The US Army is preparing to launch an upgrade to its video game training program which will include depictions of female suicide bombers.
The army will spend £28.5m on the upgrade which could be available as soon as next year. The army wants to ensure the upgrade includes several features already available in commercial video games.
Seven companies are said to have expressed interest in developing the game.
The proposal, published by the army's Program Executive Office for Simulation, Training and Instrumentation, describes in detail the program will replace Bohemia Interactive's Virtual Battlespace 2, the current training platform.
The idea is to help soldiers learn to make real-time decisions in the heat of battle.
But the new tool will also include tools to help train soldiers in "cultural awareness, language, combat lifesaver skills, improvised explosive device recognition and defeat".
The proposal says:
"GFT game-based technologies provide semi-immersive, experiential learning opportunities to familiarize and train Soldiers in various tactical scenarios and environments. This technology can be used to develop, train, and evaluate the decision making processes for the individual leaders as well as enhance teamwork at all levels. The successful product will provide preplanned scenarios resembling the ones currently a part of the flagship baseline along with the capability for the User to rapidly generate custom scenarios"
Scenarios in the training sim include training to recognise explosive devices, and fight with tanks, helicopters and drones.
Female suicide bombers will also be depicted in the game for the first time.
Locations listed for the upgrade in the 243-page document include deserts, mosques, factories and urban environments with realistic traffic, spend bumps and road blocks.
The army said it wants the new training sim to have "higher fidelity graphics, an ability to move across PC-platforms, web-based and mobile, and an improved interoperability capability to integrate seamlessly into the live-virtual-constructive environment".
And while it might seem a peculiarly American way of training for battle, it is worth nothing that Britain, Australia and Canada also use the current platform for training their soldiers.
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