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The U.S. Army wants to add modern gaming visuals in its simulations

Prepare for the next generation of super soldiers, which may end up being video game players. The U.S. Army has created a new project office for the development of gaming technologies.

While the U.S. Army may have started with id Software’s DOOM II as a training tool, it will not rely on modern commercial shooters as the basis for its training. “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.

The America’s Army games were primarily recruitment tools, but TPO Gaming’s main focus is on training tools. Furthermore, according to TSJOnline, TPO Gaming aims to integrate modern game graphics into traditional U.S. Army training concepts. “We will focus on the visualization piece of those technologies, not so much the entertainment piece,” Millar added.

Many simulators for the military thus far are based on shooter games, particularly of the first-person variety, which lends quite well to infantry training. TPO Gaming’s projects, however, look to expand gaming technology’s applicability to other areas.

“While one game might provide excellent battlefield visualization, another might support training bilateral negotiation techniques,” Brig. Gen. Thomas Maffey, the Army’s director of training at the Pentagon, said to TSJ in written remarks. “We are finding many uses for games and it is just the beginning. Currently, we are focusing on first-person shooter and real-time strategy games, but there are many other genres of games that have desirable training capabilities. They provide an immersive environment capable of stimulating thought within a given context, thus giving us the ability to exercise cognitive skills along with functional tasks.”

Although games such as Infinity Ward’s brilliant Call of Duty 4 present a visually impressive representation on modern warfare, it may be deemed unsuitable for practical Army use for a number of reasons.

“The difficult part is they have to meet requirements,” said Robert Bowen, civilian chief of TPO Gaming. “Just because someone has the latest and greatest graphics engine, and the gameplay is great, doesn’t mean it meets training requirements.”

Col. Jack Millar said that the training tool must be suitable for custom scenario development, be immersive, scalable, feature an intuitive interface, model behavior at the entity level, contain an after-action review capability and allow easy distribution.

“We would look at that game and determine if it meets a training capability gap. If it can do that without any modification, we may use it to fill that gap,” said Millar. “But I doubt it. I haven’t seen that happen yet.”

Interestingly enough, part of the reason behind the formation of TPO Gaming was to give Army leaders a more official source of video game training, rather than picking up a copy of Call of Duty 4 or Halo 3.

“Units should not have to spend training dollars to purchase training simulations. If Army units are expending training funds to purchase games, there is probably an unfilled training requirement,” Brig. Gen. Thomas Maffey said. “We do not want to tell the commanders in the field they cannot spend money and train with games. However, we do want to ensure that commanders get the best training tools and that the Army spends its limited resources wisely in the procurement of those tools.”

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RE: Here's an idea
By Misty Dingos on 12/14/2007 8:15:24 AM , Rating: 4
That is just silly. America just needs to kill all the bad people.

Determining who is bad is the hard part.
Here is a guide line I have worked up. If you compare the people that you think are bad against the list you may find they really aren’t bad at all.

Osama = Bad (kind of the gold standard for bad)
People that think having sex with a child is cool = bad just freaking bad
People that think that if you don’t believe like they do means they should kill you = bad
People that kill own children because they didn’t wear a scarf = bad
People that kill people because they didn’t like who they married = bad
People that kill people because they don’t want to be with them anymore = bad
People that cut you off on the freeway = no not bad really I mean it they aren’t bad
People that drink and drive = oh I want them to be bad but they probably aren’t
People that run into buildings with bombs strapped to their chests = bad
Illeagal aliens = not bad but if they want to stay here they need to do lots of paperwork and learn to speak the language
People that think killing a bunch of people in a shopping mall or school or church or synagogue or mosque or restaurant or well anywhere before killing themselves = bad very bad (mostly for getting the murder before the suicide part, a personal note to those considering the above act of violence, please just skip the murder part and do us all a favor and go right to the suicide part)
Idiot Liberals = unfortunately not bad just stupid
Wacky overzealous conservatives = again not bad just stupid
People that think people are the worst thing ever to happen to the planet = not bad but in need of real education
People that believe blindly in global warming = not bad just dumb
People that blindly deny global warming = not bad just dumb
Looney paranoid conspiracy nut lesbian talk show hosts = tragically not bad just really disturbed and in need of mental help
Drugged out conservative radio talk show hosts = no not bad but can be funny when stoned on the air
Canadian newscasters masquerading as American newscasters = not bad but should probably be deported
US presidents that think oral sex isn’t “actually” sex and think that dealing with terrorism means throwing a couple of billion dollars of Tomahawk missiles at empty terrorist training camps = nope not bad , just sad
US presidents that declare wars over before they even really get started = nope not bad just really foolish
People that think the new Bionic Woman was good = BAD just joking the show is bad though really bad
People that don’t agree with some or all of this list = Nope they are not bad they might even be able to think for themselves which is good

RE: Here's an idea
By Etsp on 12/14/2007 9:10:48 AM , Rating: 2
You forgot one:
People who kill those who disagree with them because they disagree with them = bad

RE: Here's an idea
By Misty Dingos on 12/14/2007 9:25:30 AM , Rating: 2
You are most correct. I did.
And I will have to add one myself.
People that kill people that try to help them = Bad

A friend of mine was stabbed in the back by his sister's boyfriend when he tried to resolve a family argument over $20.

My friend died and his sister still supports the boyfriend. Sometimes I just don't understand people.

"So if you want to save the planet, feel free to drive your Hummer. Just avoid the drive thru line at McDonalds." -- Michael Asher

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