scorecardUK’s defence analysts are using video games to define combat strategy
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UK’s defence analysts are using video games to define combat strategy

UK’s defence analysts are using video games to define combat strategy
Tech2 min read

  • UK’s defence analysts and partnering with a video game firm to game-ify their war game strategy tools.
  • It is a two-year contract between the Defence Science Technology Laboratory (DSTL) and Slitherine for $1.8 million.
  • In order to demonstrate the potential video games hold for war game exercises, DSTL is already running trials using one of their games with the Royal Navy.
Combat strategy and war games generally use heavy duty analytic tools that require experience and know how but video games are a lot easier to operate — not to mention, a lot more fun.

And, the Defence Science Technology Laboratory (DSTL) in the UK is combing the power analytic tools with the user friendliness of video games to create a new way to look at war games.


In a two year contract for $1.8 million DSTL is partnering with Slitherine, a British video game firm, to develop military simulation games that will give decision support and be as easy to use.

Who is Slitherine?

Slitherine is already well known for its commercial command operation level military simulation game, Command Professional Edition (PE) that is popular with customers in the defence industry, according to Army Technology.

It’s also infamous for Afghanistan’ 11 that got pulled from the Apple’s iOS app store for featuring the Taliban and its historical rigour.

What is wargaming?

Wargaming is looking scenarios that haven’t even happened yet — but could possibly take place.

For instance, Command: Modern Air / Naval Operations (CMANO) developed by WarfareSims, has a scenario where Russia is invading Europe because of Brexit. The title called ‘Don of a New Era’ starts with the Moldovan Government exploding and city being put under martial law — the EU declares its support but Russia starts to get involved. Where it goes from there is up to the player.


In order to demonstrate the potential video games hold for war game exercises, DSTL is already running trials using one of their games with the Royal Navy.

“We work on computer-assisted wargaming and manual wargaming. I have played strategy video games myself, even some of the titles that we looked at for this project. They are generally easier to learn how to use and have far larger user bases than analytical defence simulations,” said a Principal Analyst with DSTL.

See also:
The Indian Air Force launched a 3D mobile game to give aspirants a taste of the action

$2.5 billion video game company Roblox and China's Tencent defied the growing tech 'cold war' and announced a big gaming partnership

The US has been getting 'its ass handed to it' in war games simulating fights against Russia and China

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