How Military Organizations Harness Video Games for Combat-Readiness Training

Over the years, incidences of aggressive and violent behavior in civil societies have been linked to action-packed shooter games well-liked by most gamers. The connection though has already been dispelled as weak by many scientific studies, since violent or aggressive behavior is the result of not just one but several factors. While many civic organizations still consider action video games as unhealthy forms of gaming, the military sector has shown appreciation for such games by including them as part of combat-readiness training of military personnel.

Being prepared for physical challenges with accurate and timely reactions as well as eye-and hand coordination is not a game, as far as the military is concerned. Actually, military organizations in several countries have maintained ties with gaming software developer Bohemia Interactive Simulations (BISim). The company has been at the forefront of developing games used training solutions in military institutions and defense organizations like the U.S. Marine Corps, the U.S. Army, the Swedish Armed Forces, the U.K.’s Ministry of Defence, the Australian Defence Force, the French Ministry of Defense among many others, including civilian organizations.

Overview of How BISims Games Provide Readiness Training Solutions

According to BISims CEO Arthur Smith Alexion, the U.S. Military is currently using the VBS4 simulator. It’s a first of kind simulation that enables military commanders to map out missions across the globe and in any environment such as deserts, densely packed cities, open fields and jungles. VBS4 is cost effective as it can be used by any military branch using appropriate weapons, tools and vehicles for land, air and marine operations.

CEO Alexion describes a typical simulation exercise as one that is controlled by the commander supervising the defensive training, which could involve several soldiers out on a convoy operation. Maintaining control of the game is necessary to ensure that trainees focus on the primary lessons that they need to learn from the simulated military operation.

An example objective is to train soldiers on how to react to an enemy ambush, by incorporating AI-controlled hostile units. When soldiers cross into certain hostile areas, the AI-controlled units will be triggered to launch or respond to attacks.

Politicians in Asian Countries Still Consider Action War Games as Potential Threats to Peace and Order

In Asian countries like Thailand, some politicians and members of civil societies are calling on their government to ban first person shooter games, which they say are making the young generations act more aggressively.

The allegations are of course unfounded since Thailand has had a history of many civil unrests even before video gaming became popular in the country. In fact, Dr Sirichai Hongsanguansr, a prominent child psychiatrists and assistant professor at the Department of Psychiatry at the Mahidol University, contends that several factors contribute to a person’s aggressive behavior.

Dr. Hongsanguans said that in most cases, those found to have developed aggressive behavior were assessed as having a poor sense of judgment, ad poor ethical development, have low levels of empathy and capability for self-regulation and even low IQ.

This child psychiatrist gives emphasis to family background as a critical factor because children prone to aggression often receive very little positive attention. They are usually raised in environments where violent and aggressive behaviors are the norm.

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