Sunday, September 25, 2005

Virtual Soldiering

This is a link to an article from Computer Edge magazine titled “Virtual Soldiering: Training, Recruiting, and Entertainment.” The article describes that the U.S. Army has created a free downloadable game called “America’s Army,” that has nearly 6 million registered players. The game takes players through boot camp, and then on to Ranger and Airborne training.

The game is described as being realistic in terms of weapons, tactics, rules of engagement, laws of war, lifesaving, and Army values.

This quote from the article got me thinking. “While war is violent, America’s Army provides entertainment and information without resorting to graphic violence and gore.” If the Army, who is in the business of war, can provide a war game without graphic violence, why don’t game designers for consumers follow the Army's lead?

After reading this article, my mind rapidly shifted to thinking about the possibilities of how many resources, in terms of dollars and lives, could be saved and repurposed if those who are compelled to engage in war could do so virtually through a game, rather than physically.


At 8:20 AM, Blogger Jim said...

It's interesting that the Army, who clearly wants to use this as a recruiting tool, chooses to "sanitize" the action in order to make it more attractive (?) PC (?) palatable (?) ... at any rate, to attract recruits.

But game designers, who want to get people to buy their game, seem to think that "realistic" violence/gore is what sells.

Both are probably correct, and it likely points to something interesting about when humans want fantasy and when they want reality, or what they perceive to be reality.


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