from danger room: The U.S. military has been using games for decades to train its troops. Now, for the first time, the Army has set up a project office, just for building and deploying games.
No, the Army isn’t about to start handing out copies of Halo 3 to troops, TSJOnline.com notes. “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. Instead, the new office – part of the Army’s Kansas-based National Simulation Center – will focus on using videogame graphics to make those dull military simulations more realistic, and better-looking.
TPO Gaming is also starting work on a tool kit that would let soldiers “build and customize their own training scenarios without waiting for a contractor to do it for them,” the trade journal notes. “The Marine Corps has already pioneered this concept with its Virtual Battlespace 2, an adaptation of the Armed Assault first-person-shooter.”
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.
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