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[infowar.de] Videospiele zum Training von US Soldaten
Interessante Verbindung von Pentagon-Simulationsforschung und
Spieleindustrie: Die beiden Spiele, die von der US Army zusammen mit der
University of Southern California entwickelt werden, sollen sowohl für
Profi-Traings der Army genutzt als auch auf dem kommerziellen Markt
verkauft werden. Bei C-Force (für X-Box, Game Cube und Playstation 2)
kommandiert man ein neun-Personen-Team, bei CS XII (für PC) eine
Kompanie von 100 Leuten. RB
New Army Soldiers: Game Gamers
By Noah Shachtman
2:00 a.m. Oct. 29, 2001 PST
Video-gaming armchair generals will soon get the same leadership and
command training as combat-ready infantrymen.
The U.S. Army, working with a University of Southern California
research lab and a team of game-making firms, is developing two games,
set on urban battlefields, that will be used both to train grunts and
Players will command a nine-person team in C-Force, which is being
developed for one of the "next-generation" gaming systems, like the
X-Box, Game Cube or Playstation 2. CS XII, the other game, is a PC title
in which players lead a company of about 100.
Both games, available commercially within two years, will have Rob
Sears -- the man responsible for the legendary combat titles Mech
Commander and Mech Warrior 3 -- as the executive producer.
The armed services have a long history of adapting commercial products
for training purposes. But this is the first time the military's ever
commissioned a commercial game.
Military gamers are, to put it mildly, psyched about the prospect of
an officially sanctioned war game.
"This shit looks hot," said Alex Roy, a New York City travel executive
and military game fanatic. "Before, we've had to choose between realism
and action. Now it looks like we'll get both."
But these games won't be the mindless, bloody shoot-'em-ups that clog
shelves at stores like Software Etc. and Electronics Boutique.
"We know how to shoot. We've got that down. We've been doing it for
hundreds of years," said Dr. Michael Macedonia, the chief scientist of
the Simulation, Training and Information Command (or "STRICOM" in Army
jargon), the military group funding the gaming effort. "The real
challenge is developing leaders that can deal with complex problems,
ones that involve emotional issues, political issues and social
Among those leadership tasks: getting a team to clear a house, protect
aid workers, or hold off a mob from a U.S. embassy, said Matt Norton,
the producer of C-Force.
The making of these two games is the latest embrace in a decades-long
relationship between the military and the gaming industry.
The association began in World War II, according to Macedonia, when
Edwin Link's "Blue Box" flight simulation at the Coney Island amusement
park in New York was turned into a training tool for military pilots.
Years later, Atari's 1980 tank-fighting arcade game, Battlezone, was
adapted by the Army to school troops in the operation of the Bradley
infantry fighting vehicle, Jennifer Olsen, editor-in-chief of Game
Developer magazine, said.
In 1994, the Marines broke new ground by employing a modified version
of the bloody Doom PC game, supposedly to teach teamwork skills. A flood
of games followed. Now, the Navy relies on an altered Jane's Fleet
Commander to train future captains, the Army uses Tom Clancy's Rogue
Spear to teach special operations, and the Air Force employs Falcon 4 as
one of its flight simulators.
By 1999, STRICOM had become interested enough in gaming to make a
$44.3 million investment in the Institute for Creative Technologies
(ICT), a research center at the University of Southern California
assigned to make military simulations as compelling as a Hollywood movie
or a Silicon Valley game. John Milius, co-writer of Apocalypse Now, and
Randal Kleiser, director of Grease and Big-Top Pee Wee, are two of the
institute's higher-profile staffers.
C-Force and CS XII are ICT's first attempts to address both the
consumer and military markets.
There will be little difference between the two versions, developers
"Pretty much everything the infantry does is open already. So there's
no need to create a declassified version," said Norton.
Stay-at-home players might find the ultra-realism of the Army versions
a little drab, however, so there will be some cosmetic changes.
"We'll make the explosions have more flames, stuff like that," Norton
said. "We'll game it up a bit."
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