July 6, 2004

Language (Video) Games for the Military

by Scott Rettberg · , 10:14 pm

In “Virtual Camp Trains Soldiers in Arabic,” the Times reports on a video game being developed at the University of Southern California’s School of Engineering as a tool for teaching soldiers to speak Arabic. The game also uses AI, giving characters such as patrons of a Lebanese cafe “arousal levels” to let soldiers in training see if their use of Arabic and non-verbal cues is effective or not. I think this type of military video game sounds much more useful (and less bigbrotherishly frightening) than first-person shooter recruiting games designed to turn mall rats into soldiers.