Military Videogames, Circa 1981

battlezone.jpgSerious games are an increasingly prevalent, albeit not necessarily increasingly popular, type of videogame. One of the most prominent players in serious games has long been the military, with their significant investments in training games of their own, as well as advertising and cross-over games like America's Army and Full Spectrum Warrior.

They've been at it a lot longer than you think. Way back in 1981, the US Army commissioned Atari to create a modified version of the hit arcade game Battlezone, to be used to train soldiers to manoeuvre and target the Bradley "armored fighting vehicle" (that's a "tank" to the rest of us).

I knew about the game thanks to an article Peter Smith wrote for a collection I co-edited. I unearthed the image above during some research for the Atari VCS book Nick Montfort and I are finishing. It's from the official Atari fan club magazine.

Atari Age, vol 1 num 1, May/June 1982 [Atari Museum]


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