Back in August 18, 1999 Army Secretary Caldera signed a $45 million contract with the University of Southern California to establish an institute to develop state of the art modeling and simulation technologies for military and educational purposes. The purpose of this new program is to improve realism and quality of training simulations, improve leader-development exercises, and test prototypes in future weapons. The driving force is recruitment and training.
The contract gave birth to the Institute for Creative Technologies in Los Angeles. The Institute for Creative Technologies is a joint effort between the Army, the entertainment industry and academia.
“We found a high-tech solution with this USC partnership to deliver those improvements in education and military training for the next century. “The USC Institute for Creative Technologies will be a joint effort of the Army, the entertainment industry and academia — an innovative team to advance dazzling new media and ultimately benefit training and education for everyone in America.”
Furthermore he said:
“This research has high-value applications to the Army, as well as the entertainment, multimedia, video game, destination theme park, and information-technology industries.” Caldera said the new technologies will help the Army make a “quantum leap forward” in preparing soldiers for diverse missions in the world of tomorrow. “This will revolutionize the way the Army trains its soldiers and how it rehearses for missions,” he said. “It will enhance the realism and, thus, the value of the individual, crew-served and networked training simulators that we use to train our soldiers. It will permit our soldiers to do en-route mission rehearsals immersed in high-fidelity images of the actual terrain to which they are about to deploy with very real story and character content to prepare them to accomplish the mission.”
Attending this announcement were: Lon S. Hatamiya, secretary of the California Trade and Commerce Agency; City of Los Angeles Deputy Mayor Rockard Delgadillo; Jack Valenti, chief executive officer of the Motion Picture Association of America; and Richard E. Belluzzo, chairman and chief executive officer of SGI, formerly Silicon Graphics, Inc.
Researchers from the USC School of Cinema-Television, the USC School of Engineering and USC’s Annenberg School for Communication will collaborate with creative talents from the entertainment industry in the interdisciplinary research program. They will work to combine concepts of story and character with a rapidly increasing degree of immersion in virtual reality technologies. The Army will employ these improved simulation technologies to rehearse for missions, for strategic planning through interactive battle scenarios, and for combat training, recruitment and equipment acquisition, officials said.
The contract is administered by the Army Simulation, Training, and Instrumentation Command (STRICOM) headquartered in Orlando, Florida, commanded by Brig. Gen William Bond. The ICT would be jointly controlled by executive boards appointed by the Army and USC.
This all signaled the growth of video game wars, with drones being piloted by remote control, and similar high tech ways of war. A collaboration between the military, entertainment industry, and academia.
Boyce, Paul. “USC To Put ‘Virtual Reality’ Into Army Training.” Army News Service. August 23, 1999. http://www.dtic.mil/armylink/news/Aug1999/a19990823usc.html