Virtual battlefields train soldiers for real wars

We've heard recently how games are good for you; here's another side of the story, which could unfortunately become fuel for the anti-game brigade's fires. The history of games and the military is a fairly long one, with recent titles like America's Army and A.W.E. bringing the two together.

This Washington Post article examines the use of gaming in the American military, from mission co-ordination to marksmanship training. It also looks at soldiers who play games--from those who relax off-duty with first-person shooters, to a sergeant, home from the war, who won't play the violent titles he formerly enjoyed.

Allowing soldiers to familiarise themselves with combat situations before experiencing them in real life seems to have its bonuses, best summarised by Marine Col Gary W. Anderson: "Today's soldiers, having grown up with first-person shooter games long before they joined the military, are the new Spartans."

[via /.]

This article was originally published on Joystiq.