Thursday, August 21, 2008

Is The Military Trying To Make War Fun?

Forget about boot camp, the next U.S. military training regiment may take place in a location that more resembles an arcade than rugged terrain.

Internationally, countries are increasingly using the same hardware and software that is utilized in gaming systems like: Halo, Splinter Cell, and Xbox; to control military equipment, and fight wars.

Remote controls that are extremely similar to the ones used to operate gaming systems, are being implemented to control military aircraft and ground robots. Army recruiting paraphernalia is also reportedly being adapted to reflect the usage of the new game-like apparatus.

According to The Wired's website, a blogger "spotted a British Army recruiting advertisement which seemed to show troops using an Xbox 360 controller to pilot a small drone." Curious about the advertisement, the blogger "used the Freedom of Information Act to find out if he was right." The response that he received from his inquiry, is as follows: "The system used to control the planes has been adapted by Lockheed Martin and although the controller used by the soldiers to fly the plane is very similar to a Microsoft Xbox 360 controller, it is not the same. You will see that there is no Microsoft wording on the controller nor a wired headset port."

My concern is that by replicating the imaginary game-like atmosphere on the real life battlefield, the military will be able to make a soldier out of almost anyone. Members of the upcoming generation who would be consciously turned off by the blood and gore of war, may now be enticed to participate in creating carnage from a detached distance. By "turning war into a video game," the new age soldiers will not have to view the immediate, gory repercussions of their actions.

[SIDEBAR: War is still not the answer!]

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