Pentagon Wants to Use Gaming to Keep Soldiers Alive

 Pages 1 2 3 NEXT
 

Pentagon Wants to Use Gaming to Keep Soldiers Alive

image

The US Government is hoping videogames will save the lives of American soldiers.

In an effort to reduce casualties, the Pentagon has approved an unspecified level of funding in order to study how it can most effectively use the advancement of gaming technology in the training of its soldiers, US Joint Forces Command General James Mattis said.

Currently, 80 percent of all casualties since World War II have been among the infantry, something the Pentagon is trying to reduce with this new program by developing simulations that will run troops through "as many tactical and ethical challenges as we can before they go into their first firefight," Mattis said.

Though the Pentagon hopes to capitalize on the power of current generation gaming technology, it will not replace traditional training methods.
"We will still have to do live fire training. It won't give us a risk-free environment," Mattis said. "But I'm convinced, both ethically and casualties-wise, we can reduce the missteps that we are taking on the battlefield, and reduce them significantly," he said.

While the Army already makes use of gaming for recruitment and training, opponents of the training method worry that the ability to simply reset the game after a failure will keep recruits from appreciating the price of failure. The programs could be "potentially revolutionary," Brookings Institution senior fellow P.W. Singer said in the most recent issue of Foreign Policy, but there is concern this will blur the nature of war which is already being threatened by the increased use of unmanned drones in combat.

Be that as it may, if the Army can make functional training programs to prepare our troops so more of them come home alive, I don't think many people are going to object.

Source: Yahoo! via GamePolitics

(Image)

Permalink

Didn't they do this in the 90s?

The result was some shitty tactical RTS?

Play Operation Flashpoint?

They could use the funding to put chainsaws on all of their rifles instead.

Don't they already have something like this? oh say... America's Army!?

Calumon: Soldier boy playing so he can keep fighting? I don't wanna play this game...

Will the latest batch of recruits engage the enemy bunnyhopping and grenade/rocket jumping then?

You can only make a training exercise so realistic in Real World before it becomes dangerous, every time you do a live fire event in the US Army you do a walk through, a blank fire exercise, and then the live fire or you will go through a series of training scenarios and then you will have a final scenario. With computer simulations you can just toss someone into a scenario right away with little chance of injury to make it realistic as possible. That and it is easier to track data for evaluation purposes.

Shock and Awe,
Big bang,
No war.

Austin MacKenzie:
Currently, 80 percent of all casualties since World War II have been among the infantry, something the Pentagon is trying to reduce with this new program by developing simulations that will run troops through "as many tactical and ethical challenges as we can before they go into their first firefight," Mattis said.

The reason most casualties are among the infantry, is because the infantry are (usually) more exposed/vulnerable to attacks, and can't withdraw as quickly as other types of units. Sitting them down to play FPS or RTS during basic/combat training ain't gonna change diddly.

what was that about us being murderer atkinson huh well looks like the military is a bunch of murderers too?

As long as it's better than Operation Anchorage...

The reason most caualties are among the infantry is because THEIR THE FUCKING INFANTRY. Their exposed, their not very mobile compared to other units, and there are more of them. Throughout history caualty rates like this have been similar, it's the nature of the role. If they had giant power armor, the situation would be different.

Unfortunately, as helpful as 'gaming' can be for training soldiers, one very important issue is being left out... the documented 'hero factor.' Studies have begun to show that some soldiers who play video games are more likely to ignore potentially life-threatening situations and engage in dangerously 'heroic' actions, such as run into an enemy's line-of-fire, or to underestimate the creativeness of a /real/ opponent. It's as if their stressed brain tells them 'You can take a bullet in Modern Warfare 2, so you can take a bullet in real life.'

Still, simulated combat does help soldiers react faster to threats - bullets flying your way do tend to give you pause - and are less likely to freeze up on the battlefield. So, the bonuses outweigh the negatives.

dimensione510:
The reason most caualties are among the infantry is because THEIR THE FUCKING INFANTRY. Their exposed, their not very mobile compared to other units, and there are more of them. Throughout history caualty rates like this have been similar, it's the nature of the role. If they had giant power armor, the situation would be different.

