Friday 12 February 2010

Full Spectrum Dominator

Apologies for the sporadic posts of late as I struggle to complete work on my latest piece for BBC Radio 3. ‘From GameBoy to Armageddon’ looks at the developing relationship between videogames, military training sims and the continuing history of Future War. Expect stuff on the Battle of 73 Easting, America’s Army, Full Spectrum Warrior and Virtual Iraq in the upcoming programme – in fact, expect everything from Kriegspiel Wonks to military historians helping to make the games arcade the military academy of tomorrow. I’m currently scripting links while my producer is locked in an editing booth with about twelve hours of interview material. More details over the coming week. In the meantime, I thought some of you might enjoy this embedded video presentation from the makers of Virtual Battlespace 2, which I came across recently.

This is their promotional film for VBS2, giving a short overview of the system’s capabilities from motion-capture of human movement to accurate tracer rounds, simulated explosions and sparkling night vision. This is not a game. Crank the volume up, and these virtual weapons platforms get really fierce – and for a contrast, try the eerily silent running footage of the VBS2 ‘Terrain Areas – Afghanistan and East Timor’, which you can find by clicking here. ‘All three terrain areas,’ a note advises,making the sequence seem even more unsettling ‘were created from geo-referenced data.’

‘Our mission,’ the homepage declares: ‘To create affordable simulation platforms that provide vast, dynamic, high-fidelity virtual environments supported by a comprehensive suite of easy-to-use development tools.’

The enemy can’t hear you coming if you aren’t actually there in the first place. Peace out.

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