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Army Opens New Office of Videogames

samzenpus posted more than 6 years ago | from the johnny-get-your-joystick dept.

The Military 174

An anonymous reader writes "For the first time, the Army has set up a project office, just for building videogames. The military has been training troops with games for decades, of course. But this is the first wing of the armed forces dedicated exclusively for gaming. One of the first projects: a tool kit that would let soldiers "build and customize their own training scenarios — just like the Marines' did, adapting Armed Assault for military purposes."

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174 comments

Bad news (3, Interesting)

webmaster404 (1148909) | more than 6 years ago | (#21678465)

So now that the government is making games, are we going to have to not compete with government games? Or can the government order people to give the government rights to use your FPS games? The government needs to step aside fom tech matters otherwise we will get the DMCA X 1,000.

Re:Bad news (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21678855)

The American Army is full of wife beaters and child fuckers

I don't understand how the above is a "troll"! (-1, Offtopic)

DaedalusHKX (660194) | more than 6 years ago | (#21678923)

That was a perfectly legitimate comment... especially given the tendency of governments worldwide to legislate the competition out of business, or confiscate or hijack a beneficial process through legislation or taxation.

Personally I think that fellow should be marked +5 Insightful... but who are we kidding. The only people still using mod points to slam down insightful remarks are usually collectivist shills.

Re:I don't understand how the above is a "troll"! (-1, Offtopic)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 6 years ago | (#21678977)

Presumably it got marked troll because the government already had a heavy hand in development of a game (America's Army), and no such thing happened. Thus, the GP is crying wolf. At least, that's why I would have marked it that way if I had mod points (although more likely, I'd have left it alone, but meh).

Re:Bad news (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21678937)

Don't worry, the government games are very specialized and should not overlap with commercial markets significantly.

I myself am part of a team developing a project bid. We call our title, "Soldier of Mercy."

It's basically a sensory-feedback training game. Our test subjects have found it very enjoyable, and I expect it will meet and exceed all the needs of our leaders. We hook the soldier up to a morphine drip, and the flow is increased based on the ability to "urge" a virtual suspect to confess. But it's not that easy! You have to be careful, for example, not to break bones or cause scarring damage, or else you'll lose points and the morphine flow gets cut!

You gradually build up an inventory of actually very simple components, like an air conditioner, a photograph of the suspect's daughter in the custody of Moroccan jail guards, a gallon jug of water (this is surprisingly one of the best ways to win), etc.

It's really a very innovative way to train soldiers... to teach them the proper way to behave in this post-9/11 world, get them over their old hangups, you know. I don't want to give away any more before it's finished! Anyway, this type of game really can't be sold in your average game outlet, and I can only really see it being handy for civilian psychologists trying to wean their patients off crippling pacifism.

Re:Bad news (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21679607)

I always moderate posts I disagree with as flamebait or to at least troll, perhaps I would mod something as overrated if I don't think it deserves +5 insightful for advocating opera. And no, I won't stop it, enjoy.

Re:Bad news (3, Insightful)

Yez70 (924200) | more than 6 years ago | (#21680801)

The government already has the right to use any tech, copyright or patent freely for the national defense. They don't have to ask.

Excellent! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21678467)

This will serve the United States' murderous agenda of world domination well.

Makes sense. (5, Funny)

celardore (844933) | more than 6 years ago | (#21678469)

Terrorists are easier to defeat if you make the game yourself.

Re:Makes sense. (4, Insightful)

VirusEqualsVeryYes (981719) | more than 6 years ago | (#21678877)

I don't want to toss flamebait, but are we talking games or politics here?

Re:Makes sense. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21679209)

> I don't want to toss flamebait, but are we talking games or politics here?

Yes.

Maybe I'll join back up... (1, Insightful)

Bryansix (761547) | more than 6 years ago | (#21678471)

... NOT!

Don't get me wrong, my time in the Army was great and all but it's not for me. Also real combat is just a tinsy bit different from America's Army. You do die easily in the game though and that is realistic of real combat involving infantry on both sides. Can't go rushing in or you die.

