back to article US Army in $50m video game upgrade

The US Army plans to spend $50m over five years to develop more video games for training soldiers for combat, according to the Army pub Stars and Stripes. The money was approved to fund a new "games for training" program beginning in 2010. It intends to watch for trends and technologies used in commercial video games that can …

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  1. yeah, right.

    next step

    Next step will be to convince everyone that it's a lot more useful to settle military conflicts "in game".

  2. mezla
    Joke

    War Games?

    "Game After Ambush can also hook into the Army's real-world computer battle command systems..."

    QUICK! Someone find Matthew Broderick!

  3. Matthew
    Thumb Up

    Great

    Perhaps they should just settle the next conflict in Call of Duty 4? Winner takes all..

    Would be alot cheaper

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Video game or science fiction ?

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    Enter Password: (If you are a guest, type 'GUEST')

    >FREEMIND

    *****COWBOYBOB will activate the same response. If you are currently

    *****logged in as someone else (GUEST maybe) you will have to REBOOT

    *****and begin the hacking process over to input a new login name.

    Login Access Approved

    Access to Media Drive B: - GRANTED

    B: is now accessible

    Welcome friend

    Would you like to hear a message from Morpheus?

    >Y

  5. amanfromMars Silver badge

    To Server and Protect Need to Know.

    ""We have an impending award announcement for the contract that we will make in the next couple of weeks," Stephens told S&S."

    Any contract award that is going to be Really Effective, Virtually, is one which you will not get to hear about.

  6. Andy Worth

    Re:War Games?

    Wouldn't you prefer a nice game of chess?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    full spectrum warriror

    Didn't they also use Full Spectrum warrior for training? That was an excellent game.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Reality

    Presumably these games will also need to have mega-powered tazers and nerve simulators included - just to give a rough indication of what having a limb blown off feels like.

  9. Martin Lyne

    Operation Flashpoint

    OpFlash 2 should be out soon(ish). Coincidink?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dogs!!!!

    Coming right at us!

  11. Paul
    Thumb Up

    Do they need...

    a Geek to do some testing?

    Pick me Pick me Pick me Pick me Pick me Pick me Pick me!!!!!!

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    gaming platform.

    I bet they have some nice hardware to run all this on!

  13. Kane Silver badge
    Coat

    Shouldn't that be phrased...

    ..."We pwn gaming for the Army — from requirements through procurement."? In the spirit of net neologisms and suchlike?

    Mine's the one with the BFG 9000 in the pocket.

  14. Iain

    Psychology

    Training soldiers in a VR environment may not be so good for their moral judgment in the real battlefield. (just to make it clear I am not suggesting there is a link between video games and violence)

    If a soldier is only trained in shooting up sprites or avatars, is there a risk this will mean when confronted with a real foe the VR conditioning will make them think of the enemy as non-human?

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Alert

    I can see it now....

    Hundreds of.... LLLLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEROY JENKINS as the front line US defence....

  16. Matt Bryant Silver badge
    Boffin

    RE: Iain

    "....when confronted with a real foe the VR conditioning will make them think of the enemy as non-human?" Actually, that's exactly what you want. You want training to condition a soldier so that when the criteria (fits the rules of engagement for the day, does not conflict with orders such as to remain undetected, etc) are met, the soldier will then pull the trigger without further thought. The last thing you want is a moralising soldier thinking about whether or not he should kill or maim someone, that is why you have ROEs and officers' orders. Otherwise, your enemy could use the time taken up by moralising to kill you, your mate, or anyone else he has already set his heart on killing. Soldiers are conditioned to follow orders for a reason, so they react quicker and do not waste time and lives trying to make judgement calls. The armies of NATO (and many of the old Soviet armies) all spend a lot of time and money, with lawyers involved, making sure their training and ROEs are correct and as good a compromise between protecting the public, the enemy (yes, they have rights too!), and our soldiers.

    Here's a simple (and on first sight, incredibly and stupidly PC) example from the ROEs for our troops in Basra. If they see a gent with a grenade, they cannot shoot him straight away. Even if he pulls the pin, he cannot be shot straight away but has to actually be seen in the act of throwing the grenade in such a way as to put members of the public or the soldiers at risk. If the soldiers do not act immediately and fire when he is in the process of throwing the grenade, THEY CANNOT SHOOT HIM AFTERWARDS as, legally, the threat of injury is transferred to the grenade, and unless the thrower then makes a separate attempt to attack (say aiming an AK) he can only be apprehended and arrested. So, training soldiers to react as fast as possible, without having to make too much of a judgement call, is what is required, and VR offers a very good way of doing this without the expense, mess and risk of injury of live ammunition training.

  17. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge
    Stop

    @ Iain...

    Who cares. After all the real foe are mostly only little brown or yellow people preventing us from getting their oil... and that makes them evil. Right?

    I'm still with Bill though... anyone... dumb enough to want to be in the military, should be allowed to join.

  18. Andrew Kemp
    Thumb Up

    Matt is spot on

    ...trouble is many here like "Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse" (that probably says a lot about this guy) are all too quick to mock the military - when they are nice and safe at home of course.

    Anyone dumb enough to think that... anyone... serving in the military is somehow dumb for doing so needs to take whatever it currently is out of their back passage and live in the real world for a change and show some respect - of course they can't, they haven't got the balls to do so...

  19. Kane Silver badge
    Go

    @ I can see it now....

    At least I have chicken

  20. Dr Patrick J R Harkin

    I can see it now:

    "All your Basra are belong to us."

  21. Mark

    Professor Falken

    A strange game. The only winning move is not to play.

  22. amanfromMars Silver badge

    Peace be upon him

    "RE: Iain

    By Matt Bryant Posted Wednesday 26th November 2008 12:45 GMT "

    Seems like, Matt, the ROE need Immediate Revision. Conceal and/or Carry a Weapon always Renders One a Legitimate Target for Removal from the Game...... and Higher Societies.

    Allahu Akbar .... Seventh Heavens.

  23. Matt Bryant Silver badge
    Happy

    RE: Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse

    Oh yeah, there's so much oil in Afghanistan, isn't there? Or Bosnia - remember, that's the place the Brits (and the Yanks) went to protect MUSLIMS from CHRISTIANS? Get a clue, you prejudiced maroon.

  24. Michael
    Joke

    Shouldnt that be liek

    "We pwn gaming for the Army from procur3ment to B00m Headshot!!!"

    Cuase evry1 liek runs faster with a knife, lmao!

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