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Column: 'The Esoteric Beat: Rocket Racing in Virtual Iraq'

In this week's 'The Esoteric Beat,' a look at the latest goings-on in esoteric game topics, regular columnist Jim Rossignol takes a look at the state of virtual reality, ...
In this week's 'The Esoteric Beat,' a look at the latest goings-on in esoteric game topics, regular columnist Jim Rossignol takes a look at the state of virtual reality, tactical training software for soldiers in Iraq, and games on a plane. In this extract, Rossignol discusses Tactical Iraqi, the military training software used to teach soldiers how to interact with Iraqis in non-violent ways while on duty: "Outside of entertainment there are few people making good use of what videogame-type systems can actually accomplish. One of these is the U.S. military, who are continuing their wide-ranging program of using interactive technologies as training tools. One of these is 'Tactical Iraqi', which uses processes gamers would recognise from RPGs to teach soldiers how best to interact with local people when on duty in Iraq. The website explains: "Tactical Iraqi consists of a breakthrough combination of advanced technologies -- including artificial intelligence, interactive-animation simulations based on computer games, and speech recognition -- and advanced educational and human factors methodologies." In other words, using all the strengths of videogames to make real life situations easier to digest. Perhaps it's these kind of teaching tools that some developers should be looking at to make megabucks, rather than trying to ape another hit action or RPG game." You can now read the full Gamasutra column, including a bit about virtual reality helmets (no registration required, please feel free to link to the article from external websites).

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