Fat soldiers to get fat avatars, increased fatigue in Army’s virtual trainer

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U.S. Army soldiers who are overweight in real life will now be overweight in virtual reality training programs.

The fitness level of a soldier will also be incorporated into a new training program to more accurately reflect how they would perform various tasks while deployed.

“Virtual Battlespace 3 (VB3), developed by Bohemia Interactive, is a full-on, multiplayer, networked first-person shooter for the military set, designed both for combat training and actual mission rehearsal,” technology website Ars Technica reported Monday.


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Unlike many of its predecessors, Virtual Battlespace 3 will show overweight soldiers how the extra pounds could hinder performance on the battlefield. This would be done by using their Army Physical Fitness Test scores.

“When they tested this last year, one of the soldiers said, ‘I look fat.’ And the other soldier sitting right next to him said, ‘That’s because you are fat,’” Robert Munsey, an analyst with the Army’s Training and Doctrination Command Capability Manager for Virtual and Gaming, told the Army News Service, Ars Technica reported.

In addition to including a “fatigue bar” that will be adjusted to drain based on the soldiers physical fitness scores, individuals will also not be able to use weapons in the game that they have not qualified on, Ars Technica reported.

VB3 will offer soldiers the opportunity to train on over 100 types of Army-specified “combined arms” tasks, the website reported.

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