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A virtual battlefield is the digital simulation of a war, generally accomplished by the combination of differing simulators into a digital environment. Each soldier, or vehicle in the environment is controlled by a human being. A functioning virtual battlefield has long been sought after by DARPA and various militaries as an augmentation to contemporary military exercises. VBS1 (Virtual Battlespace 1) and VBS2 by Bohemia Interactive Studio may qualify as virtual battlefields.
In relation to video games, the term "virtual battlefield" has been used to describe games that combine two or more categories of massive multiplayer vehicle simulation on more or less equal terms. This can also mean a combination of the Massive Multiplayer Online First Person Shooter genre and vehicle simulation. For instance, a massive multiplayer game that puts its emphasis on aircraft is a massive multiplayer combat flight simulator. A massive multiplayer game that put its emphasis on tank simulation would be called a massive multiplayer armored combat simulator. However, a massive multiplayer game that put more or less equal emphasis on both would be a virtual battlefield, for lack of a better term. Virtual battlefields differ from MMOFPSs because of accurate vehicle simulation. A virtual battlefield can also be distinguished from traditional first-person shooters that include vehicles (Battlefield 2) by the extent of the terrain, the number of possible simultaneous players (both of which need to be large enough to reflect the accurate size of battles and engagement distances), and the accuracy of the vehicle simulation. Currently, World War II Online is the only video game that claims to be a virtual battlefield. Armed Assault also appears to fit the definition with its 'Capture the Island' game mode.