Re:Maybe I'll join back up... (2, Insightful)

Daltin (1153533) | more than 6 years ago | (#21678537)

I've always felt AA was different from real combat in that in one of them, you don't respawn.

Re:Maybe I'll join back up... (5, Funny)

RincewindTVD (1011435) | more than 6 years ago | (#21678721)

I've always felt AA was different from real combat in that in one of them, you don't respawn.
You don't respawn in AA? man, no way am I gonna play that game.

Re:Maybe I'll join back up... (1)

Daltin (1153533) | more than 6 years ago | (#21678777)

In hindsight, Thinking about how AA works, I may have just owned myself there.

Re:Maybe I'll join back up... (1)

Entropius (188861) | more than 6 years ago | (#21680629)

Also, one of them costs the American taxpayer billions of dollars. The other only costs millions.

Re:Maybe I'll join back up... (1)

toadlife (301863) | more than 6 years ago | (#21679017)

If you haven't I would recommend the game that the Marines use. Operating Flashpoint [toadlife.net] and Armed Assault [youtube.com] are more simulator than FPS.

IMO, America's Army, though enjoyable as a game wasn't much more realistic than Counter Strike.

Quick, Someone Call Jack Thompson... (5, Funny)

twifosp (532320) | more than 6 years ago | (#21678477)

... Before these young impressionable kids are turned into trained killers!

Don't invoke his name! (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21678755)

Whenever you say or write down 'his' name, he knows. He can sense it! Its only a matter of time before he start sending subpeonas to Chairman of the Joint Chiefs or the President even... oh wait we've past that point already.

Remember though, Guns don't kill people. People, after years of careful molding using today's cutting edge technology, crisp HD graphics, motion sensing multi axis controls, high fedility sound, innovative gameplay, and a compelling story, kill people.

Re:Don't invoke his name! (1)

renegadesx (977007) | more than 6 years ago | (#21678893)

No Sidney, today's cutting edge technology, crisp HD graphics, motion sensing multi axis controls, high fedility sound, innovative gameplay, and a compelling story does not make killers
Today's cutting edge technology, crisp HD graphics, motion sensing multi axis controls, high fedility sound, innovative gameplay, and a compelling story makes killers more creative

Re:Don't invoke his name! (1)

AngryLlama (611814) | more than 6 years ago | (#21679731)

A few years ago, two parents went out for dinner. A few hours later, the babysitter was calling to ask if she could cover up the Jack Thompson statue in the kids' room, the father said,"Take the kids and get out of the house. We'll call the police, we don't have a Jack Thompson statue." The "Jack Thompson statue" is really Jack Thompson, a killer that escaped from jail. If you don't post this letter on to 10 videos tonight, Jack Thompson will be in your bed at 3:00 am with a chainsaw in his hand. This is for real!

Re:Quick, Someone Call Jack Thompson... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21678931)

Hitler would have loved this idea.

Sadly, you've got a point (3, Interesting)

StringBlade (557322) | more than 6 years ago | (#21679343)

It's really hard to laugh dismiss Jack and his "FPS games are murder trainers" when the U.S. Government is using them exactly for that purpose. Even better they distribute it to impressionable young gamers at no cost (except your voluntary enlistment in their database).

While I'm not conceding that Jack isn't a certifiable nut, I'm simply seeing this as some degree of validation for some of his arguments.

Re:Sadly, you've got a point (2, Insightful)

Marful (861873) | more than 6 years ago | (#21679375)

They don't teach you how to "murder" people. What they teach you is team cohesiveness. I.E. working together for a common goal.

Which you won't be learning if you play by yourself.

Re:Sadly, you've got a point (1)

StringBlade (557322) | more than 6 years ago | (#21679577)

Understood, but that's not the way the media and JT can spin it.

We should know better, these days it's all about spin and emotion not about facts and logic.

