UK Ministry of Defense Looks to Modernize Military Simulations

As pointed out by our very own Beemoh, The United Kingdom's Ministry of Defense wants to update its military simulations with the latest first-person shooter technology. This, they say, will focus the concentration of soldiers that train using the software.

Andrew Poulter, the technical team leader at the MoD's Defense Science and Technology Laboratory, told UK newspaper The Guardian that graphical advances in gaming technology make their old simulation software look unappealing, which in turn makes many recruits lose interest in using it.

UK troops currently use a program called Virtual Battlespace 2, released back in 2007 and developed by Operation Flashpoint studio Bohemia Interactive. The MoD is looking for something that is more in line with the times and on par with games such as Battlefield 3 or Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.

"Back in the 1980s and 1990s, defense was far out in front in terms of quality of simulation," said Poulter. "Military-built simulators were state of the art. But now, for £50 ($77), you can buy a commercial game that will be far more realistic than the sorts of tools we were using. The truth is, the total spending on games development across the industry will be greater than spending on defence."

Poulter added that he has been tasked with buying-in technology from recent first-person shooter releases, and replacing the entertaining gameplay with a more realistic feel.

"Certainly, there is a level of computer games experience in recruits. So the plots have to be realistic and the image generation has to be high quality," he said. "A lot of the older systems can be very clunky. If you put someone behind a block display, it is harder for them to be completely immersed… [but while commercial games] may look graphically beautiful, they have to be entertaining rather than realistic."

"The weapons need to be credible. If they fire a rifle and the bullet travels three and a half miles, then that is not right. If they are steering a vehicle, then that has to be right too. Realism is more important than entertainment. Levels of immersion are very important," he concluded.

Source: Gamasutra

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