Air Force Is Looking For Gamers
Game controllers at the ready. Signal Sonic to be on standby: the U.S. Air Force is looking at gamers as their future airmen.
The Air Force is currently and has been facing a shortage of qualified pilots.This has the service branch working with contractors on a series of video games it hopes to put online later this summer. The games will be able to track the abilities of players, and contact those who show the right attributes to perhaps, one day, be fighter pilots.
By developing the online game aimed at high school gamers, the Air Force can identify potential airmen, according to Lt. Gen. Steven Kwast, head of Air Education and Training Command. The game will be able to identify conceptual, constructive, contextual, creative, critical, and collaborative thinking.
The idea is reminiscent of movies like “The Last Starfighter” and “Ender’s Game” where young people who score well on flight simulator video games are recruited to fly spaceships.
Because they are playing anonymously and only identified by an IP address, the player’s privacy is protected.
Data to create the game has been coming from the service’s pilot training next initiative, which explores how pilots can learn and train faster. This encompasses existing and emerging technologies including virtual reality simulation and artificial intelligence to get airmen in an aircraft faster, with the potential of expanding the streamlined training.
But there are those that argue that video gamers’ psychology might be better-suited to flying drones. Gamers have a unique set of skills. They excel at interpreting their screens for visual clues about their environment, and have a lot of patience. For gamers, it’s really no big deal to sit in front of their screens for hours on end, paying attention to what’s going on, and intervening only if needed.