U.S. Military Eying Larger Role for Games in Troop Training

March 15, 2010 -

The U.S. Military, already a big practitioner of videogame-based training for its members, plans to spend even more on the technology in the future.

In a bid to cut battlefield casualties the Pentagon has approved an “unspecified” amount of funding towards research on how to further take advantage of the latest videogame technology reports AFP.

General James Mattis, Commander, U.S. Joint Forces Command, said the initiative would put soldiers through, “as many tactical and ethical challenges as we can before they go into their first firefight.”

He continued, “…I'm convinced, both ethically and casualties-wise, we can reduce the missteps that we are taking on the battlefield, and reduce them significantly.”

Videogame-based training would provide trainees a chance to come up with multiple reactions to a single scenario, as Mattis stated, “If we can put people through simulation, it's not so they know one way to take down an enemy stronghold, but so they know five different ways to do it.”

The General said that live-fire training will still need to be utilized.


Comments

Re: U.S. Military Eying Larger Role for Games in Troop ...

Best thing we've got going with video games, is that I assume we can change the playing field at anytime we want, we can add new buildings, locations and things that we just don't or can't have access to in a real training environment here at home.

Austin talked a bit about MILES, it's a great training tool, but we are finding more and more that using it causes a certain percentage of soldiers to mistake concealment for cover, due to the laser rounds used.  I assume that we could in a video game environment show that bullets do infact travel through small bushes and smoke, possibly even walls.

All in all, I'll be interested to see if anything else comes up about it.

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Re: U.S. Military Eying Larger Role for Games in Troop ...

Wouldn't paintball be a better way to do large-scale and intense training scenarios? Not that video games are useless, just that it seems to me that paintball would be an easier, more effective (and cheaper) option.

-Optimum est pati quod emendare non possis-It is best to endure what you cannot change-

-Optimum est pati quod emendare non possis-It is best to endure what you cannot change-

Re: U.S. Military Eying Larger Role for Games in Troop ...

Not that I disagree, but I can see one counterpoint to your suggestion:

With VG simulation, you have complete control over the training regiment.  This means uniform training on all troops that use it.  If you were to do paint ball training, then it'd be different every time as you put in more variables (being people).

Of course the counter point to this statement would be that the paintball option would teach adaptability to the soldiers, but the game could teach that as well, and it wouldn't take up as much land space.

Re: U.S. Military Eying Larger Role for Games in Troop ...

Paintball is crap.  It lacks any semblance of realism for military purposes.

Now, there is SIMUNITIONS, which basically means that you have two opposing teams firing rifle rounds (5.56NATO) that are basically paintballs, which hurts like fuck.  This is also expensive as all hell, and destroys rifles.

There is also MILES, which is far more effective, but also destroys rifles.  Basically, you take your average M16, M249, and M4s, and put a block on the end so that the bolt will continue to cycle even though you're firing blanks (which, of course, are highly corrosive).  Then you put a small laser emmitter on the end of the handguard of the rifle.  When the trigger is pulled, you fire a blank, and the MILES system renders a hit on the target dependent on what laser receptor is nearest.  This is the current standard for simulated training (and is also a shit ton of fun).  However, this also destroys rifle barrels.

Re: U.S. Military Eying Larger Role for Games in Troop ...

I'm surprised they wouldn't have come up with some type of training barrel that could take the corrosion.  Replace the metal with ceramic or something like that.

Re: U.S. Military Eying Larger Role for Games in Troop ...

And why would the contractors responsible for making the weapons want to do that when they can keep selling spare barrels?

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