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[P]
America's Army: The Game

By AmberEyes in Op-Ed
Tue May 21, 2002 at 11:40:36 PM EST
Tags: Software (all tags)
Software

In light of sweeping patriotism, it seems that no stone is left unturned by Uncle Sam -- today, it has officially been announced that the United States Army has licensed the Unreal engine for use in their upcoming game "America's Army".

This raises some very interesting questions, which stems far back to the likes of Marine Doom.


While the release of this information may interest the appetites of first-person shooter fans, this raises some interesting questions not addressed by the press release.

First, does the United States Army (and government) realize that computer games and other forms of media can influence someone (in this case, to be a better soldier)?

Secondly, if the above is true, what would be the benefit of trying to encourage people to play this game -- in effect, attempting to create a market segment of influenced people, ready to play the role of soldiers?


I. Prehistory: Marine Doom

Perhaps some of you remember Marine Doom. In short, it was a war simulator, designed by Lt. Scott Barnett of the United States Marine Corps, and intended to train soldiers in techniques to repel and then attack waves of oncoming troops. For those who have not played it, the game actually served quite a realistic simulation for its time, encouraging the use of cooperation through fire team movements, decision-making during the fog of war, and replicating a war-torn battlefield. While sounds and graphics were very basic (for example, the new shotgun reloading brings up old frames of the original Doom shotgun reload animation that the designers never took out), it served its purpose -- so much so that Lt. Barnett recalls Marines fighting in order to play more of it, after the training finished and the computer labs were closed. So were they fighting to play because they were being influenced, or because they liked playing computer games? Either answer will generally yield the same result.

Many of us have heard of the phrase Operant Conditioning. This is a psychological term that, in essence, simply states that by rewarding a subject, you can modify its behavior. Applied to something like Marine Doom, we can easily see the potential for addiction that this causes, especially when we see that Marines were quite literally fighting for access to the simulation. Operant Conditioning is the same psychological device that games like Diablo take advantage of in order to addict players to the game. Players will constantly click, over and over, in order to achieve a reward (increasing experience levels), even when this repetitive activity goes on for far longer than someone not addicted to the game would reasonably spend. Games like Marine Doom rewarded the players with a sense of fun and camaraderie , and whether the players are enjoying the game simply because they liked playing computer games, or because they were being addicted to play through Operant Conditioning, the end result is the same -- that this allowed for imprinting, slowly and over time. The Marines in training were being influenced by the game's content. Barnett also says that one of the reasons he chose this medium was "Kids who join the Marines today grew up with TV, videogames, and computers. So we thought, how can we educate them, how can we engage them and make them want to learn?"

Whether this made Marines more apt at battlefield tactics and decision making is a good question, but unneccessary. The imprinting was already done on them -- that playing these games was fun, and that part of that fun was being in an environment of warfare, where you take orders, kill the enemy, and move on. These games, along with other specially tailored simulations, can turn Marines into USMC material.

Does Uncle Sam know something that we don't? It's been long debated over just how influential media can be, and we know that while Pong might not make people want to take up tennis, we also know that media plays a huge role in propaganda and brainwashing. Can media also create soldiers from citizens?


II. Spotlight: America's Army

As a DevTeam member and Lead Level Designer for "America's Army" all I can say is that if you have loved ANY action/miltiary themed game such as CS,OF,DF,GR, [AmberEyes's note: CounterStrike, Operation Flashpont, Delta Force, Ghost Recon] etc... get ready for a new girlfriend. This is without doubt technically superior to anything currently available, has 'True' low end hardware support, looks extremely pretty, is simple to understand yet has layers of depth, and is a blast to play! Get ready folks, the Army has done something very special and you are going to love it and the Army like never before.

Brian Ball
Lead Level Desinger
"America's Army"


-post on Blue's News messageboard


This brings us now to the subject of America's Army. The acquisition of the Unreal engine for this project (for the record, there are two licensing options for this engine -- the first is a flat fee of $500,000 US dollars, the second is $250,000 US dollars + 5% royalities) says two things: The first, that they're willing to spend more money for an engine which is more attractive to play, and the second, that they are willing to look at this in terms of cash as an important option for training. However, they have made no indiciation that they are pursuing this as a simulation for their Marines. Rather, that it is a game being released for the public.

What's the connection? Well, realizing that the lessons the USMC learned in their creation and exectution of Marine Doom (as shown above), they've obviously seen that this type of training is a viable method to pursue. So why release a game like this to the public? Personally, I can only see two reasons.

