Boot Camp

Boot Camp
Future Battlefields in the Palm of Your Hand

Alexander Villegas | 16 Sep 2008 12:53
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If I had a nickel for every time I saved the world in a videogame, I'd have $3. As plasma rifles and mech armor become standard issue for the digital militia, saving a single planet feels almost as hard as holding in a fart in during church. Videogames now challenge us to save our galaxy, the visible universe or every single living being that existed and will ever exist. But as game developers are thinking up new tools for players to use in their quests for galactic salvation, there has been another company slowly bringing those ideas to a battlefield near you.

DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) is a research and development organization for the Department of Defense. Created after the Soviets shocked the world with the launching of Sputnik in 1957, it's been changing battlefields ever since. Its primary mission has been to keep U.S. Military technology a step or two ahead of its enemies. By the looks of it, one of its secondary missions is supplying the Army with weaponry that gamers have already mastered. The following are a few examples of these videogame weapons and their real life counterparts that will soon aid U.S. troops and strike fear in those unlucky enough to be labeled their enemy.

The CMC-300 Powered Combat Suit
Our favorite stim-pack-injecting, bad-mouthed space marines wouldn't be much use without their Powered Combat Suit. Developed by the Cirion Multinational Corporation, this combat suit has a number of models but they all share a similar feature set.

Each standard issue Powered Combat Suit comes complete with:

  • Aural directional enhancers. So you can hear the hordes of Zerg and Protoss on their way to destroy you.
  • Full life support. For when said hordes of Zerg and Protoss destroy you.
  • Air conditioner. To eliminate the female fantasy of a sweaty marine.
  • HUD (heads-up display). Targeting system, infrared vision and a complete map of the surrounding battlefield.
  • Structural support. Aside from adding 12 inches to your height, it turns the user into a genuine six million dollar man. Increasing strength and stamina, marines can lift ridiculously heavy objects, run for hours on end and even survive falls of up to 20 feet.

Variations of the suit include the CMC-405, a sleeker and slightly sexy (well, as far as exoskeletons go) combat suit designed for medics. On the opposite side of the spectrum, we have the Mack truck of combat suits, the CMC-660 Heavy Combat Suit. It's more durable, heat resistant and comes equipped with two top-of-the-line wrist-mounted plasma-based Perdition flame throwers. That's more than enough to turn even the most reluctant arsonist into a full-fledged Zerg-barbecuing pyromaniac.

Although it may be a while before exoskeletons come equipped with drugs, plasma-based flamethrowers and hot nurses, the rest is closer than you may think. DARPA, staying ahead of the curve, requested designs for military exoskeletons. Out of all the proposals, DARPA chose to fund only one ...

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