Report: Army to spend $50M on video games

The U.S. Army plans to spend some $50 million over five years on combat video games to train soldiers, according to a report in Stars and Stripes.

To oversee this investment, the Army created a game-training unit named, as military units often are, with an acronym, PEO-STRI, for “Project Executive Office – Simulation Training and Instrumentation.” This unit will track developments in the video game industry and choose promising products that could be used or modified to train soldiers.

The report said the Army unit also “has an undisclosed additional budget” to spend on a commercial game system to be used by February.

There’s already one game – DARWARS Ambush – in use for teaching soldiers. It was set up by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA to focus mainly on the difficult problem of roadside ambushes that use explosives to hit at convoy vehicles. But that game, based on old technology, has limits, and the Army wants to upgrade to new systems.

Features the Army is looking for include the ability to change terrain as needed, and to record and play back game action for review and analysis.

Monday, November 24, 2008 – 11:09 AM PST

Source: San Francisco Business Times

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