For years now, video games have served as more than simply entertainment. Certain games are now being used to train soldiers for the military. Since the idea is that those men and women now joining the military grew up playing video games, it seemed like a natural teaching tool to many.
In 1981 people became familiar with the Patriot missile system. Now that it’s 2018, it has been used to create a video game for training purposes. Members of the military can use it to learn the proper way to safely use the weapons they are later required to use in battle. It is thought that this is a much quicker way to teach them these skills than was ever possible in the past.
12 countries now use the Patriot system to train their new soldiers. Since 2013 there has been a strong emphasis on video games as a teaching tool. The software and the consoles used to train members of the military are very similar to today’s popular game consoles such as Xbox and Playstation.
These video games are created using soldiers wearing appropriate gear that allows them to attract sensors. The soldiers are then filmed using infrared cameras. This is how characters for military training games are created. Games have been created in which multiple soldiers pose as the inspiration for avatars and make their way through a virtual area of land that is meant to simulate the battlegrounds real-life soldiers will eventually find themselves in.
Cost efficient virtual training
This type of virtual training is not only more cost efficient than more traditional training methods it also a safer way to teach soldiers. It eliminates the risk of soldiers becoming injured or even killed as a result of training exercises. It also serves to prepare them for real-world training and can be thought of as the pre-training process.
The ability to capture one’s motions in a virtual environment allows soldiers to have a realistic training experience that immerses them in situations they will have to adapt to later. It prepares them by showing them what they will see in a real-life battle. Soldiers can train in groups or individually, using this unique video game.
As of now, these video games are stored on CDs as opposed to in the cloud. The software manufacturers ensure that the gaming CDs are given directly to the military, making it impossible for hackers to gain access to them and put the safety of the public at risk. This is one of the reasons why military training video games are not available in a digital format.
Video games for other purposes as well
Even though training soldiers, doctors and such might be the absolute best way of using video games as effective as possible, it is used in many other ways as well. Sports, for example. People interested in a specific sport often play the same in video games. The Latvian floorball team, FK Talsi, said that this is one of their hidden weapons to success. They use video games (floorball and ice-hockey) to build up their team and teach them to play together and get a good overview look of the game.
Future plans for video games used to train new members of the military include the eventual addition of augmented reality. For now, they will remain the way they are. However, as they continue to become useful for military training there is no doubt that these video games will evolve in ways people haven’t thought of yet, giving them a bright future.