How The Military Is Leveraging Game-Like Scenarios
The military has long used simulations to test and refine theories of warfare in an environment that replicates battlefield conditions without causing injury or necessitating the loss of human life. Under ideal conditions these simulations are rendered as realistically as possible in order to provide measurable and repeatable results.
Traditionally, there are two types of military simulations. Heuristic simulations are conducted for research and problem-solving purposes, and are not necessarily designed to provide empirical solutions. Meanwhile, stochastic simulations incorporate the element of random chance events to provide variability within the scenarios.
Today the military has found a new model for their combat and myriad other virtual testing scenarios. This new model draws from a popular consumer source of inspiration long thought to be for recreational use only. That wellspring is video games.
Turning Gamers Into Soldiers (and Vice Versa)
Video games have come a long way, particularly in terms of military use. When the Patriot missile system was introduced in 1981, most video games were played in arcades or on the first wave of home consoles such as the Atari 2600. Almost 40 years later, that same Patriot system, now a relic of the Cold War, is still in operation and a video game has been developed around it to train U.S. service members on the weapon’s use in a virtual environment.
According to major defense contractor Raytheon, soldiers move their virtual avatars through a simulated landscape and “manipulate digital versions of real-life equipment” for training purposes. Raytheon, which builds surface-to-air missile systems, contends that it makes perfect sense to develop game-based simulations and technology for the current generation of military recruits who grew up with video game controllers in their hands.
The Virtual Path Forward
The modern military is finding a wide range of uses for their game-inspired digital modeling and simulations. Defense planning, training and exercises, and operational planning are three major areas that heavily utilize these next-generation virtual environments. The military is also actively employing virtual reality packages to create safe, realistic, and interactive simulations for tactical training and mission rehearsals. Simulations continue to offer the benefit of conserving time, money, and – most importantly – human life.
These new virtual scenarios offer the further advantage of more scientific biometrics around equipment training that will enable head-mounted systems with the same level of efficiency as end users get from traditional live or simulated training.
Though the technology is here, challenges remain. Limited bandwidth, narrow fields of vision, and inefficient resolutions are all obstacles to maximizing the value and capabilities of these new virtual tools. Complex computing solutions will be essential to smooth the path forward.
The Ultimate Advantage
The many advantages of these game-based virtual scenarios are undeniable. They offer unmatched flexibility and scalability and are wholly adaptable to the size of the training audience. By utilizing internet, cloud-based technology, and on-premise hybrid-cloud models, these applications are accessible from anywhere in the world, making them ideal for field training.
Contact Dedicated Computing today to discover more about the powerful computing solutions behind the military’s game-based virtual simulations.