We had such an amazing time participating in the NATO CPP conference in Krems an der Donnau. Dr. Anna Kaiser was an amazing host, and we were able to talk to the participants throughout the week during informal discussions about Cultural Recon, and the benefits of game-based training for the adult workforce.
One of the most influential and educational aspects of the week was our “field trip” to Allensteig.
Allensteig is part of the Austrian Army’s training grounds, and this area, specifically, is the site of a now-defunct village. It is culturally, and archeologically important to Austria, and as part of our field trip, we met the individuals that have spent years excavating, mapping and uncovering the mysteries of the village in the middle of the training area.
The Austrian Army uses this small village area specifically as a training area for fictional scenarios related to Cultural Property Protection. The archeologists that work in the area have assisted in creating a viable, engaging training scenario.
We were given a scenario in which we were military CPP investigators for NATO (we were there for a NATO conference). The ancient village has been claimed by both side to a conflict, and is looking for the international organization to arbitrate their historical claims to the land. We were given the historical indicators for both cultures/ countries, how they built their houses, and information about their daily lifestyles regarding cultivation and livestock… and we were expected to determine which culture/ country had a clear historical claim over the area based on the archeological evidence.
It was a terrific exercise, and we will not give any SPOILERS!!! If you have the opportunity to take part in Austria’s training ground at Allensteig, then you are lucky!
We ended the long day with a debrief back at Krems University, and enjoyed sipping on the regions apricot schnapps and apricot brandy.
What gracious hosts, and hat’s off to the Austrian Army for such an amazing training day in the field.