According to Yle.fi, Finland’s national public broadcasting company, the Finnish army will use video games/simulators for training purposes. By the end of the current year, they will purchase 1,200 computers for €3,000,000 (about $3.6 M) to equip the training classrooms. Reportedly, the simulator is based on a commercial video game which was modified to meet the requirements of the Finnish army. The video game exercises will precede the corresponding real drills.
At first, it sounds funny that a military of a country uses video games as a training measure. However, the way they use it is actually pretty interesting. It should be really useful to “play” the upcoming exercises on a computer simulator to better understand the scenario of the actual exercises. It will also allow the commanders to better coordinate the units’ actions by evaluating the preparedness of the soldiers and their ability to work as a team.
Of course, it can’t replace the real training but it is a good way to prepare for the real exercises. I think this can even be used for planning combat missions. If prior to deployment, the soldiers could get familiar with the terrain and surroundings of any particular mission area using its computer simulation, that could help to successfully accomplish the mission.