The craptastic 80s movie “The Last Starfighter” featured one of the most brilliant plot hooks of all time: An alien armada threatens the galaxy, and to recruit pilots to meet the threat, aliens plant a “Starfighter” video game in Earthly arcades to identify the best flyboys.
Seriously, how can a movie that combines videogames AND a massive alien armada go wrong? Alas, it does. Don’t believe the cult following, this movie sucks AND blows.
However, it appears that the Raytheon corporation disagrees, and has unleashed all kinds of awesome to prove me wrong.
Apparently, the first generation controls for the military’s UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) were classic government work–clunky and dependent on keyboard commands. Why not just give them a command line interface?
Raytheon got the bright idea of hiring a bunch of game developers and creating an improved version based on the Xbox processor. It’s basically a super arcade game, with wraparound monitors, adjustable foot- and arm-rests, and individual air conditioning.
But that’s not the most awesome part. Get a load of the statements from Raytheon’s spokesmen:
“The current generation of pilots was raised on the PlayStation, so we created an interface that they will immediately understand,” says one Raytheon spokesman. Another points out, “The Air Force will be able to recruit pilots who already have the dexterity required.”
But hey, as long they’re using human pilots rather than killer robots, I’m happy.