In press coverage of how virtual wargames will revolutionize actual war, the lion's share of publicity has generally gone to private sector boffins bankrolled by the US Army. Most often, they appear as wizards from the University of Southern California's Institute for Creative Technologies. Journalists love the place and can't …
This bit made me laugh:
"..that enables them to cut out with surgical precision the cancer that threatens us all: heat-packing humanitarians who leave the innocent unscathed"
Ah, those crazy americans
This is nothing new.
IIRC, the US military used multi-player Doom II as a training tool some 10 or 15 years ago. The story was that two teams of soldiers played against each other, and when a player was killed he could not respawn. It was reported as being effective for teaching battlefield tactics.
Small arms trainers
As I remember it, at least some of the ones in service run Counterstrike, in combination with a very big projected screen and simulated weapons based on real (but deactivated) firearms.
Obviously not perfect but adequate for the training tasks.
Life imitates art
the reality of military action is starkly different from the fantasies used to market it to the public; different in goals, methods, experience, and outcome. rayguns will do nothing to change this.
there was a series of SF novels written by Pournelle, that featured a mercenary outfit called Falkenberg's Legion. aside from the suspension of disbelief required for faster-than-light transport technology, the books were realistic in every other way, including the likely experience aboard transport ships. conflicts were messy, confusing and complex; soldiers and civilians were multifaceted characters with personal agendas; and the series was, at times, a very demanding read.
the novels are about imperfect people using the blunt tool of violence to address situations where there is neither nobility nor compassion. the results of this are predictably ambivalent, solving some problems while creating others. the fog of war, and the pervasive uncertainty of dealing with a terrorist, insurgent or guerilla enemy, with hooks into the civilian population, are portrayed in detail and to great effect.
for anyone who thinks that armed conflict is noble, clean, good-versus-evil, or black-and-white, i recommend reading the series as a counterpoint. the Iraqi situation is messy and complex, as real life should be, and historically, there has never been a truly good solution to any problem in the Middle East.
glad to see that there is at least one game that models military action in a more realistic manner, even if only from a statistical perspective.
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