Soldier became ace drone pilot by training on video games


It's a convention sometimes used in action films -- the unlikely protagonist saves the day by applying combative skills he gleaned during his long sessions with teh Haloz -- but it's a convention apparently rooted in reality. In his latest book, Wired for War: The Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the 21st Century, author and modern warfare buff P.W. Singer relates the story of a young man who became an expert drone pilot within a short period of time -- all thanks to the hours he'd logged on his trusty Xbox.

The eighteen-year-old soldier was a high school dropout who failed to qualify for the original position in the armed forces he'd applied for. It was suggested he try his hand at drone piloting, and according to Singer, "because of playing on video games, he was already good at it." So good, in fact, that he was brought back from Iraq to become an instructor at a training academy. Jeez, the only game-related useful skill we've ever picked up is our uncanny ability to name all 493 pokémon, and that impresses far fewer people than you might imagine.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.