Re:Sadly, you've got a point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21680253)

working together for a common goal: like what? Sending innocent people to be tortured and videotaped on one of the America's Gulag facilities in Guantanamo???
America is so lost they have to use videogames now to escape from reality, as they are losing all the wars they are in.
Even if the press try to fill their public opinion up with lies... American Freedom and Democracy IS A SAD JOKE!
Ask the poor tortured Mexicans what they think about your ICE-GESTAPO.

Re:Sadly, you've got a point (1)

prockcore (543967) | more than 6 years ago | (#21680587)

They don't teach you how to "murder" people.


You mean you don't murder people by clicking on them?

Re:Sadly, you've got a point (1)

musth (901919) | more than 6 years ago | (#21680669)

These "games" produced by the military, just like the commercial violent shooters, are marketed at boys and others not so discriminating, designed to get their adrenaline pumping and hearts pounding through repeated acts of simulated murder (oh excuse me, "team cohesiveness"). The goal might be martial indoctrination and pumped-up bravado rather than profit, but it's the same mechanism. Shooting those projectiles feels good, makes you feel really POWERFUL, a really glorious extension of that fist you have.

Watch as this message gets modded low for "trolling" or "off-topic" instead of high for "insightful" or "interesting".

Re:Sadly, you've got a point (2, Insightful)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 6 years ago | (#21680683)

They don't teach you how to "murder" people. What they teach you is team cohesiveness. I.E. working together for a common goal--to kill people.
You left part off.

Teamwork, tactical doctrine, learning territory (2, Interesting)

evought (709897) | more than 6 years ago | (#21680799)

They don't teach you how to "murder" people. What they teach you is team cohesiveness. I.E. working together for a common goal.

Which you won't be learning if you play by yourself.
Exactly. I was involved in an early project with the Army Urban Warfare Center about that same time to modify the Quake engine for their use. It had nothing to do with combat training per se: you cannot learn how to fire a rifle from a game. What they wanted to do was to train fire teams in how to take enemy complexes in an efficient manner, play with scenarios and develop tactical doctrine that could then be played out in a live exercise.

One of the interesting aspects is that (former) Soviet block countries mostly used Soviet blueprints to design facilities. There were a very limited number of standard designs for say, barracks, headquarters buildings and so forth. A complex would be made up of some combination of these modular components. What they wanted to do was to be able to have the game be able to read in a design for a complex containing these standard building designs (OK, we have two of these, one of those, and five of these other things) and then (somewhat) dynamically throw together a computerized training sim that the fire teams could then work with. Besides developing some basic strategies (limited by the physics of the game), the soldiers were also absorbing the layouts of the facilities. Since the facilities layouts were standardized, these translated to valuable real world knowledge.

I basically acted as an adviser to the project for a bit alongside my regular work. I suggested they use the Quake engine and did a bit of research on how they could use a GIS (GRASS), an Oracle Database, some software to do the level generation, and the Quake engine to get where they wanted to go. It was a really interesting problem. I had a set of maps of the Pentagon at one point (just tourist stuff, not incredibly detailed) and wanted to do sections of it up as a Quake scenario (maybe giant transvestite hamsters take it over and have to be exterminated or something, who knows). Post 9/11, that might not go over well. People just aren't any fun these days.

Customizing is good. (2, Insightful)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 6 years ago | (#21678481)

Customizing is good - when we went into the trainer, the first day was spent running canned scenarios mandated by COMSUBGOD to check us against deficiences recently noted in the fleet. The second was spent running custom scenarios to investigate weak spots we knew we had (like a new man at a given station).
 
Then the real training started.

The first thing the headline brought to mind (5, Funny)

Nova Express (100383) | more than 6 years ago | (#21678493)

BOOOM!

"Oh my God, your tank just blew up my house! Why? In the name of Heaven, why???"

"Well, Mrs. Peterson, I'm afraid your little Johnny was spawn camping in America's Army III. We in the Army Office of Video Games take a might dim view of spawn camping, n00b-baiting, and all-around asshatery, and suppress such crimes by any means necessary..."

