U.S. Wants to Train Soldiers With Body-Reading RPG

 Pages 1 2 NEXT
 

U.S. Wants to Train Soldiers With Body-Reading RPG

image

The U.S. Department of Defense wants to make soldiers sweat with games that react to their brainwaves and body patterns.

A current solicitation from the United States Department of Defense is asking for the development of serious games that can train soldiers to do more than kill. Keeping the peace in Iraq and Afghanistan currently requires dealing with the native population on a daily basis, not firing weaponry, and can create tense situations in an unfamiliar place that some soldiers may not be prepared for.

According to the solicitation, the game's trainees "will be able to speak to and interact at any level with indigenous non-player characters (NPC), complete with voice recognition, speech, and facial gestures." The characters would react realistically according to how the soldier treated them. "For example, if a player comes in and insults the local tribal leader the game scenario will change and the trainee will find that future interactions with the local population are more difficult and more hostile." Sounds just like Peter Molyneux's Milo to me.

The game would be designed to put a large amount of pressure on soldiers and react to their eye movements, voice patterns, and heart rates: "The trainee will be monitored for neural/physiological markers (e.g. EEG, eye tracking, pupil diameter, heart rate, respiration, and so forth) of workload and the game will adjust in difficulty based in part on these neural/physiological metrics; this is designed to keep players motivated, interested, and at an optimal learning level." Ideally, the game would present various kinds of situations to different ranks of soldiers depending on those that they would actually encounter. Up to four soldiers would be able to enter the simulation at once.

I can't even talk to the barista at Starbucks without freezing up, so a game like this could have uses for far more important tasks than making peace. It could also teach me what to say when asked if I want whipped cream on my latte or not: a decision with sweeping universal consequences. To be honest, a realistic version of the DoD's game sounds incredibly advanced and beyond capability, but then again, first-person shooters don't exactly train soldiers how to fire a gun, but could give somewhat of a baseline skill to work with. The peacekeeping game described here wouldn't have to be totally realistic to get soldiers used to tough situations, or to help me with my coffee.

Source: Pop Sci

Permalink

Won't work unless they can make it like the holodeck on Star Trek... Videogames do not train you in any way to do anything in real life.

Maybe they'd be better of with a LARP setup (live action role play), with fabricated buildings and people who can speak that language. Still, it's not a bad idea, better than nothing.

Hey, I'd like to play that. Who knows? Might be useful, show how different interactions with people of a different culture might react to a foreign military presence.

Chance peaceful behavior will be rewarded: Zero.

Let's get this straight. Our intention is to install a government that will listen to us no matter what the "citizens" of that country want. If they disagree with us, we have no interest whatsoever in responding rationally. If they do not see us and disarm themselves and drop to their knees in worship, listen to everything we say and show no signs of independence, they're going to be murdered.

I am entertained any time they claim to simulate "humans" in any form though, it vividly highlights how abstract and unrealistic our societies view of "humans" are.

will be able to speak to and interact at any level with indigenous non-player characters

unless theve solved the natural launguage problem, i can see this ending badly.

Did anyone else read the title as 'body reading RocketPropelledGrenade'?
I mean it doesn't make total sense but I thought there might of been some person seeking rocket

otakucode:
Chance peaceful behavior will be rewarded: Zero.

Let's get this straight. Our intention is to install a government that will listen to us no matter what the "citizens" of that country want. If they disagree with us, we have no interest whatsoever in responding rationally. If they do not see us and disarm themselves and drop to their knees in worship, listen to everything we say and show no signs of independence, they're going to be murdered.

I am entertained any time they claim to simulate "humans" in any form though, it vividly highlights how abstract and unrealistic our societies view of "humans" are.

Get off your pedastal. Threatening and murdering villagers just creates sympathisers for the enemy and ruins another green zone. Generals know if they want their army to exist with a population they need it on their side. This goes double for any other hippy with the "military intelligence" joke.

