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Real life gaming: how the British Army modelled tank controls on a gamepad

The firing controls inside the British Army’s Challenger 2 tank will be familiar to gamers everywhere – they're modelled on video game controllers from the 1990s.

The tank, which came into service in 1998, was designed to have an easy-to-use controller for those who had grown up playing video games. 

The controls are also used in the simulators used to train tank crews, and TechRadar visited the Army's Combined Arms Tactical Trainer facility in Wiltshire to see the simulators in action.

Major Charles Bagshaw of the Royal Tank Regiment says of the simulators: “In the essence of serious gaming, it’s probably very close. 

“Some of the large simulators you can get commercially in the world of VBS2 [Virtual Battlespace 2, battlefield simulation software] and some of the other systems that are out there, it’s very close.

"What it isn’t is Call of Duty.”

Check out the video to see how tech is changing battlefield training.

James Peckham

James is Phones Editor for TechRadar and covers all the big announcements from the best manufacturers making mobile phones, tablets and wearables. Based in London, James is often testing out the latest and greatest mobile phones, smartwatches, tablets, VR headsets and - when he can be motivated to go outside - fitness bands. Be sure to follow him on Twitter for all the latest from the mobile world.