The first is for propaganda's sake. In a time of War of Terrorism and low recruitment numbers, the United States Military needs all the help it can get. The United States Military also knows that one of its larger criticizing parties is the more tech-oriented culture, who sees technology and mass communication as a means to achieve peace, not fuel the war machine. Is this a way to embrace that culture? Does this mean that the military realizes that it still has a battle amongst its own civilians, in order to convince them that the military is right?

The second reason is much more sinister. What good would releasing a game do, when the game is tailor-made to introduce tens of thousands (perhaps hundreds of thousands) of people to war, cleverly dressed up like an innocuous computer game? Remembering our lessons on Operant Conditioning, we certainly don't expect people to become commando fighters overnight, or neccessarily to even show an increase in recruitment numbers; we can easily see that a population, saturated with something like the warfare simulation in America's Army, would become desensitized towards violence, and questioning the military's actions. Just as sex and violence is toned down in movies, the release of this game (and others like it) may serve to distance the player from the reality of war.

Because remember, as Brian Ball said above, ...you are going to love it and the Army like never before.

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Related Links
o the United States Army has licensed the Unreal engine for use in their upcoming game "America's Army".
o Marine Doom
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o Operation Flashpont
o Delta Force
o Ghost Recon
o Blue's News
o Also by AmberEyes


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America's Army: The Game | 142 comments (119 topical, 23 editorial, 0 hidden)
yes they are brainwashing young males to die (2.30 / 10) (#1)
by turmeric on Tue May 21, 2002 at 03:14:07 PM EST

the patriarchy hurts men too

heh (3.00 / 4) (#3)
by ucblockhead on Tue May 21, 2002 at 03:18:23 PM EST

It was a teenage interest in wargaming and military history that drove all notion of getting anywhere near a military outfit right out of my head.
-----------------------
This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]
"How many lives do I have?" (2.66 / 3) (#20)
by GhostfacedFiddlah on Tue May 21, 2002 at 04:28:49 PM EST

1.

No way I'm signing up for that.

[ Parent ]

The Army's behind the pack (4.60 / 5) (#4)
by KilljoyAZ on Tue May 21, 2002 at 03:20:37 PM EST

Even if the military does release this game, it's going to have a lot of competition from the private sector in the race to desensitize America's youth and glamourize warfare. Mr. Ball admitted as much in his message board posting. id Software's been doing it for over a decade now. My guess is the Army's going to try using it as a recruiting tool. I doubt it will have much impact.

I'm curious whether or not you believe that violent video games was a signifcant cause of incidents like Columbine.

===
Creativitiy cannot be SPELT by over 98% of all American troops. - psychologist

Well (4.00 / 2) (#10)
by AmberEyes on Tue May 21, 2002 at 03:26:04 PM EST

Let's put it this way. If a crazy person can put on a white wig and think he's George Washington, I certainly expect that a crazy person could play Doom and go on a shooting rampage. I think you'd have to be pretty damn crazy to do something like that (since, if you know me, you'd know I'm a violent-computer-game addict), but I can't dismiss it at all. It seems like either people say that computer games (and media in general) don't influence people at all, or they turn them into depraved, psychological misfits, regardless of their mental state. I think both counts are wrong.

Most normal people who put on wigs don't think they're George Washington, and most people who play Doom don't think they're suddenly trained killers. In fact, I don't really think that's an important question. I think the important question is whether or not this desensitizes people to violence (or bad language, or sex, or whatever), and in that case, I heartily agree that it does, to some extent.

None of these things are causes, per se, but I certainly think they can be considered enablers.

-AmberEyes


"But you [AmberEyes] have never admitted defeat your entire life, so why should you start now. It seems the only perfect human being since Jesus Christ himself is in our presence." -my Uncle Dean
[ Parent ]
I don't think it desensitizes. (4.75 / 4) (#21)
by GhostfacedFiddlah on Tue May 21, 2002 at 04:31:11 PM EST

Now, I've never actually *seen* a dead body, but that's really the point.  There have been war stories, war movies, war games for a long, long time, but no one dies.  After the simulation, you go and talk to your best friend who was blown up a mere 30 seconds before, 15 seconds after you were.  People realize this.  The only thing war simulations desensitize you to are war simulations.

[ Parent ]
Recruiting tool? (4.50 / 2) (#16)
by paxtech on Tue May 21, 2002 at 03:55:58 PM EST

My guess is the Army's going to try using it as a recruiting tool.

Shades of The Last Starfighter? Will the game upload scores to a secret military server, with the Army recruiting those players with the highest kill ratios?
--
"Eggs or pot, either one." -- Ignignot
[ Parent ]

Do they need to? (4.00 / 1) (#54)
by physicsgod on Wed May 22, 2002 at 01:35:11 AM EST

Don't you think that the kind of person who would be willing to spend the time to become proficient at such a game would already be inclined to join the Army?

