A British government advisor has warned that unless the Ministry of Defence and arms of the military make better combat simulations, they?re going to be left behind by commercial titles such as Call of Duty and Battlefield.
Andrew Poulter, the technical team leader at MoD's Defence Science and Technology Laboratory in Portsdown has stated that, ?Back in the 1980s and 1990s, defence was far out in front in terms of quality of simulation.
"Military-built simulators were state of the art. But now, for £50, you can buy a commercial game that will be far more realistic than the sorts of tools we were using. The truth is, the total spending on games development across the industry will be greater than spending on defence."
One the reasons for this is that new recruits, used to Xbox 360, PC and PS3 titles are simply not taking the old fashioned MOD training sims seriously.The Guardian
reports that, ?Troops are so used to playing high-quality commercial games set in combat zones that they tend to lose concentration unless the MoD simulations look equally realistic.?
Mr Poulter further points out that, ?Certainly, there is a level of computer games experience in recruits. So, the plots have to be realistic and the image generation has to be high quality. A lot of the older systems can be very clunky. If you put someone behind a block display, it is harder for them to be completely immersed."
He and his team are now working on new sims, "The weapons need to be credible,? he says. ?If they fire a rifle and the bullet travels three and a half miles, then that is not right. If they are steering a vehicle, then that has to be right too. Realism is more important than entertainment. Levels of immersion are very important."
Why is this important? According to Poulter, a commander who had seen troops in Afghanistan who had trained on a sim called Virtual Battlespace2
, was sure that this had ?saved their lives when they came under fire.?
Obviously, maintaining concentration and adding the realism of weapons use from the MOD to the graphical realism of EA and Activision titles would only add to this.
Source: The Guardian