Army to test racing skills in new computer game
February 12, 2010
FORT KNOX, Ky. (Feb. 10, 2010) -- Directing Ryan Newman's #39 U.S. Army Chevrolet Impala to the front of a military convoy will be the challenge for players of "Army - Race for Strength," the new interactive, augmented-reality game debuting this week nationwide.
The computer game is another extension of the U.S. Army's continuing effort to showcase its high-tech skills training and the many options and opportunities it offers, said Col. Derik W. Crotts, director of Strategic Marketing and Outreach for the U.S. Army Accessions Command.
"Many young Americans may not be aware of the wide variety of opportunities available to them in the U.S. Army," Crotts said. "Education, high-tech training and leadership development are just a few of the options available in the Army. The Army provides access to more of these than any other organization. This new computer technology will allow today's youth to experience the diverse elements of the Army, and demonstrate the elite technology and training used to develop our Army Strong Soldiers."
"Army - Race for Strength," the newest element in the interactive, participatory Strength in Action Zone exhibit at major NASCAR and NHRA races, made its debut Feb. 11, simultaneously in four locations:
Aca,!Ac Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla., during Speed Week preceding NASCAR's Daytona 500.
Aca,!Ac Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, Calif., as part of festivities surrounding the NHRA's Kragen O'Reilly Winternationals.
Aca,!Ac McCormick Place at the Chicago International Automobile Show.
Aca,!Ac Online via a downloadable version at <a href="http://www.goarmy.com/raceforstrength"target=_blank>www.goarmy.com/raceforstrength</a>.
The game is considered to be one of the first practical uses of augmented reality, a technology which mates real-world activities with computer-generated graphic situations.
"Drivers" use a palm card (received upon registration at a Strength in Action Zone or printed during the Internet download process) to control the #39 U.S. Army Chevrolet (through a Web cam) as it weaves through a convoy of speeding Mine Resistant Ambush Protected and Stryker vehicles.
The card can be turned left and right for steering, tilted forward to accelerate and pulled back to brake. In addition, players can stop playing the game and receive more information about the U.S. Army vehicles with which they share the road.
Newman "talks" throughout the 45 seconds of game play, offering commentary like "Now you're trading paint" and "Hey - careful with my car," if his Chevy should hit one of the military vehicles. He also offers advice like "Take the inside!" or "Don't get stuck in traffic" to help the player excel in the mission.
Participants experiencing the augmented reality computer game as part of the Strength in Action Zone tour at motorsports or other events can also ride in an Apache helicopter simulator, participate with up to four others in a military combat convoy simulator, or exercise decision-making skills in computer-based real-life scenarios facing Army officers.
The information provided in these interactive elements -- and from Soldiers on site -- affords a rich learning experience about the Army, according to Accessions Command officials.
Newman began his second season driving the #39 U.S. Army Chevrolet when he competed in the Daytona Twin 150 duels Feb. 11, and then will race in the Daytona 500, Feb. 14.
Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher's defense of his sixth-consecutive (seventh overall) NHRA Full Throttle Top Fuel world championship began Feb. 11, with the opening qualifying session for the 50th annual Kragen O'Reilly Winternationals.
The Chicago Auto Show opens for the public Feb. 13 at McCormick Place.
<i>The U.S. Army Accessions Command, a subordinate command of U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, meets the human-resource needs of the Army by transforming volunteers into officers, warrant officers, and enlisted Soldiers. In providing the force, the 18,400 men and women of Accessions Command prepare these future Soldiers and leaders for their initial military training. Commanded by Lt. Gen. Benjamin C. Freakley, USAAC is located at Fort Knox, Ky., and Fort Monroe, Va.</i>