1980: Atari releases Battlezone, a version which was made for the military
On its surface, Battlezone was simply another old school, vector graphics, arcade game. It played out like target practice with players attempted to destroy tanks and flying saucers. Those players took the view from their own tanks, which did all the shooting and which they could maneuver behind obstacles in order to set themselves up for better shots.
What’s interesting about Battlezone was that Atari developed a version of it for the U. S. Army. Called The Bradley Trainer, it was used to train Bradley Fighting Vehicle gunners. This didn’t occur without controversy. In fact, Battlezone’s original designer Ed Rotberg initially refused to work on the project. A number of changes were made to the game – a different controller was made to match what was in the vehicle, the weaponry was adjusted, and different targets were added.
Oh, what a different time that was. Now the military uses games regularly in training. Is this a good or not so good turn of events for gaming? Let us know in the comments!