April 12, 2012:
The military, and some police organizations, have increasingly been using video game technology to create training simulations. As video games become more realistic, in terms of visuals, software operated characters, and AI (Artificial Intelligence), users have expanded from combat situations to related chores. For the military and police video games are now useful for intelligence operations in the field. For both the military and police this means setting up scenarios where detectives (or intelligence operators) must examine the scene of a crime (or combat incident) for useful information. Police are seeking the perpetrator of a crime, as are the military intelligence investigators. The military personnel are looking for indications of how the enemy operates and the precise nature of their weapons. This became particularly important as the U.S. sought to shut down terrorist roadside bomb building and use. At the scene of a bomb explosion fingerprints can be lifted off some fragments of exploded bombs and those fragments can tell you how the bomb was built and who built it. Troops began to refer to this as battlefield CSI (Crime Scene Investigation).
The new intelligence simulations cover more than collecting evidence but also how the investigation should proceed after that. In the United States, the FBI and CIA are building these intel simulations in cooperation with the military. All three have many of the same needs and similar experiences when they arrive at the scene of an event that could yield much useful information.
The military is also using these simulations to capture, in a very memorable format, combat lessons. This is part of a trend that started back in the 1980s when efforts were made to capture experience in databases and multi-media formats. Because of all this it's not possible to go back to ignorance (about how actual combat works) as has happened to combat troops for centuries. There is a lot of enthusiasm for maintaining and improving more realistic combat simulations. Another reason for this is to speed up the retraining of troops for different kinds of warfare. In the last decade all the combat has been against irregulars. But there's still the possibility of war with an organized and well-equipped force. Handling that requires a different set of skills, and more effective training methods and simulators makes it possible to get your troops ready quickly and effectively.