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.

-Idiots, the lot of them - SSGT -Yeah, but they're our idiots - ME On the topic of congress

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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Mattsworknameanother07/28/2015 - 9:16pm
Mattsworknameyou HAVE TO click on it. So they get the click revenue weather you like what it says or not. as such, the targeting of advertisers most likely seemed like a good course of action to those who wanted to hold those media groups accountable for one reason07/28/2015 - 9:16pm
MattsworknameBut, when you look at online media, it's completely different, with far more options, but far few ways to address issues that the consumers may have. In tv, you don't like what they show, you don't watch. But in order to see if you like something online07/28/2015 - 9:12pm
MattsworknameIn tv, and radio, ratings are how it works. your ratings determine how well you do and how much money you an charge.07/28/2015 - 9:02pm
Mattsworknameexpect to do so without someone wanting to hold you to task for it07/28/2015 - 9:00pm
MattsworknameMecha: I don't think anyone was asking for Editoral changes, what they wanted was to show those media groups that if they were gonna bash there own audiance, the audiance was not gonna take it sitting down. you can write what you want, but you can't07/28/2015 - 8:56pm
MattsworknameAndrew, Im asking as a practical question, Have gamers, as a group, ever asked for a game, or other item, to be banned. Im trying to see if theres any cases anyone else remembers cause I cant find or remember any.07/28/2015 - 8:55pm
Andrew EisenAs mentioned, Gamasutra isn't a gaming site, it's a game industry site. I don't feel it's changed its focus at all. Also, I don't get the sense that the majority of the people who took issue with that one opinion piece were regular readers anyway.07/28/2015 - 8:43pm
MattsworknameDitto kotaku, Gawker, VOX, Polygon, ETC07/28/2015 - 8:41pm
MechaTama31So, between pulling a game from one chain of stores, and forcing editorial changes to a media source, only one of them strikes you as being on the edge of censorship, and it's the game one?07/28/2015 - 8:41pm
Andrew EisenHave gamers ever tried to ban a product? Can you be more specific? I'm not clear what you're getting at.07/28/2015 - 8:41pm
Mattsworknamethey should have expected some kind of blow back. But I didn't participate in that specific action07/28/2015 - 8:41pm
MattsworknameAndrew Youd have to ask others about that, I actualyl didn't have much beef with them till last year, so I can't speak to there history. I simply feel that gamesutra chose politics over gaming and chose to make enimies of it's prime audiance. For that,07/28/2015 - 8:40pm
Andrew EisenI'm still not clear on how Gamasutra was lacking in accountability or what it was lacking in accountability for.07/28/2015 - 8:38pm
MattsworknameAndrew: You and I agree on most of that. I don't diagree that there should ahve been other actions taken. Now, I do want to point something out, casue Im not sure if it's happened. Have gamers ever tried to have a product banned?07/28/2015 - 8:37pm
Mattsworknameimproperly. Neither is good, but one is on the edge of censorship to me, while the other is demanding some level of accountability from public media provider. but thats just my view point07/28/2015 - 8:36pm
MattsworknameEZK: You can treat it as bullying or what not, As I've pointed out, I didn't like either practice, I made that clear. But I do hold some different between trying to pull a product from the shelves, and calling out a media outlet that you feel has acted07/28/2015 - 8:35pm
E. Zachary KnightMatt, So you feel confident enough to make the call that petitioning target to remove GTAV is "bullying and threatening" but not confident enough to make the call on Intel/Gamasutra. Finding it hard to take your gripes seriously.07/28/2015 - 8:27pm
Andrew EisenAs for gamers holding media sites accountable? If you mean, how to respond to opinion pieces you disagree with, yes, there are tons of more appropriate means.07/28/2015 - 8:27pm
Andrew EisenAgain, no one likes being lumped in with the bad apples. Gamers or feminists so lets all strive not to do that, yes? Could the petitioners gone about it a better way? Yes, it could have been more factual in its petition, for starters.07/28/2015 - 8:25pm
 

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