US Army investing $50 million in combat games

Commercial videogames partner to be announced within weeks

The US Army is to invest USD 50 million in videogames for training soldiers for combat.

The funds will be used over five years beginning in 2010, as part of the new Games for Training program, reports Stripes.

"The Army takes this seriously," said Lt Col. Gary Stephens, project manager for air and ground tactical trainers at Project Executive Office – Simulation Training and Instrumentation.

"We own gaming for the Army — from requirements through procurement," he added.

The Army also has extra budget on top of the USD 50 million to invest in a "state-of-the-art commercial videogame system," according to the report.

It already uses sim game DARWARS Ambush to train soldiers, with over 3000 copies distributed to the Army, Air Force, Navy, Coast Guard and Marines.

The Army is due to announce which commercial videogames company it is partnering with for a new product – Game After Ambush - "in the next couple of weeks," said Stephens.

Stephens also said that the Army has no plans to compete with the commercial videogaming business, although it will follow trends closely to assess technology for its own training.

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