This generation’s new soldiers may be a bit soft but they they’re definitely the smartest. For the first time in 30 years, the US army is altering its basic training program to better train recruits who grew up on video games.
According to Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling, it isn’t about a decline in the number of recruits but a decline of the American society in terms of their physical capacity, “It’s just a softer generation,” Hertling told NPR.org
Hertling says that while new soldiers are “advanced in terms of their use of technology,” they are perhaps “not as advanced in their physical capabilities or ability to go into a fight. So we’re taking that into consideration as well in doing this holistic review of how we do training.”
The new basic training regimen will focus more on teaching recruits essential combat skills, from the use of “weapons, knives, bayonets, [and] sticks” to hand-to-hand techniques like punching, kicking, and martial arts. This is to better prepare them for the potentially grueling physical experience of serving in unfriendly environments.
The training will also give emphasis on discipline, which Hertling says “isn’t what it used to be.” “They’re different. They have a technology edge. I think they’re smarter than any generation we’ve ever had before,” he said. “They certainly ask a lot more difficult questions.” He thinks the most important thing about this generation is that they want to change the world. “They want to contribute to something that’s bigger than themselves.”
Earlier, the Pentagon approved a plan to direct an unspecified amount of funding into research on how to benefit from the game industry’s advances in the hopes of putting troops through as many tactical and ethical simulations before they go into their first real firefight and lessen the casualties. The US Army surprisingly has had a healthy working relationship with the games industry, its first-person shooter America’s Army has enjoyed great success and has greatly helped the recruitment process.
Lay down your guitars it’s time to play Ribbon Hero!
Remember how you used to click on that animated paper clip, (Einstein or that cute puppy) whenever you had trouble with MS Office? Now, Microsoft has developed a way to help users navigate through the new menus of MS Office in a more enjoyable manner.
Ribbon Hero is a new game that aims to help users discover the features in the 2007 and 2010 versions of Word, Powerpoint, and Excel, using familiar gaming techniques to help its lessons stick. The game is short enough to play during short breaks and is designed to encourage players to repeat unfamiliar tasks.
“Ribbon Heros” who complete tasks successfully can also see how their scores match up to their friends via Facebook, issue challenges, and eventually earn titles like “Word Ninja.”
Whether it will translate to improved performance remains to be seen, one thing is for sure, it certainly is less embarrassing than a paper clip that’s more knowledgeable than you.
NINTENDO TO RELEASE 3DS
The future is indeed looking to be in 3D.
After the release of 3D TVs, it seems that games would be the next frontier for the 3D era. Just before the release of the latest and biggest Nintendo DS model, the company has also unveiled plans for its successor: a new DS model capable of displaying three-dimensional images without the need for glasses.
The new portable labeled simply as the “Nintendo 3DS” will be compatible with all current Nintendo DS games, including those for the machine’s most recent model, the DSi. Nintendo plans to release more information on the new device at E3 video in June and to release the device itself sometime before March 2011, the company said in a press statement.
How the 3DS will produce 3D visuals is still unknown but experts say that it may use the face-tracking technology, which uses a built-in, front-facing video camera to detect where the player is looking and shifts the perspective of the game’s view accordingly.
Currently, only the game “3D Hidden Picture” for the DSi makes use of the technology, but Nintendo might have something completely different under its sleeves.
Should the 3DS become reality, it wouldn’t be the first attempt by Nintendo. During the mid-90s the company released the Virtual Boy that displayed monochrome 3D effects using a separate screen for each eye. However, the Virtual Boy had a short lifespan due to the lack of games and bad sales.
But before we get the 3DS, Nintendo is releasing a new extra-large DSiXL next week. The newest model will carry screens 93 percent larger than the current DSi, a larger stylus, and extended battery life, and will come with a suite of pre-installed software that includes two titles from the popular Brain Age series.
PS3 HAS THE BEST GAMES
If you are a sucker for high rated games then the PS3 is the console for you. According to respected gaming magazine Famitsu, the console with the best lineup of games is the Playstation 3.
Famitsu ranked all gaming consoles according to the number of “Gold”—rated games they received, an award which corresponds to a review score of 32/40 or better. The PS3 achieved a rate of 45%, corresponding to 77 golds out of a total of 171 reviewed games, while the Xbox 360 came a close second with 43 percent. The Wii placed further down the table at eighth place. The PSP also edged out the DS with 23.2 percent of its games going gold versus 17.14 percent of Nintendo DS.
Here’s a complete rundown of Famitsu gold awards divided by console;
1. PlayStation 3 (77/171, 45.03 percent)
2. Xbox 360 (104/240, 43.33 percent)
3. GameCube (87/240, 36.25 percent)
4. PSP (90/388, 23.20 percent)
5. Xbox (40/185, 21.62 percent)
6. Nintendo 64 (38/183, 20.77 percent)
7. PlayStation 2 (393/1997, 19.68 percent)
8. Wii (50/257, 19.46 percent)
9. Nintendo DS (152/887, 17.14 percent)
10. Dreamcast (62/407, 15.23 percent)
11. Game Boy Advance (90/618, 14.56 percent)
12. Sega Saturn (52/930, 5.59 percent)
13. PlayStation (130/2645, 4.93 percent)
14. Super NES (55/1407, 3.90 percent)
15. NES (34/955, 3.56 percent)
16. PC Engine (22/628, 3.5 percent)
17. Genesis (11/534, 2.06 percent)
18. Game Boy (15/1071, 1.40 percent)
19. Wonder Swan (1/179, 0.55 percent)
20. Game Gear (0/184, 0 percent)
DATABLITZ PICK OF THE WEEK
YAKUZA 3 PS3
Yakuza 3 will feature full English subtitling, while retaining the outstanding voice acting from the original Japanese version of the game to create an authentic and immersive experience. The transition to the PlayStation 3 has allowed SEGA of Japan’s CS1 team to add an unprecedented level of environmental detail and realism to the game—a hallmark of the series that fans have come to expect. In this action-adventure sequel, players will take on the role of Kiryu Kazuma to explore rich and realistic environments, take part in a multitude of unique mini-games and experience the deepest combat experience in the series yet. In addition to the familiar Tokyo haunts from the first two games, fans will also discover a completely new setting on the tropical island of Okinawa where, accompanied by his adoptive daughter Haruka, Kazuma manages an orphanage. However, he is allowed no respite in this idyllic retreat and before long he is once again forced to deal with his sordid past.