Tibet doesn't count since those are Buddhist monks not farmers capable of growing fields of opium and militants raiding gulf war stockpiles.

dementedartist22:
Did anyone else read the title as 'body reading RocketPropelledGrenade'?
I mean it doesn't make total sense but I thought there might of been some person seeking rocket

Lol that's what I was thinking. I was thinking it would be an article about an RPG that didn't fire at certain targets or something.

If anyone has the unlimited technological and financial resources to bring this to even partial fruition, it's the Department of Defense.

And if they could do it, their notes (assuming they were ever shared) could provide invaluable data to the rest of the technological world, including the gaming sphere.

Tom Goldman:
U.S. Wants to Train Soldiers With Body-Reading RPG

I can't even talk to the barista at Starbucks without freezing up, so a game like this could have uses for far more important tasks than making peace. It could also teach me what to say when asked if I want whipped cream on my latte or not: a decision with sweeping universal consequences.

That's so deep! I think I cried a little ;_;

I like it that you deem your visits to Starbucks' worthiness over peace in Afghanistan though. You've got style.

otakucode:
Chance peaceful behavior will be rewarded: Zero.

Let's get this straight. Our intention is to install a government that will listen to us no matter what the "citizens" of that country want. If they disagree with us, we have no interest whatsoever in responding rationally. If they do not see us and disarm themselves and drop to their knees in worship, listen to everything we say and show no signs of independence, they're going to be murdered.

I am entertained any time they claim to simulate "humans" in any form though, it vividly highlights how abstract and unrealistic our societies view of "humans" are.

You're right... maybe we should leave them to their policies of torturing and killing whole families if they don't agree to let insurgents shoot people from their houses, or launch mortars from their back yard, or best of all if they see an infidel and don't immediately try to kill them. I strongly urge you to better inform yourself on these matters, and also realize there are several Escapists like myself who are the military type that consider it offensive to be called a "murderer".

hypothetical fact:

otakucode:
Chance peaceful behavior will be rewarded: Zero.

Let's get this straight. Our intention is to install a government that will listen to us no matter what the "citizens" of that country want. If they disagree with us, we have no interest whatsoever in responding rationally. If they do not see us and disarm themselves and drop to their knees in worship, listen to everything we say and show no signs of independence, they're going to be murdered.

I am entertained any time they claim to simulate "humans" in any form though, it vividly highlights how abstract and unrealistic our societies view of "humans" are.

Get off your pedastal. Threatening and murdering villagers just creates sympathisers for the enemy and ruins another green zone. Generals know if they want their army to exist with a population they need it on their side. This goes double for any other hippy with the "military intelligence" joke.

Tibet doesn't count since those are Buddhist monks not farmers capable of growing fields of opium and militants raiding gulf war stockpiles.

I disagree to be honest. I think the entire problem is the idea of using soldiers as "peacekeepers" as opposed to well... Soldiers. All this stuff with "Green Zones" and things like that are inherantly ridiculous. I do not believe you can resolve a nation's internal problems by exerting external pressures. I also firmly believe that by the time the military is involved diplomacy has already failed. The people who should be reading those leaders and such are diplomats and the like. By the time the military is on the ground the purpose should be pretty much to kill people and break things, not to try and make friends, that already failed at this point.

Don't get me wrong, I believe in trying other methods BEFORE military action, but once you get to that point I have a very specific view of what it entails.

So basically I more or less agree with the guy your disagreeing with. I think such training would work well for our diplomatic corps, but truthfully when it comes to soldiers we should be working to dehumanize the targets they will be dealing with, so they can kill more efficiently and relentlessly... not the opposite.

In the end I imagine we're going to have to agree to disagree, but as I see things the entire idea is contrary to the purpose of military training and conditioning which is supposed to be to get soldiers to overcome the inherant human reluctance to kill other human, and to view their enemy as an enemy, as opposed to some poor schmoe who is caught up behind his ken and probably has a family somewhere that will cry when they are gone.