Solution: invest in giant space marine power armour?

Jonny49:
Play Operation Flashpoint?

Hehe, certainly teach em something.

One can only hope it will work...otherwise a lot of tax payer money down the toilet lol

Starke:
Didn't they do this in the 90s?

The result was some shitty tactical RTS?

Full Spectrum Warrior is what you might be thinking of.

and it rocked out loud, still one of my favorite games.

Won't work, the problem is our engagement doctrine, not training.

Just as there's only so much going to college can do to prepare you for real life, there's only so much training can do for you in combat.

God, the cynicism in this thread is palpable.

Seems like a good idea to me, I just hope they release the game they make for public sale. By releasing it to the public, we get a good game and they get some of the funding back.

Hooray for training people how to kill more effectively, but I don't think getting GI Joe to play Halo is a very good way to do it. Why not take that money and spend it on something more useful, like handing out kittens to orphans? Or, if you have to spend it on the infantry, start developing some StarCraft-style power armor. At least that way we'll be prepared when the Zerg attack us.

Then again, we all know that violent videogames turn you into sociopathic murder machines, so I suppose the American army can't wait to get in on the action.

Ah I see, there working on Gears of War style chest high walls deployment tech now!

Therumancer:
Won't work, the problem is our engagement doctrine, not training.

Blasted Rules of Engagement.

Therumancer:
Won't work, the problem is our engagement doctrine, not training.

Exactly, the US has some of the most well trained soldiers in the world, only problem is they are not allowed to shoot some one untill they get shot.

MAYBE....and i'm being crazy but BETTER TRAINING! throwing them in some virtual Reality isn't going to make them a Better soldier.....that is unless they got some crazy true VR Missions shit going on.

Catkid906:
Don't they already have something like this? oh say... America's Army!?

Calumon: Soldier boy playing so he can keep fighting? I don't wanna play this game...

I think its 1: not a game 2: Not for you...

Unless your a soldier.

Well if it works it works! More power to it.

Saying "80% of the casualties" were infantry is a very stupid way of putting it. The infantry are on the front lines, of course they're gonna be the ones killed, but you can't just say 80%, you have to give hard numbers. If someone wasn't familiar with WWII they could just figure that 10 soldiers died and 8 were infantry.

Catkid906:
Don't they already have something like this? oh say... America's Army!?

Calumon: Soldier boy playing so he can keep fighting? I don't wanna play this game...

No, that is more recruitment propaganda. I would think this would be a LAN game with only military squads working together in situations that would be faced IRL. I can't see any good way to make sure that failure is a punishment, and not just a minor inconvenience.

dimensione510:
The reason most caualties are among the infantry is because THEIR THE FUCKING INFANTRY. Their exposed, their not very mobile compared to other units, and there are more of them. Throughout history caualty rates like this have been similar, it's the nature of the role. If they had giant power armor, the situation would be different.

Good Lord you uses the wrong form of "there" so many times!

OT: I thought they have already done this multiple times?

It was said that the game, with a reset button, might make the participant less likely to appreciate the consequences of failure. Isn't that, in many ways, the point of training? If you spend the whole time appreciating the consequences of failure, you are that much more likely to fail because your just freaking out the whole time. By overriding that fear of failure, you are more able to execute approaches that are more likely to succeed.

You'd be surprised in how many instances especially in sensitive areas of operations (typically high civilian pop) how long it takes a unit under fire or within direct sight of enemy insurgents to get permission to engage. Not just infantry, air support, armor etc. I am not talking about suspected nefarious activity, I am talking about shots already fired or the enemy has engaged otherwise.

That sort of delay is beyond the control of the frontline soldier and has caused its fair share of casualties.

Jonny49:
Play Operation Flashpoint?

Love that game, but I didn't think it was ever dirrectly affiliated with the American Armed Forces. I picked up Dragon Rising, but haven't been able to bring myself to play it yet. At least I've got ARMA.

Kalezian:

Starke:
Didn't they do this in the 90s?

The result was some shitty tactical RTS?

Full Spectrum Warrior is what you might be thinking of.

and it rocked out loud, still one of my favorite games.

