Indian, Chinese and American armed forces are among several around the world doling out mobile-based video games to keep their soldiers entertained and enemies petrified.
The Indian Air Force recently launched the Phase II of its 3D Mobile Air Combat game, ‘Guardians of the Skies’ (GOTS) on the android, iOS and windows mobile app stores on December 11.
GOTS takes the player to a simulated world, wherein the player becomes the part of Air Force engaging in air combat operations against a fictitious country called Zaruzia. The player undergoes flying training and subsequently gets engaged in combat missions in various aircraft types of the IAF fighters including Sukhoi 30 and MiG 29 as well as transport and helicopters.
Similarly, to mark the 65th anniversary of the People’s Liberation Army Air Force, China announced the launch of a mobile game called, Golden Helmet.
The Golden Helmet is a series of air combat exercises in China, where the best pilot is awarded a golden helmet.
Chinese ‘red games’, a popular genre in the country, are made to educate players as well as entertaining them, by depicting Chinese successes. They are one of the countries three largest game genres, alongside martial arts fantasy and historical fantasy, though are seeing a decline in popularity, according to the Independent.
In 2013, the US Air Force released a Massive Mulitplayer Online Role Playing Game (MMORPG) video game in collaboration with Vision-Strike-Ware.com, LLC.
According to the official website, it is “the first Air Force Game ever where you can experience being an Airman in the United States Air Force and work your way up the ranks of command. Help save the planet Earth from a threat beyond any other force. Only one branch of the US Military is able to respond to the Extinction Level Event.”
And earlier this year, the US Navy Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention (NADAP) Office released a mobile game March 3 as part of the Keep What You've Earned campaign.
"Pier Pressure" was designed to promote responsible drinking among Sailors by incorporating real-life choices in an entertaining work-and-play scenario. The app also enables all Sailors to have important alcohol-related resources at their fingertips 24/7, including a blood alcohol content (BAC) calculator and local taxi search.
"In the game, the choices you make at the bar affect your skill level at work the next day, which in turn affects your player's evaluation reports," said Mike Aukerman, Alcohol Program Manager at NADAP. "Just like in real life, smart drinking choices help advance your career, while poor choices can get you separated from the Navy-a.k.a. game over."
It was revealed in 2008 that the US Army created a video game unit and planned to invest $50 million over a course o five years on games and gaming systems designed to prepare soldiers for combat.
Lt. Col. Gary Stephens, product manager for air and ground tactical trainers at Project Executive Office — Simulation Training and Instrumentation told Star and Stripes that the $50 million has been approved for a "games for training" program starting in 2010.
"The Army takes this seriously," Stephens said of PEO-STRI and its Army gaming unit, which will handle military video game requirements. "We own gaming for the Army — from requirements through procurement.”
According to various reports, the multibillion-dollar industry game developing industry could compete with Hollywood in terms of sales and even employment.