Re:The first thing the headline brought to mind (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21680259)

Lawrence Person (lperson1h@austinh.rrh.com (remove all "h"s to mail)
Y'know, email address obfuscation has kinda gone out of style as spam filters get better and better. The Gmail account that I post and use everywhere with wild abandon has had no spam slip through, and no false positives for months at least.

Re:The first thing the headline brought to mind (1)

prockcore (543967) | more than 6 years ago | (#21680603)

Well, Mrs. Peterson, I'm afraid your little Johnny was spawn camping in America's Army III.


I know you're going for the funny, but in America's Army, there is no spawn camping, because there is no spawning. You're alive at the beginning of the round, and if you die, you're dead 'til the round is over.

Not till 2015? :( (3, Funny)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 6 years ago | (#21678531)

The game is "one of the candidates under consideration for the Army tool kit." But, by then, it won't exactly be cutting edge. The kit may not deploy until as late as 2015. (You gotta love those fast-moving military bureaucracies.) By then, DARPA's made-to-order sim tool could already be in the works, too.
By that time Duke Nukem Forever will be out for the Phantom..

Re:Not till 2015? :( (1)

pravuil (975319) | more than 6 years ago | (#21678797)

No, I'm afraid the second coming of Christ would happen before either of them come out.

Re:Not till 2015? :( (1)

renegadesx (977007) | more than 6 years ago | (#21678917)

The phantom will arrive before Christ's first comming

Re:Not till 2015? :( (1)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 6 years ago | (#21679013)

Er... pretty sure that the first coming of Christ happened about 2000 years ago. Disputing the man's divinity (by all means, go ahead) doesn't really change that.

Re:Not till 2015? :( (1)

renegadesx (977007) | more than 6 years ago | (#21679053)

Disputing the mans divinity does dispute the comming of the "Christ" happened 2000 years ago weather Jesus of Nazarath lived or not.

Re:Not till 2015? :( (1)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 6 years ago | (#21679145)

I dunno, I'd honestly consider Christ all but synonymous with Jesus of Nazareth at this point. But technically you're correct, I guess.

Re:Not till 2015? :( (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21679925)

pretty sure that the first coming of Christ happened about 2000 years ago.
Do you have any evidence for that? Personally I dispute the historicity not the divinity.

why bother ? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21678577)

because everybody here already knows that videogames have no influence on peoples behaviour, if this is true aren't the Army wasting their time and your money ?

Re:why bother ? (1)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 6 years ago | (#21678631)

They're used for team building exercises, not for brain washing. That has always been the case, even back to the day when they were getting heat from the press about training soldiers on "the murder simulator" Doom.

Re:why bother ? (4, Informative)

joystickgenie (913297) | more than 6 years ago | (#21679377)

Perhaps you missed this quote

"I haven't seen a game built for the entertainment industry that fills a training gap," said Col. Jack Millar, director of the service's Training and Doctrine Command's (TRADOC) Project Office for Gaming, or TPO Gaming.

As in the army agrees with us that video game do not train, training simulations do.

Re:why bother ? (1)

alebovitz (1202507) | more than 6 years ago | (#21679897)

Training simulations may train how to kill, but they don't form an emotional attachment to death. Video games, on the other hand, allow everyone and their little brother to get used to killing and hitting reset. It creates an almost emotional attachment to death and destruction.

Mr General Pops Up (4, Funny)

MrSteveSD (801820) | more than 6 years ago | (#21678579)

Do they have a little "Mr General" that pops up?

It looks like you're trying to take that village. Instead of sending in troops on the ground, just call in an air strike to destroy everything. Don't worry about the civilians, their deaths are less politically costly than military deaths. If anyone complains, just say that it's the enemy's fault for hiding behind civilians.

Re:Mr General Pops Up (1)

Eli Gottlieb (917758) | more than 6 years ago | (#21680025)

I hate to be a douchebag, but I have to be a douchebag about this.