Then I appologize. I remember it getting horrific reviews, but as a die hard fan of Titan Quest and Two Worlds, I should remember how little that means.

firedfns13:

Therumancer:
Won't work, the problem is our engagement doctrine, not training.

Blasted Rules of Engagement.

As someone who has actually read Michael Walzer's Just and Unjust Wars I believe I can firmly say, regarding rules of engagement: BLLLAAAARRRRGGGHHHH!!!! And, my head hurts.

We approach war from the perspective that there can be such a thing as an honorable war. There can't-full stop. All we can do is try to limit the effect on the bystandars.

aegios187:
You'd be surprised in how many instances especially in sensitive areas of operations (typically high civilian pop) how long it takes a unit under fire or within direct sight of enemy insurgents to get permission to engage. Not just infantry, air support, armor etc. I am not talking about suspected nefarious activity, I am talking about shots already fired or the enemy has engaged otherwise.

That sort of delay is beyond the control of the frontline soldier and has caused its fair share of casualties.

I understand just war doctrine, why it's a good idea, why we should uphold it. It's the way it's been assimilated into the military beuracracy that results in shit like this. Those under fire have my sympathy. Those elsewhere, wringing their hands about potential political blowback when lives are on the line: less so.

Old Trailmix:

dimensione510:
The reason most caualties are among the infantry is because THEIR THE FUCKING INFANTRY. Their exposed, their not very mobile compared to other units, and there are more of them. Throughout history caualty rates like this have been similar, it's the nature of the role. If they had giant power armor, the situation would be different.

Good Lord you uses the wrong form of "there" so many times!

OT: I thought they have already done this multiple times?

More or less, they have. Full Spectrum Warrior was supposed to be a military training tool, but there were issues. Operation Flashpoint that, either they're not using as a training tool, or were. Their America's Army series were recruitment tools. All of these were developed by game devs, what I haven't seen, but have heard exists is a system developed by their own people in house.

doctrine, not training.[/quote]

Blasted Rules of Engagement.[/quote]As someone who has actually read Michael Walzer's Just and Unjust Wars I believe I can firmly say, regarding rules of engagement: BLLLAAAARRRRGGGHHHH!!!! And, my head hurts.

We approach war from the perspective that there can be such a thing as an honorable war. There can't-full stop. All we can do is try to limit the effect on the bystandars.[/quote]

While this upsets some people I'm going to again explain my perspective. Apologies to those that it offends.

I am what you'd call a realist. There is no such thing as "morality" when something has gone as far as war. It's about winning or losing. Nations are defined by their people and their culture. Soldiers defend their people, BUT it's the people themselves that keep ideas and policies alive. The entire point of engaging in a war is to destroy, or change a nation OR culture (sometimes both) that means the ultimate goal is to target the people as well as their leaders. The Greeks, Romans, Chinese and other groups all understood these things.

The US also *used* to understand this, after all when you look at World War II we were no nicer or antiseptic than the Nazis. We murdered women and children, dug people out of their homes and killed them, bombed factories, farms, and buildings, and everything else. The Volkssturm was pretty much German civilians and we butchered them, and we killed anyone who might have been a potential threat while moving building to building. We also wiped out refugees in massive numbers to keep cities contained and prevent nazis and such from escaping. You don't hear about this because we won the war, we got to write the history books, we get to decide which pictures of corpse piles you get to see. We also spent a LONG time spreading propaganda to demonize the Nazis so our soldiers would be fairly unresistant to killing a mother and her 8 year old or whatever if the need arose. One of the reasons why the Nazis more or less collapsed is because we destroyued them, and that includes plenty of civilians who simply embraced the ideas for economic reform. This is one of the reasons why sparing specific scientists and such was especially contreversial. Not just because of war crimes, but because if your pretty much executing 20 guys who registered Nazi and supporting Hitler, is it right to spare some dude just because he has knowlege you want to use? (along with the other arguements).

The point being that the "Clean" war we engaged in was anything but. By current standards we would have tried Patton as a war criminal.

