Monday, December 20, 2004

Shoot each other for free

In something eerily akin to the studio system of backlot filming, the army has developed "Urban Terrain Modules" and "Outdoor Terrain Modules" where soldiers cruise around in GPS helmets shooting virtual middle easterners and some command position person controls the temperature, sunlight, etc. It's a kind of video game training center, a MMORPG, if you will:
We've had a lot of soldiers coming back from Iraq who say it's too real. The only thing we don't have is the smell," says Bleau, a civilian government subcontractor whose company manages the computer systems. "We're working on that."

. . .

In the past, the Army has used computer games for recruiting, too. The taxpayer-funded first-person shooter "America's Army," for example, teaches Army dogma while offering online battle modes where groups of gamers can shoot each other for free.
And yes, Eponymous, you're right. I find this absolutely no less offensive and creepy than the "let's pretend we're assassinating Kennedy" game.

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