people and effective institutions committed to building a more just, verdant, and peaceful world. Through its grantmaking efforts the MacArthur Foundation fosters the development of knowledge, nurtures individual creativity, strengthens institutions, helps improve public policy, and provides information to the public. In 2008 the Virtual Peace: Turning Swords to Ploughshares game development project was a winner of an Innovation Award from the MacArthur-sponsored Digital Media and Learning competition. The game, in accordance with the goals of the Foundation, provides a digital learning environment that trains students and educators in disaster relief, crisis management, and conflict resolution techniques.

MacArthur Foundation Website new window icon
Virtual Peace award page new window icon


The Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Advanced Collaboratory (HASTAC), a leading consortium of humanists, artists, scientists, engineers, leading researchers, and nonprofit research institutions, fosters new forms of collaboration across communities and disciplines through the creative use of technology. HASTAC (pronounced "haystack") works to ensure that humanistic and humane considerations are integral to technological advances while pushing education and learning to the fore of digital innovation. HASTAC, along with the MacArthur Foundation, was one of the sponsors of the Digital Media and Learning (DML) Competition. As the winner of an Innovation Award in the 2008 DML competition, the Virtual Peace: Turning Swords to Ploughshares game development project supports HASTAC's mission by creating an immersive, multi-sensory game-based simulation that prepares students and educators for the actual conditions of disaster relief and conflict resolution crises.

HASTAC new window icon
HASTAC Digital Media and Learning Competition new window icon

Duke University

Duke University, located in Durham, NC, US, is one of the world's leading private institutions of research and higher learning. Through its Program in Information Science + Information in Society (ISIS), its Department of Computer Science (CS), its Visual Studies Initiative, and its affiliations with both HASTAC and the Duke-UNC Rotary Center, Duke has helped lead the Virtual Peace: Turning Swords to Ploughshares project. Two of the Virtual Peace Principal investigators, Tim Lenoir and Kacie Wallace, are professors in Duke's ISIS program; Co-Principal Investigator Natalia Mirovitskaya, is a professor in the Duke Center for International Development (DCID); project collaborators Patrick Herron, Richard Lucic and Robert Duvall, serve as faculty, instructors and/or researchers at Duke; and many of the interns working on the project are Duke students.

Duke University new window icon
ISIS Program at Duke new window icon
Department of Computer Science at Duke new window icon
Visual Studies Initiative new window icon
DCID at Duke new window icon

Virtual Heroes

Virtual Heroes Inc. (VHI), the "Advanced Learning Technology and Serious Games Company," creates collaborative interactive learning solutions for the Federal systems, healthcare and commercial training markets. Virtual Heroes provides full life-cycle software development, project management, systems integration, instructional design and professional services for a broad spectrum of clients. VHI developed an advanced game simulation platform for the US Military training game, America's Army. The company has been working as a project collaborator for Virtual Peace: Turning Swords to Ploughshares, adapting their existing game platform to humanitarian assistance and disaster relief training. Virtual Peace Co-Principal Investigator, Jerry Heneghan, is the CEO of Virtual Heroes.

Virtual Heroes new window icon

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-Chapel Hill), the flagship campus of the University of North Carolina system, is one of the world's leading public research universities. Together with Duke University, UNC sponsors the Duke-UNC Rotary Center for International Studies in Peace and Conflict Resolution, a center that works to incorporate peace building into classroom curricula. Members of the Duke-UNC Rotary Center, including Duke faculty member and co-Principal Investigator of the Virtual Peace: Turning Swords to Ploughshares project, Natalia Mirovitskaya, have helped lead scenario and implementation development for the Virtual Peace game.

UNC-Chapel Hill new window icon
Duke-UNC Rotary Center new window icon


Plantronics, Inc. introduced the first lightweight communications headset in 1962 and is today the world's leading designer, manufacturer and marketer of lightweight communications headset products. Plantronics donated fifty of their top-of-the-line 777-series video game headsets to the Virtual Peace: Turning Swords to Ploughshares project.

Plantronics new window icon