Video game aids border patrol in fighting bioterror

Sandia National Laboratories has designed a new video game that is intended to help the U.S.-Mexico border patrol make fast and effective decisions on a day-to-day basis.

The Border High Level Models game, which is targeted at Department of Homeland Security personnel and other agencies, simulates the daily activities encountered when patrolling the border, reports.

One focus of the simulation is to prepare the learner how to detect and handle a potentially dangerous situation involving bioterrorist weapons.  

“We’re concerned about people trying to smuggle nuclear, chemical and biological weapons across the border,” Sandia Labs senior staff member Brian Hart said, according to

The game, which cost roughly $800,000 to develop, features a vast and realistic environment. A total of 64-square miles of border terrain is displayed at a time by the game. The simulation includes topography specific to the region, like the seasonally dry river or creek bed known as arroyos.

According to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, there were approximately 404,365 illegal alien apprehensions from Mexico recorded during the 2010 fiscal year, reports.

Sandia National Laboratories is a government-owned,contractor-operated facility that has been developing science-based technologies that support U.S. national security since 1949.