Terrorists do, in fact, hide behind civilian "human shields". This does not change the morality or political expedience of invading a country that did nothing to us, but sometimes there's an actual reason for hunting terrorists, and when that happens terrorists really love a human shield. After all, humans shields only end up one of two ways:

1) Alive, in which case the terrorist is alive as well 90% of the time.
2) Dead, in which case the terrorist can use their "martyrdom" as a recruiting tool.

Re:Mr General Pops Up (2, Insightful)

caitsith01 (606117) | more than 6 years ago | (#21680101)

Underlying assumptions:

1. The U.S. army is fighting "terrorists" rather than domestic insurgencies.
2. Killing civilians is ok so long as it is in pursuit of "terrorists".

And, by implication, you appear to be arguing that it is morally justifiable to kill innocent people simply because guilty people use them (against their will) as human shields.

Just thought that observation was worth making.

WARfare, not LAWfare (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21680537)

innocent people simply because guilty people use
This is WARfare, not LAWfare.
We are not establishing guilt or innocence.

Tibet decided to get too moral for their own good, and if they are really really good maybe in their next life they will come back as a country.
India decided to go in for a pacifist religion. First they got raped by the Mughals from the north-east; then they got raped by the Muslims from the north-west; and finally the English raped them from the south.
It was so bad even Gandhi said the Jews should have gone gleefully into the ovens (something Europe agreed with but not out of pacifism.)

For a bunch of Leftist who scream on and on about Darwinism, you seem to have missed the point that survival is what matters most.
Of course, to many Leftists screaming on and on is what matters most.

Also with a Europe/Blue State birthrate hovering at 1.2 (versus the replacement rate of 2.1) you seem to have missed the whole reproduction angle of Darwin too.

Re:Mr General Pops Up (2, Insightful)

MrSteveSD (801820) | more than 6 years ago | (#21680581)

I didn't mention terrorists. Perhaps you are assuming that the people the US fights against are always terrorists. The media might like to portray it that way, but its far from the truth. Also the "hiding behind civilians" line is a very old and tired excuse used to justify civilians deaths, particularly when air power is used in populated areas.

Take the case of Afghanistan. Towns and villages are important militarily and that is why both the Taliban and US forces regularly pass through them or set up positions in them. The mere presence of a military force in a town does not mean they are "hiding behind civilians" although it certainly can endanger residents. A while ago a US solider being interviewed in Afghanistan described how he and his men had been ordered to set up position in a village. The villagers protested and wanted them to leave because they knew it made the situation more dangerous for them. The soldier radioed back to base and told them they were not welcome, but they told him to proceed as ordered. He then described how the whole village just packed up and left rather than remain in that situation.

Now imagine that the villagers never left that village because they were afraid looters would steal everything, and that the Taliban spot the US soldiers and start a mortar attack. If that mortar attack kills 10 civilians as well as soldiers, can the Taliban just use the excuse that the Americans were "hiding behind the civilians"? If the Taliban had air power, they would no doubt be bombing US occupied towns and villages and using a similar "hiding behind civilians" excuse.

The truth is that civilians do not seem to count for much these days. Western governments would rather lose 10 civilians than one soldier because military deaths are more politically costly than civilian deaths, especially if they are foreigners a long distance away. Normally the media do not make much of a fuss when foreign civilians die, its just a statistic. If they do make a fuss though, the politicians/military will just try to shift the blame onto the enemy in some way, often using the "hiding behind civilians" line. Sometimes they can even get away with labelling the civilians as combatants. It really is a case of sacrificing civilians to keep military casualties down.

The picture would of course change completely if western civilians were involved. If the government was seen to place the lives of soldiers above the lives of western civilians, there really would be widespread outrage. Imagine that armed terrorists had taken up position in a small US town. Do you think the President would order the town to be bombed from the air, possibly killing dozens of civilians? Of course not. Instead troops would be sent in on the ground, even though it would be safer for them if the town was bombed first.

Rumour has it (2, Funny)

icepick72 (834363) | more than 6 years ago | (#21678607)

Duke Numkem Forever is already installed in Area 51.