I frequently talk about World War II Propaganda, largely because of the extent to which we demonized the enemy specifically to make it easier for our troops to engage them, and eventually deal with groups like The Volkssturm and Hitler Youth.

Awesome technology, but this isn't where I think it should be used. Put it to use with the guys that are supposed to resolve problems BEFORE we send the military, not with the military.

Therumancer:
-snip-

Good luck finding civilians willing to do that. We had trouble getting civilians to clean our porta-potties; we offered armored trucks, security details, body armor, and we still ended up having to burn our shit. The reason the military does the door-to-door diplomacy in the current counter-insurgency operations is because you would have to pay a civilian about $300k a year to do it while they only had to pay us about $50k.

Ugh. The divorce between reality and video games is too great for anything like this to have any sort of value.

Marine Mike:

Therumancer:
-snip-

Good luck finding civilians willing to do that. We had trouble getting civilians to clean our porta-potties; we offered armored trucks, security details, body armor, and we still ended up having to burn our shit. The reason the military does the door-to-door diplomacy in the current counter-insurgency operations is because you would have to pay a civilian about $300k a year to do it while they only had to pay us about $50k.

Well, to me that sounds ridiculous and like a borked administration more than anything. Though I guess a lot of it comes down to the fact that I don't think our military should be involved in this kind of occupation to begin with. The purpose of the military as I see it is to go in, bring armageddon, and then go home once the enemy is destroyed and the threat averted. All of this "winning the peace" stuff is a recipe for failure, you cannot resolve internal problems by using external force.

Without getting into my overall sentiments on the war, and how things SHOULD be fought (plenty of my old messages should cover it), the bottom line is that I find the idea of the military using/needing civilian contractors during a foreign occupation as being ridiculous. As unpleasant as it is, I feel soldiers should be cleaning up after themselves, including the porta-potties.

I know little about The Army, but I do know from the Navy guys I've talked to that they have a designation called a "Hall Tech" (as I remember) whose job it is to do light maitnence like change lightbulbs, clean toilets, and do that kind of stuff. Pretty much a janitor. I see no real reason why the other branchs of the military would not have people in similar positions (whether they intended to wind up there or not).

I mean sure, I can see using civilian contractors when your setting up a military base in a friendly/allied country, or on your own soil... but the idea of using them for things like Porta Potties and such under these circumstances strikes me as being ridiculous.

I'm trying to think of a Full Metal Jacket quote that's appropriate but it's not coming.

Jfswift:
Maybe they'd be better of with a LARP setup (live action role play), with fabricated buildings and people who can speak that language. Still, it's not a bad idea, better than nothing.

Was about to say that.

If the US are funding this type of ambitious program, then it could benefit the gaming community. I'm all for it.

Steve5513:
Won't work unless they can make it like the holodeck on Star Trek... Videogames do not train you in any way to do anything in real life.

How do you know? It can be programmed, so why doesn't this train troops. It reacts to their body, not their thumbs pressing buttons and joysticks. That means they are actually doing things, and are therefore being trained, and a videogame can actually make a more realistic combat scenario or otherwise than a real life war game can since you can't have casualties in a game so there is flexibility. There's no reason that this can't work.

I think it would be much more cost effective and more realistic to play dress up and roleplay.

Ladies and Gentlemen, billions of your tax dollars at work.

Steve5513:
Won't work unless they can make it like the holodeck on Star Trek... Videogames do not train you in any way to do anything in real life.

The military has increasingly been using video games to train their soldiers. Live training ops cost six figures to run, while virtual ops cost a fraction of that. That's just for the strategy side of things. There are also realistic shooting sims being used too, but those still need some work.

danpascooch:
I think it would be much more cost effective and more realistic to play dress up and roleplay.

Ladies and Gentlemen, billions of your tax dollars at work.

