America’s Army investing in virtual army

The American army will invest $US50 million in the creation of a video game training unit.

The United States of America already take video games seriously, using America’s Army for recruitment drives, but by 2010 it’s going to pour $US50 million into a new training unit for virtual environments.

Stars and Stripes reported the announcement, which reveals that the new unit won’t be recruiting or marketing in or about video games. The main goal appears to be working with the video game industry to produce “Game After Ambush”, a training game to replace the first-person shooter “DARWARS Ambush” currently used by the U.S. Army.

Game After Ambush is designed to support easy modification and a replay capability for instructors to assess trainees’ choices and strategies.

Leslie Duvow, project director for gaming at PEO-STRI (Project Executive Office — Simulation Training), said the Army will have 70 gaming systems in 53 locations in the United States, Germany, Italy and South Korea between February and September 2009.

Soldiers will be able to drive virtual vehicles, fire virtual weapons, pilot virtual unmanned aerial vehicles and do “most anything a soldier does” in a virtual battle space as large as 100 kilometers by 100 kilometers, she said.

The game is currently being bid on by the private sector, and the contract winner is expected to be announced by the end of the year. There’s no word on whether or not Game After Ambush will be released to the public, ala America’s Army.

Source: Stars and Stripes