Video Games: The Proving Grounds For Our Next-Gen Soldiers

Blackfive has a nifty piece about a new addition to the U.S. Marines’ arsenal – the M-32 “Six Pack” grenade launcher. Whereas our soldiers and Marines have previously been restricted to using the single-shot M-203 under-barrell grenade launcher for indirect fire in the past, experimental fire teams equipped with this six-shootin’ badboy now have a wealth of options when it comes to small arms engagements. The military is apparently rolling these things out on a limited basis over in Iraq, but thus far, the reviews have been of the “A+” variety. Here’s to hoping that they become standard issue – they certainly were during our deathmatch sessions in Soldier of Fortune II.
M-32 "Six Pack"
Next up comes word of a system called CROWS (common remotely operated weapon stations) that allows our men and women in uniform to man weapons turrets without exposing their bodies to counterfire using remote controls remarkably similar to video game system joysticks. From the article:

But there’s another reason, not often talked about, for the success of CROWS. The guys operating these systems grew up playing video games. They developed skills in operating systems (video games) very similar to the CROWS controls. This was important, because viewing the world around the vehicle via a vidcam is not as enlightening (although a lot safer) than having your head and chest exposed to the elements, and any firepower the enemy sends your way. But experienced video gamers are skilled at whipping that screen view around, and picking up any signs of danger. Iraqis are amazed at how observant CROWS is. Iraqis tend to just wrote this off as another example of American “magic.” But the troops know betters. Video games can save your life.

Once again, my chest swells at the thought that I have helped to train our finest and brightest through my consistent gaming sessions.