The US government has turned to a computer game to teach its troops the Arabic language and customs.
The game places soldiers in an Iraqi landscape in which they must communicate in the Arabic language with the locals they meet. The characters are depicted in a range of situations and at all ages, meaning soldiers will have to deal with angry children, as well as cheerful adults who will react realistically to the player.
Aside from the language, the game is also designed to help soldiers recognize local customs and encourages them to utilize certain gestures themselves, including placing a hand over the heart when first meeting somebody.
It is hoped the game will help soldiers in Iraq to better understand the environment and deal with difficult situations more effectively.