The US military had always been good at building accurate simulations around pieces of equipment. The goal of FSW was to develop two new capabilities:
- Using simulations to train softer skills
- Add "game elements" to a simulation to increase voluntary participation.
Game elements will always be controversial. Simulations by themselves are really boring. An accurate military simulation would have a soldier standing around, with no action, for days, weeks, or months, before something "happened." Just cutting right to the action is a game element.
Game elements are controversial even when they surround the simulation elements, because they consume resources, but more so when they selectively subvert the accuracy of the simulation, such as making bigger things happen sooner than real life.
Traditionalists will far too quickly damn an entire program for not getting the mix of simulation, game, and pedagogical elements right the first time (the only acceptable sin for them is too much pedagogy). I, for one, support the people willing to take risks.