US Colonel: Gamers Worst at 'Distorting' War

Playing war games does not prepare you for the real thing.

Posted by Staff
People just love talking about this game, don't they?
People just love talking about this game, don't they?
Peter W. Singer, a defence expert who writes monthly columns to The Washington Examiner, has recently spoken to an Air Force colonel regarding the the U.S. armed forces' "free ride off of the video game industry".

The unnamed colonel opined that "the video game generation is worse at distorting the reality of [war]. They don't have that sense of what really going on."

Says Singer, "He went on to tell that he thought the virtual nature of the games, which gave such skills, also made it harder for some to weigh the consequences of their acts. 'It teaches you how to compartmentalize it.'"

The statement comes as Singer attempts to string a link between the American Army and computer games, reporting that despite a subtle recruitment drive using computer games, more people are willing to play a war game than fight a real one. ?Roughly 70,000 young Americans chose to join the Army last year. But 4.7 million chose to spend the day after they bought the game playing war at home [with Modern Warfare 2], many of them not even realizing they were doing so on Veterans Day.?

?Indeed, one of its main competitors is America's Army, in which the player also gets to virtually experience contemporary war without leaving his basement,? Singer continues. ?But while Call of Duty was developed by the Infinity Ward company for profit, America's Army was developed by the U.S. military to aid recruiting... The Army has found it, according to testimony to Congress, more effective at recruiting than 'any other method of contact.'"

His main point of contention is the fact that millions of gamers were sucked into Xbox Live, PlayStation Network or their PC on the same day real-life soldiers were being remembered for their country's service. ?Perhaps the warning label on the boxes should include something other than a parental advisory of drug references and strong language.?

As for distorting the realities of war... maybe years of not being allowed to broadcast the return of dead soldiers could be more of a link?


Kiro 17 Nov 2009 14:32
And its taken him this long to realise this..
Posting of new comments is now locked for this page.