Yeah? What's new? That's how the internet got started, mind you. The military purchased a bunch of servers and gave them to universities under the guise that if they needed them, the schools must relinquish them, but when would the military need a bunch of big ass servers? So basically, universities got servers on the taxpayers dime. The internet turned out to be a pretty fruitful endeavor, wouldn't you agree? Perhaps this might be as well.

ok... if this works thats awesome

if not then their goes a few mil... billion down the drain

Well, US Military, you really only have one choice.

To the offices of BioWare!

This sounds like some really cool ideas and technology, and I agree, Bioware is the only choice.

That will have another way to make you start over.
You shot a civilian mission failed(like in rainbow six vegas 2).
Or it could be like the airport in modernwarfare2.
Either Or, it looks interesting.

Steve5513:
Won't work unless they can make it like the holodeck on Star Trek... Videogames do not train you in any way to do anything in real life.

So far they don't, but Natal is nothing like anything we've seen before. Personally, I'm with the US military on this one. And I also agree with Tom on the non-military aspects too. Better than the crazy social training videos the Japanese came up with, at least...

dementedartist22:
Did anyone else read the title as 'body reading RocketPropelledGrenade'?
I mean it doesn't make total sense but I thought there might of been some person seeking rocket

Lol thats what I thought at first too

Sounds like a good investment...too often we resort to violence when negotiations breakdown either from linguistic or cultural barriers.
Teaching our nation's combatants that forced resolutions often have unhappy consequences is essential to repairing relations with civilians in occupied Middle Eastern territories.

Edit:

dementedartist22:
Did anyone else read the title as 'body reading RocketPropelledGrenade'?
I mean it doesn't make total sense but I thought there might of been some person seeking rocket

I thought we'd finally perfected guided missile technology to target weak points in enemy armor and attack for massive damage.

Low Key:

Steve5513:
Won't work unless they can make it like the holodeck on Star Trek... Videogames do not train you in any way to do anything in real life.

The military has increasingly been using video games to train their soldiers. Live training ops cost six figures to run, while virtual ops cost a fraction of that. That's just for the strategy side of things. There are also realistic shooting sims being used too, but those still need some work.

danpascooch:
I think it would be much more cost effective and more realistic to play dress up and roleplay.

Ladies and Gentlemen, billions of your tax dollars at work.

Yeah? What's new? That's how the internet got started, mind you. The military purchased a bunch of servers and gave them to universities under the guise that if they needed them, the schools must relinquish them, but when would the military need a bunch of big ass servers? So basically, universities got servers on the taxpayers dime. The internet turned out to be a pretty fruitful endeavor, wouldn't you agree? Perhaps this might be as well.

Yeah, the internet is great, but that doesn't mean we should give the military free reign to develop whatever stupid thing it wants for billions of dollars with absolutely no oversight or questioning, that would be madness.

This looks to be probably one of the dumbest uses for tax dollars I've seen in a long time.

dementedartist22:
Did anyone else read the title as 'body reading RocketPropelledGrenade'?
I mean it doesn't make total sense but I thought there might of been some person seeking rocket

Yeah, I did

Steve5513:
Won't work unless they can make it like the holodeck on Star Trek... Videogames do not train you in any way to do anything in real life.

I was always under the impression that they improved reading to a small degree, but okay. :)

Lately it seems everyone is trying to use video games to improve something else. First it was the Nintendo thing a few days ago and now this. On the positive side, maybe they'll find out who is truly crazy and who isn't when the brainwaves go bonkers during one of those 'situations'.

danpascooch:
Yeah, the internet is great, but that doesn't mean we should give the military free reign to develop whatever stupid thing it wants for billions of dollars with absolutely no oversight or questioning, that would be madness.

This looks to be probably one of the dumbest uses for tax dollars I've seen in a long time.

I'm sure that's what people said about the military buying really expensive servers that they'd never use...

Next you'll be telling me that people are using video games to lose weight.

Wait, what?

 Pages 1 2 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Posting on this forum is disabled.