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Current events present many examples of situations where a fast and coordinated response is required from many and diverse organizations and stakeholders. Technology-mediated communication and collaboration may be the only option for getting things done in situations like these. There is a real need for research on the kinds of environments and processes that best support fast response on urgent tasks for virtual teams. The paper presents the development and initial test of a gaming laboratory to study such processes. The laboratory is adaptable to different kinds of situations. We discuss the design principles and implementation of the laboratory environment, along with lessons learned from the first experiences with it.