I'm not going to rant and rave about The Middle East specifically despite being our current arena of engagement. The truth is that people everywhere are not going to simply give up if invaded. In the US if we were invaded we would resist ANY invader heavily, civilians (especially with our right to bear arms) would do exactly the same stuff as we're seeing abroad, and in the end the only way to truely "beat" the US would be to basically committ mass murder and gut 99% of the population. You could never take it over and hold it otherwise. Heck digging people out of the Appalacian mountains alone would probably make the Afghanistan insurgency look like a cake walk.

Once you realize what it would take to beat us, you realize what it takes to beat any other group of humans out there (equality being what it is).

At any rate, where this is all going is that our engagement doctrine is not flawed so much because of our troops not being able to defend themselves except reactively (though that is part of it), but simply because we engage on a naive level trying to occupy nations and dig out endless insurgencies and win conflicts through nothing but police actions and "Shock and awe" intimidation without making any meaningful inroads. The US would not peacefully go into the night against the techniques we have been using to fight "Wars" so why should we expect them to work elsewhere?

What's more part of our entire military strategy has always been to have the best technology and most highly trained people we can obtain. We still want a large force, but a much smaller one than we would otherwise require. All of this is of course meaningless when we insist on going into nations and taking people on man to man, and rifle to rifle. That's why the Infantry gets so heavily slammed, and frankly it's a miracle of training that we haven't pretty much lost everyone given the meat grinders we sent these people into, and the rules we put on them.

In general the military isn't supposed to be sent unless we need to take a group out. They are not a police force. The entire idea of our technology is the fact that we blow things to bits with artillery, missles, and bombs, and then send our troops in to mop up whatever is left. Not ride around hostile crowds in hummers waiting to be ambushed.

I think our problem is that we look at the morality of killing 50,000 people with daisy cutters to get one dude as being "wrong". On the other hand that is exactly what our military was designed to do. That is why we MADE bombs like that. The entire point is that by the time we feel the need to go into a nation to get that dude (or whomever else) it's a foregone conslusion, we're there to take the whole region out.

Also it's noteworthy that intimidation only works if people are scared of you. Few people are really scared of the US due to the limits we place on ourselves. We're the guys who have replaced the explosives in our bombs with bloody concrete (I posted a link about this before when asked) to "minimize damage" (which makes me wonder why bother to have bombs when we could have just been stockpiling rocks....). Part of the point of say killing tens of thousands of civilians is not just to engage in a war of elimination, and other things, but also to spread fear.

Think of it this way, if you can point at the 50k "innocent people" you killed, it means that if you have a problem with a dictator or something, the people are more likely to rebel against their own leader for fear of you. I mean sure, his hundred bodyguards might kill 40k of those people before he went down, but the handfull of survivors are more than if America comes for them.

Also when you have a reputation for doing things like that, that's when a big fireworks show to demonstrate what you COULD be doing has a lasting effect. If nobody believes your going to pull the trigger, then you can make as much noise as you want and once it's over people are just going to carry on.

Or basically, if you engage in REAL WAR, it makes acts of mercy more possible. Kill a couple million people a town or city at a time, then later on in other conflicts you can make a big noise and spare tens of millions who will surrender/adjust because of what they already saw you do. A sort of "morality by the numbers" that people don't just get.

Basically I feel warfare and Mass Murder are pretty much the same thing (ie a war is when two groups try and committ mas murder on each other). Our entire engagement doctrine is naive.

Don't get the wrong impression here, I believe in military action as a last resort, not something you enter into casually. When you do it though, it's an ugly, brutal, thing. Nothing is going to change that, just as nothing is going to change the fundemental nature of humanity that mandates that in such conflicts things have to go to that level to accomplish anything.

Sure a lot of people would say that if the US is invaded they would surrender. It's hip to act that way in certain circles (Anti-US sentiment is vogue for Americans), but if it actually happened? Let's just say it would be nasty. People are just as vicious about defending their little patches of ground as we are of ours. So as I said, think about what it would take to truely destroy the US and American Ideaology... that's pretty much what we need to do to our enemies to stop them.

Sincere apologies if this upsets anyone again, I'm trying carefully not to accidently take it too far, since sometimes when I get ranting I go further than even I intend.

 Pages 1 2 3 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here