The US Air Force has just put out a request for proposal for a "Gaming and Training Environment for Counter Space Operations." In other words, they're ready for Ender's Game. Or maybe Space Wars.
The proposed intent of the software is to develop tactics, techniques and procedures relating to four key tasks: detect, identify, track and disrupt activities from space vehicles. In part, the request states:
This effort will explore the training utility of developing a gaming environment where these tasks can be trained and rehearsed in a realistic set of scenarios and simulations. The environment will need to have object models to simulate interactions between satellites and ground stations, model track data, display raw sensor data, and have the capability for multiple players to participate and to provide command and control and other tactical and operational information and interaction to the game.
In the Hugo- and Nebula-awardwinning 1985 book Ender's Game [link to www.technovelgy.com
] , Orson Scott Card writes about a gifted young boy who is taken by the military to train and fight in a series of "war games" in simulation. The games become more difficult and more sophisticated, until he finally aces his final exam - and learns that his responses to "simulations" are actually being used to defeat an alien species.
The Army has a similar program; read America's Army and the Last Starfighter. Read more about the USAF story at DefenseTech [link to www.defensetech.org
] and the Air Force proposal [link to www.acq.osd.mil
[link to www.space.com