Re:Rumour has it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21678821)

The aliens are way too good at deathmatch though, so nobody plays it anymore.

Can't they just use GTA? (-1, Flamebait)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 6 years ago | (#21678627)

It's already got the casual consequence free violence, drugs, corruption and personal greed; all they need to do is add the ability to actually rape the prostitutes and you've got a perfect simulator of a foreign billet.

Re:Can't they just use GTA? (0, Troll)

poormanjoe (889634) | more than 6 years ago | (#21678959)

Mod flamebat, off topic or troll...
...but
FUCK YOU! YOU PIECE OF SHIT!
As a combat veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom (thats Afghanistan you uninformed retard)
Valid arguments why you are a piece of shit...
1. Afghanistan is famous for heroin, and opium.
2. The Taliban has done much violence in "foreign billets"
3.I won't say they rape anyone, but I'm sure a civilized homosexual would not say they are homosexual because they simply believe women are only for procreation.
4. You'd let a 11 year old shoot you in the face and die proudly.

Re:Can't they just use GTA? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21679637)


  sounds like you have enough anger to go back and "defend the country" some more in that hellhole. i hear they need help, why dontcha buy ticket tonight.

  trolls must be fed or they hide under bridges.

Every dead soldier a Democrat victory (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21678705)

Every dead baby killer^H^H^H soldier is one less ReThuglican and one more vote for the Democrats.
The more of these stupid kids die for the Jews and oil the better.

Wait until our victory in 2008 and we can finally try The Jew Puppet Bu$Hitler Chimpy McHaliburtin for his crimes.

You're one amusing guy! (girl?) (1)

DaedalusHKX (660194) | more than 6 years ago | (#21679095)

Now... lets see here... sure, the war has been used to destroy more collateral than actually "win" a war, because its not a war, its a "police action" (that's what undeclared wars are).

Now that we're done with that clarification. These kids dying, are useful idiots thinking they're honest patriots (and in their minds they are), however, in 2008, when "you win", which "you" probably will, so to speak, your Democraps will be no different than the Rethuglicans. I'm willing to lay down cash on a wager that if the Democrats win... they will not even TOUCH Bush or his family.

Perhaps you missed the fact that Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush (daddy) vacation together. Its like the WWF Pro Wrestling... on screen they're deathly enemies, off screen they're friends who party together.

Some day you suckers will get it. But I'm not going to hold my breath waiting :) Asphyxiation is a crappy way to suicide.

The problem... (1)

Junta (36770) | more than 6 years ago | (#21678715)

New recruits keep calling out 'SPISPOPD' and then running straight into walls for some reason...

spispopd would make an excellent tag, by the way.

"A Taste of Armageddon" (1)

Ichijo (607641) | more than 6 years ago | (#21678733)

Next they'll discover that playing Counter-Strike is cheaper and less destructive than real combat and soon we'll be fighting wars in simulations (and executing the losers) just like in that old Star Trek episode [wikipedia.org] .

Re:"A Taste of Armageddon" (1)

Loadmaster (720754) | more than 6 years ago | (#21678845)

But not nearly as cool as fighting wars via huge robot boxing matches like in Robot Jox. Man, what a, uh, well, what a moving picture that was.

Swi

Re:"A Taste of Armageddon" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21679503)

No dude, bad idea.. Korea will just invade countries, challenge their army to a lose-and-die game of starcraft..

Oh well, best start learning korean...

Re:"A Taste of Armageddon" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21680193)

NERD

Let's play Global Thermonuclear War. (0)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 6 years ago | (#21678813)

What is the sever ip or phone # I have the pass word and I want to play Global Thermonuclear War.

Appropriate tag please (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21678859)

biggovernment

Seriously, this is not the proper role of government. Not even the high-tech military. Not even if this is just a PR stunt to get "hip" with today's youth and 20-somethings.

