The Metaverse As A Force Multiplier

After looking into it for years and hunting for the right solutions, I think it’s finally time for the preparedness community to embrace the Metaverse.

I know that on the surface, the Metaverse is something that lives in a geeky no man’s land between Zuck and Roblox. Nobody’s going to take some pencil-necked kid’s game nonsense seriously in an industry and a community that’s supposed to be tough as nails. But, we have to remember what General John J. Pershing said: “Infantry wins battles, logistics wins wars.”

A Historical Example Of Logistic Multiplication

To explain how VR and the Metaverse can help the preparedness community with logistics, I need to bring up the story of David Westerhout, a man who was an eye doctor, worldwide champion in pistol shooting, a founding member of IPSC, an officer the Rhodesian military’s SAS, and later an Olympic shooter for Zimbabwe.

While most people today (including myself) detest the racism and minority rule of Rhodesia, we can still learn valuable things from the history. Despite a global embargo of nearly all military equipment and ammunition, the Rhodesian military still hung on for years against a well-supplied insurgency. They eventually lost and had to allow majority rule, and the country became Zimbabwe. But, we still have to ask ourselves how they held that ground for so long without something as basic as ammunition.

Westerhout struggled to train for international shooting matches during this period. His competitors had ample ammunition to train with, but due to the embargoes, he had very little available. But, Westerhout has a very resourceful personality. As a child in England, his dad forbade him from buying any rifles, so he build his own crude guns behind his dad’s back. So, instead of giving up on the shooting sports, he thought his way through the problem and pioneered the modern concept of dry fire practice.

What he figured out was that it’s possible to do too much live fire. It gets to the point where you’re shooting and not learning, and maybe even “practicing your mistakes”. So, quality of practice is a lot more important than quantity. This proved true not only for competition shooters, but people training for military duty. This was a factor in how the military hung on despite being short on ammo.

Every round was precious. By doing mostly dry fire and only following up with a little bit of dry fire, the military and other professional shooters performed well on less.

It’s worth noting that despite being on the losing side, he wasn’t among the many who left shortly after the Rhodesian government failed. He held no grudges, wore the flag of Zimbabwe, and even represented the country in the Olympics. He still lives there.

Why Dry Fire Works

I discuss this a lot more in the Civil Defense Library‘s first section, but it all comes down to recognition-primed decision making (RPDM). The human brain is a pattern recognition system. When your “mental hard drive” has something to call on that worked well in the past, you can succeed. When you have no experience to fall back on, you can get lost quickly (especially in fast-moving “HR/LF/NDT” situations).

By isolating important elements of the task of shooting and simulating them, you can build up experience that translates to the real world. Nobody’s going to dry fire their way through a battle or self-defense incident, but you can dry fire to prepare for such things.

Nobody Has Unlimited Ammo, Range Money, and Gas

You can simulate many defensive and combat shooting tasks on the range, but to really check how good you are at them, you need live ammo. In a fast-paced match, you can’t really check where you were aiming with dry fire. But, regular and fast-paced action shooting can get expensive, time consuming, and puts miles on your car.

The ammunition situation in the United States isn’t nearly as tough as it was in Rhodesia, but most people are still very limited in the ammo they can buy. With inflation (especially in 2022-23) this is getting harder instead of easier for most of us. We just can’t skip groceries and the electric bill to get more ammo.

Where The Metaverse Comes In

In some ways, virtual reality goggles is the perfect virtual environment for firearms practice without ammo. It’s a 360-degree 3D environment. You can move, use cover and concealment, and do many other things that work like they do in the real world. Detailed sensor data is processed, and the software knows whether you hit the virtual target or not.

But, headsets have historically been very clunky and a little blurry. Plus, controllers usually have a very squishy and awful trigger button.

VR firearms training technology has greatly improved over the last couple of years. Better simulated pistol controllers are out, complete with realistic triggers, proper weight and weight distribution, controls, and ergonomics. Some simulated pistols even have simulated recoil. The same is true for rifles, too.

This gives us an opportunity to do a lot more than practice fundamentals. We can now practice damn near the whole set of skills without spending any money on ammunition, range fees, or transportation costs.

This Goes For More Than Firearms

Firearms are just one small portion of the whole preparedness and emergency management skillset. We also have to consider things like physical fitness, minset/stress management, medical, communications, resource management (including food and water storage), crisis action planning, and networking skills. VR and virtual “metaverse” spaces can help us practice some of these things already, with many more to come as the technology improves.

There are even some simulated environments that put a lot of this together in one place that I’ll share more information about soon.

So, it makes a lot of sense for us to take advantage of this technology as much as we can. The more money we can save practicing essential skills and working together to learn, the more we can spend on other aspects of our preparedness effort.

The Civil Defense League Will Be Doing This

In the coming weeks, the Civil Defense League will be focusing on adding Metaverse resources for paid and free members. Paid members will get virtual range time with me serving as instructor. Be sure to sign up or follow on social media to get updates on this!

Featured image by Ace XR.

About Civil Defense League

My mission is to help people go beyond preparedness and start managing the hazards faced by your family, your business, and the organizations you’re a part of.

If you find what you’ve learned here or anything else I’ve done for you to be valuable, be sure to drop something in the tip jar!

Free Online Training

We offer training in a variety of preparedness topics, including:

  • Basic Preparedness Skills
  • Defensive Skills (Including Firearms)
  • Electronics and Communications
  • Mitigating Political Violence
  • Other advanced topics coming soon!

You can find the free training here!


In addition to online training, I offer consulting service to individuals, businesses, and groups who want to bring their emergency preparedness to the next level.

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