US Army Game Plans

Stars and Stripes reports the US army is continuing to explore the role of video games in training and recruiting troops. Word is Uncle Sam, who already operates America's Army as a recruiting tool and a first-person shooter called DARWARS Ambush as a training tool, has budgeted $50 million for a "games for training" program starting in 2010 and: "In addition to the $50 million, the Army gaming unit has an undisclosed additional budget to purchase a state-of-the-art commercial video game system that will be fielded for training in February." The article says the Army is looking to advance past the old-school limitations of DARWARS Ambush: "However, the game is based on 20th-century gaming technology and can accommodate a limited number of players in a relatively small virtual battle space. It can’t interact with the Army’s real world computerized battle command systems and trainers can’t edit terrain or change scenarios during play, he said." Their new game will be called Game After Ambush, which will be based on a commercial game, and what game this is being based on will be revealed in the next couple of weeks. The article also mentions another project in development called "dismounted soldier" that involves virtual reality goggles.