Re:Appropriate tag please (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21679727)

You're about 7 years out of date and illiterate. This story has nothing to do with the game America's Army, which is a recruiting tool. This story is about training tools for the military, which is absolutely the proper role of government.

hip and cool army of the future (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21678871)

This is another attempt to appeal to the nature of an all-volunteer armed forces: they are built from gathering young adults into contractual labor. the payoff is (initially promised to be) large, and the skillset is indeed advanced - the US wields some of the most advanced weaponry. This doesn't lessen the risk of actual warfare or the usage of strong tools of destruction (independently risky actions).

  When fully translated by a player's suspension of disbelief, games do indeed induce actual stress of life/death situations (at least when I'm deep into a game). In fact, this is usually deem a hallmark of a great game. The fact that our military uses this isn't a surprise. However, i'm wondering if it'll be used in recruiting offices to lure kids into the forces. "Hey, this game is *exactly like* the real thing" leaves one huge gap. Nobody gets a second life.

  Also, all of this distracts from what is becoming a more vocal area of the forces: If political folly plays a role in controlling our military, do they ever have the ability to reject a command? I doubt it, since right there is the breakdown of the government, but we need top brass with bigger balls than simply rolling over to the politicians' grandiose concepts of nation building, terrorist-fighting, "containment" and so on. Politicians should go back to asking the forces to do one thing, after all else fails: kill the enemy, blunty if necessary. This means they are hardly ever used except for true national defense. The US's current forces are mostly police work, IMO.

  I wonder if the game presents the player with 5 men standing at a checkpoint and one blows up a vest, killing half the checkpoint's personnel. Then a van comes screaming in with more guys shooting like mad and firing RPGs. Meanwhile you have 1 good leg and only a disabled light-armor HV for cover. Ok kids - let's try that level again.

 

Re:hip and cool army of the future (1)

triffid_98 (899609) | more than 6 years ago | (#21679063)

I agree, though the offer of an 'advanced skillset' seems a bit farfetched. Well yes sir, I see from your resume that you're fully trained on the Stinger RPG,M-16,M-240 and have pilots credentials for the M109A6 Paladin. What part of that experience do you think most prepares you to be a WalMart greeter?

This is another attempt to appeal to the nature of an all-volunteer armed forces: they are built from gathering young adults into contractual labor. the payoff is (initially promised to be) large, and the skillset is indeed advanced - the US wields some of the most advanced weaponry. This doesn't lessen the risk of actual warfare or the usage of strong tools of destruction (independently risky actions).

Re:hip and cool army of the future (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21679705)

It's actually quite a bit more than that, from what I understand.

I work with a lot of retired Air Force people for a DOD contractor and they actually get a pretty sweet deal. The GI Bill lets them get free college almost anywhere in the country and they get decent medical care. If they're in long enough they get a retirement check every month. And in some fields (IT, at least) they actually get useful job experience. There are a few more perks, but those are the big ones. On top of that they get to travel all over the world free (to them).

If we'd stop war mongering, I'd actually consider joining.

"The Army"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21678901)

There is no "the Army". You mean "the US Army".

Cue the parochial comments about where the /. servers are...

Incorrect (2, Informative)

chanrobi (944359) | more than 6 years ago | (#21678927)

The marines (USMC) did not "adapt" armed assualt. They use a version called VBS2 which (Bohemia Interactive) developed specifically for them (and other military customers). VBS2 and ArmA both use the same sim engine but the result is different. VBS2 is more "military" oriented rather than for gamers. For example the AAR/observer/instructor "Real time Mission Editor" which arma does not have. Other things such as realistic magazine change out times - reduced duration to cater to the gamer crowd.

Previously they used VBS1 which also had a gamer oriented counterpart - operation flashpoint.

http://virtualbattlespace.vbs2.com/ [vbs2.com]

War Training Simulators And Games (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21678935)

I hope they will drop the games title from their war simulations. Can't see it helping the game industry any.

If people are just collateral assets to be loaned against now, why do they have to spoil our FPS games fun by putting them in the same title as military simulations?

