Forget Game Over, now it's FAILED - TOO MANY US SOLDIER CASUALTIES, or how to train the military on computerized simulation the likes of The Matrix (I know, yet again, we'll never see the end of it).
This is not new, though:
«Navigating in virtual worlds, (...) turns out to be a very effective way to train. Studies by academic researchers have shown that immersion in simulated environments increases learning speed and retention for a range of tasks, from making laparoscopic incisions to rescuing people from burning buildings. When the Navy evaluated the performance of student pilots who supplemented their standard courses by practicing on Microsoft's Flight Simulator, they found that the majority of those who used the software had above-average flight scores compared with those who didn't. Now a customized version of Flight Simulator is issued to pilots in Naval Reserve officer training courses at 65 colleges. (Al Qaeda's pilots trained on a similar program for their 9/11 mission.)»
Ahaaaah (my italics):
«(...) the Navy set about creating a simulator that relied on a computer instead of pumps and valves. The effort, dubbed Project Whirlwind and spearheaded at MIT, produced the first digital computer (manufactured by an upstart calculator maker called IBM) and many of the technical foundations of the modern networked age, including magnetic RAM and interactive graphics. In many ways, the postwar Project Whirlwind was a precursor to ICT, blurring the lines between the military, private industry, and academia.»
And then there's a guy called Michael Macedonia saying (my italics again):
«People have been using simulations for thousands of years, as long as there's been a military. They told stories, drew pictures in the sand, invented chess," he says. "They made these abstractions in the hopes that they could understand the nature and dynamics of war. If you look at what a scientist does with mathematical equations, what an artist does, or a writer - they're trying to abstract the universe." Now all these modes are converging in the new breed of training simulations, he says. Macedonia draws a parallel between the real-life combat scenarios employed by ICT and the epics of Homer - tales told to pass on the wisdom of seasoned warriors to those who are called to fight.»
Check the whole shebang on Wired