Has anyone ever told you that video games are a waste of time? Well, that person probably doesn’t work for the United States Department of Defense (DoD)! That’s because over the past few years, the Department of Defense has been using a modified version of Command: Modern Air/Naval Operations (CMANO), developed by WarfareSims and published by Slitherine, to run real life wargame scenarios for planning and training purposes.


Apparently, it all started in 2015 when Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work, sent out a memo detailing his fear that the military’s capacity to make strategic plans and train for various political outcomes via simulations had atrophied over the years. Recognizing that commercially available software might be able to meet the DoD’s needs, representatives of the Pentagon reached out to Matrix/Slitherine to begin work on developing a professional version for military use.

Command: Professional Edition, as the military version of the game is known, is designed to support statistical analysis, strategic experimentation, and systems training not found in the regular game. Now, we here at eXplorminate don’t know what any of that means, but it sounds very important! Basically, the professional version of CMANO isn’t publicly available and a lot of its uses are super-duper ultra top secret.


So if you don’t happen to have a top secret security clearance collecting dust in your sock drawer, don’t worry about it. You can still enjoy the not-so-secret version of the CMANO. And next time someone hassles you about playing video games, just tell them you are preparing for when the Necrons inevitably rise up from the bowels of our planet to consume our life force in their unending quest to dominate the universe!


  1. Yup, there are many games that have “professional” versions being used by the military (or vice-versa, pro sims that have “regular” versions).

    Say Steel Beasts Pro (the most realistic Tank simulator out there, but appropriately pricey).

    Or the Falcon 4 game in its latest BMS iteration, which can easily serve as a military training sim (I presume, not sure if EVERY system is modelled, but 90+% of them surely are in there – try powering up that damn plane for starters :)).

    Or any civil flight sim for that matter.

    Or the DCS family of flight sims.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The DoD was playing games before we were. I recall a simulation in the mid 80s on space warfare that they were running, real physics, using gravity to sling-shot your ship around planets and firing Nuke missiles in volleys… always wondered about that one…



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