America's Army is a simulator. True Combat Elite is a game. (still bitter about being put in jail last 9/11 for playing too much FPS games)

Does it include making up reasons for the killing? (0, Troll)

thornad (468509) | more than 6 years ago | (#21678945)

Or it is just like the normal army, 'Keep shooting, don't think why!'
It's the government's job to make up the reasons for you.

(and yes,I have done military service.)

Makes sense... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21679129)

They need to work on something, since the United States Army is not in charge of Gundam.

Re:Makes sense... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21680717)

The US Army may not be in charge of Gundam, but that won't prevent us from declaring war on it the instant someone mentions "gundam" and "terrorist" in the same sentence.

As a side note, why does the "gundam" meme not stick? I've tried to keep it up as well, and it just isn't working. Maybe we should change it to, "All your gundam are belong to the japanese department of agriculture."

Irony (2, Insightful)

paleo2002 (1079697) | more than 6 years ago | (#21679193)

Isn't it ironic that the government ends up making the video games designed to train children to kill?

Re:Irony (1)

halivar (535827) | more than 6 years ago | (#21680003)

What I find ironic is that Slashdot will now adopt Jack Thompson's line of reasoning simply because it's the military making it instead of Rockstar games.

Don't protest America's Army if you don't give a crap about Grand Theft Auto.

Re:Irony (2, Interesting)

paleo2002 (1079697) | more than 6 years ago | (#21680121)

In the spirit of optimism then . . .

Maybe one positive result of the military utilizing "video games" as a training tool will be a more accurate, first-hand look at games for government officials. Perhaps they'll come to better understand what players can get out of them. Maybe they'll stop demonizing the entire industry because of a few bad apples.

(end optimism)

Or, maybe they'll just end up wasting a lot of money on a mediocre game to use as a recruiting tool.

Let's Play "Predator!" (2, Interesting)

cmd (56100) | more than 6 years ago | (#21679211)

What is the difference between playing Microsoft Flight Simulator and piloting an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) from Boeing for the Air Force?

Remember the opening sequence to the original Terminator movie? They weren't autonomous robots, they were radio-controlled Unmanned Fighting Units from the US of A.

Oh great... (3, Interesting)

7Prime (871679) | more than 6 years ago | (#21679283)

For now, the games are being developed for training, but sooner or later, one's going to come out that will hit the mainstream... and that's when the shit hits the fan. Before we know it, they'll be making games as a form of "recruitment entertainment", trying to spread the good word of Uncle Sam through games. They're already doing it now through music, "3 Doors Down" has a new song specifically comissioned by the National Guard, and the music video is basically one big recruitment commercial, it's playing in theatres now.

Something about this kind of army prostheletizing just doesn't sit well with me. Granted, it hasn't happened yet, but the writing's on the wall.

Ten Hut (2, Funny)

ntimid8 (980393) | more than 6 years ago | (#21679993)

Maybe this will set a trend in the industry and ensure games come out on schedule.

"Soldier, are done debugging that level yet? MOVE IT, MOVE IT MOVE IT!!!"

Re:Ten Hut (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21680415)

No no no, it will take a horribly long time, cost orders-of-magnitude more, do less, and do it more obtusely.

That's the Army Way.

R & R Trainer (2, Funny)

PPH (736903) | more than 6 years ago | (#21680085)

Several military R & R leave training simulators are under development at this time. One of my favorites: 'Weekend in Bangkok'.

WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21680419)

I'm a Marine. The last "simulation" I played was getting thrown around the back of a 7-ton on a dirt road, then slammed into the cab as the driver slammed on the brakes, jumping out the back (what is it, 9 feet to the deck?), making ready, and sending rounds down range at a target about 300 yards out.

The closest I've been to a video game in uniform (not counting Halo in the barracks) was the simulated recoil M240G, and I don't think they're gonna release that on PS3 any time soon.

I hear the kids going through MCT nowadays get paintball rounds.

Anyway, I dunno about the other sections, but I've never sat in a chair to train.
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