ICWorld: An MMOG-Based Approach to Analysis

Kimberly Gill, Dr. David Rolston, Wyatt Wong, Robert Pietrusko

Author Biography

Kimberly Gill has spent her career serving the U.S. intelligence community. Prior to joining Forterra Systems’ National Security Division in 2006, Ms. Gill was involved with investment deals, technology transfer, and prototyping at the CIA’s venture capital fund, In-Q-Tel; managed geospatial programs at the CIA; and was a geospatial analyst at NGA.

Dr. David Rolston, CEO of Forterra Systems Inc., has over 35 years of experience in the high technology industry. His experience includes extensive involvement in simulation and training, graphics applications, imagery, gaming, artificial intelligence, entertainment, and early versions of the Internet. Prior to joining Forterra, Dr. Rolston held senior positions at ATI, Multigen-Paradigm, and Silicon Graphics.

Wyatt Wong has over eight years experience in design, engineering, and support of mission critical systems in areas of finance, networking, and database infrastructures. Mr. Wong has served on engineering and services teams at numerous commercial entities including IBM, Citi Corp, Scotia Capital Markets, and Embarcadero Technologies. Currently, Mr. Wong is a product designer at Forterra, focusing on UI and HCI design and engineering.

Robert Pietrusko is a senior design engineer at the Parsons Institute for Information Mapping in New York City. He holds an MSEE from Villanova University and is currently pursuing a MArch at Harvard University. His work, which applies engineering methods to design problems, has been featured in publications by the MIT Press, Metropolis Magazine, and Architectural Record.



Subject Area Keywords

Intelligence studies/education, Intelligence analysis, Methodology


Intelligence analysts routinely work with “wicked” problems—critical,time-sensitive problems where analytical errors can lead to catastrophic consequences for the nation’s security. In the analyst’s world, important decisions are often made quickly, and are made based on consuming, understanding, and piecing together enormous volumes of data. The data is not only voluminous, but often fragmented, subjective, inaccurate and fluid.Why does multi-player on-line gaming (MMOG) technology matter to the IC? Fundamentally, there are two reasons. The first is technological: stripping away the gamelike content, MMOGs are dynamic systems that represent a physical world, where users are presented with (virtual) life-and-death challenges that can only be overcome through planning, collaboration and communication. The second is cultural: the emerging generation of analysts is part of what is sometimes called the “Digital Natives” (Prensky 2001) and is fluent with interactive media. MMOGs enable faster visualization, data manipulation, collaboration and analysis than traditional text and imagery.ICWorld is an MMOG approach to intelligence analysis that fuses ideasfrom experts in the fields of gaming and data visualization, with knowledge of current and future intelligence analysis processes and tools. The concept has evolved over the last year as a result of evaluations by allsource analysts from around the IC. When fully developed, the Forterra team believes that ICWorld will fundamentally address major shortcomings of intelligence analysis, and dramatically improve the effectiveness of intelligence products.

Recommended Citation

Gill, Kimberly; Rolston, David; Wong, Wyatt; and Pietrusko, Robert. “ICWorld: An MMOG-Based Approach to Analysis.” Journal of Strategic Security 1, no. 1 (2008): 21-34.
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5038/1944-0472.1.1.3
Available at: http://scholarcommons.usf.edu/jss/vol1/iss1/3

Journal of Strategic Security