Looks like enlisted gamers can now look forward to playing a video game as part of training. But while the idea sounds fun, the million-dollar question here is… would it effectively prepare the Marines for the real-life scenario?

Last week, Marines from Marine Air Support Squadron 1 (MASS-1) conducted a demonstration test on a video game-based training prototype that would allow future airspace control personnel to train virtually.

Program stakeholders responsible for developing the Gaming Environment for Air Readiness (GEAR) System stood anxiously as unit leaders from the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing (MAW) watched the Marines work through air-control scenarios of the virtual simulation.

2MAW Marines Train Using Video Games
A Department of Defense contractor (left) demonstrates to a Marine officer (right) how to navigate through the GEAR system on July 28. (Image source: US Marine Corps/DVIDS)

GEAR allows the Marines working in the Direct Air Support Center (DASC) to train with only a desktop computer instead of using many vehicles, equipment, personnel, and time—which can sometimes be very costly.