Looks like the U.S. military aren’t the only ones using video games as tools for training. The British Ministry of Defence is ready to shed some pounds — see what I did there? — to buy tech from game developers in order to build its own simulators to replace the dated technology soldiers currently use.
Virtual Battlespace 2, developed and implemented in 2007, is still the standard-issue simulator in use by British troops. Tech team leader Andrew Poulter told the U.K. Guardian recruits found the software “clunky” compared to more recent offerings in the Modern Warfare and Battlefield series.
The key theory behind the Knowledge Information Test Environment Project is that the more realistic the simulator, the easier it is for troops to immerse themselves in the training through the visual quality of the software. In other words, these folks are used to better graphics than those the MoD developed four years ago and it’s difficult to train with outdated visuals.
Poulter says the government was once on the cutting edge of computer technology and offered software private companies would be hard-pressed to match. But that was in the ’80s and ’90s. Now, for £50 (Or $60 for you Yankees), anyone can buy a game that looks better than the sims British soldiers train on. The key word there is “look.”
For Poulter and the rest of the ministry, maintaining the visuals and tweaking the software so that it plays more realistically is one of the overall goals of the Kite Project.