According to a press release, the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians’ Public Safety Department (in Michigan USA, not Canada) has bought a “situational awareness and judgmental use-of-force training simulator” for its public safety officers and SWAT team. See the video if you want to know what this involves.
VirTra Systems, the vendor, say their company “markets combat, marksmanship, and situational awareness/judgmental firearms training systems to domestic military agencies such as the U.S. Air Force, and to national and international law enforcement agencies. The company also produces custom advertising/ promotional virtual reality systems utilizing the sensations of motion, touch, sound, and smell for clients such as Buick, Pennzoil, Red Baron™ Pizza, and the U.S. Army.”
Their training system is based on over four patent applications. (Five, perhaps?) It claims to be totally “immersive”, which means that you have five or six big screens and you can stand them all round the trainees. Or you can arrange them in a long line, depending on whether you want immersion or a firing range.
The system includes a belt which allows the controller to administer an electric shock to the trainee to simulate being shot: the video commentary notes that trainees quickly develop respect for this. Hmm. (Remember the Milgram experiment?)
I hope the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians have fun with their new toy. Why does everybody have to pretend they are the SAS? (Footnote for non-British readers: the worlds best special forces unit. But they are special – in the sense that we dont have one in every county, just to guard a casino and break up fights on Saturday night, which seem to be the Little River Bands main problems.)
Virtra dont give any information on their website about what they provide for Red Baron Pizza, but it may be an idea to avoid these pizzas if you have a weak heart. I have to go now, Im having a Baudrillard moment.