Do FPS's make violent people, or are violent people attracted to FPS's?

--- "Those not wearing body armor are hereby advised to keep their arguments on-topic" Schlock Mercenary
[ Parent ]

Actually... (none / 0) (#106)
by Eater on Wed May 22, 2002 at 10:53:19 PM EST

After I seriously started playing FPS games like Counter Strike, I myself wanted even less to join any sort of military. Then again, I didn't have much of an inclination to do that before I started playing either. I think it really depends on the kind of person you are, but for the majority of modern youths, a game specifically made to make people join the army WOULD make them want to join the army. CS was not designed to make people want to join the army. In CS, you got shot, you died, and were punished by sitting out the rest of the round. Eater.

[ Parent ]
Fundamental Flaw - Video Games Aren't Real (5.00 / 3) (#19)
by thelizman on Tue May 21, 2002 at 04:24:25 PM EST

And it's as simple as that. Being a warrior involves alot more than slapping keys, and although the games most certainly help drill in key mental concepts like interlocking fields of fire, cover, and instant target identification, they lack the overall depth of battlefield operations to provide any degree of actual training.
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
Not so much training (3.33 / 3) (#23)
by AmberEyes on Tue May 21, 2002 at 04:34:28 PM EST

More desensitization to violence, and in the case of America's Army, intended perhaps to desensitize people towards war.

You don't need studies to show how desensitization works. Check the reaction out between an Emergency Medical Technican, and an average Joe, when they see someone run over by a car. Watch in awe as your grandmother faints at some of the language that an average high-schooler uses. And, since you inferred in a previous post that you are in the military, look at how the army realizes that point-and-click shooting simulations can train soldiers to kill reflexively.

Do we really want something that desensitizes people to war?

-AmberEyes


"But you [AmberEyes] have never admitted defeat your entire life, so why should you start now. It seems the only perfect human being since Jesus Christ himself is in our presence." -my Uncle Dean
[ Parent ]
Real War (5.00 / 2) (#25)
by thelizman on Tue May 21, 2002 at 05:33:52 PM EST

The problem with this idea, even if you honestly believe in it, is that it is a myth. You can't desensitize someone against the horrors of battle. The illusion that you can is almost as dangerous as the reality of what happens to people who aren't capable of reacting under pressure. That is why units train for war, the better ones do it quite obsessively. When the site of your buddies head being blown clean off his body causes the sudden suspension of all logical cognitive faculties, you will default to trained instinct, and for those brief few seconds you would have otherwise stood around with your jaw jacked down, you at least have some mechanism in place to keep you moving.
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
You still don't understand (4.50 / 2) (#27)
by AmberEyes on Tue May 21, 2002 at 05:49:12 PM EST

I have no problem with saying that we need a military who is trained for war. I'm saying do we want civilians being desensitized to it. Not in the execution, but in the "ho-hum, another war, think I'll fire up some America's Army" sense.

Obviously, soldiers should be trained for combat. That's their job. :)

-AmberEyes


"But you [AmberEyes] have never admitted defeat your entire life, so why should you start now. It seems the only perfect human being since Jesus Christ himself is in our presence." -my Uncle Dean
[ Parent ]
I Saw Your Point, I Still Disagreed (5.00 / 2) (#37)
by thelizman on Tue May 21, 2002 at 07:31:25 PM EST

The fallacy is that anyone can be desensitized to war at all, not just soldiers. Remember, soldiers are humans too. Just because the "man in the street" fails to react as significantly as you think they ought to doesn't necessarily mean that they are cold to the inhumanity that is war.
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
True, but: (4.50 / 2) (#41)
by AmberEyes on Tue May 21, 2002 at 07:51:52 PM EST

Citizens are not soldiers. Again, I ask, should we purposefully desensitize citizens?

It's rhetorical, though, really. I understand your point, I'm just approaching it from a different angle (opposing one, really).

I don't think that the man on the street should react to America's Army neccessarily by being a killing machine. I don't think they should be desensitized to war, because I think that takes away from the danger and seriousness of war, and the strive for peace. I'm glad they aren't desensitized to it. My worry is that the government is releasing this because they purposely want to glamorize war.

Perhaps this won't hugely affect diehard gamers who are already desensitized to violence in general, but you also have to look at patriotic Walmart shoppers. Do you think that a game like this would make them go "Look how horrible war is", or "I am so proud to be an American, to die in war for my country". Not that there is anything wrong with that (especially since we obviously need an armed and trained military for security), but do we want America suddenly swarming with desensitized, overly patriotic citizens?

I simply urge caution.

-AmberEyes


"But you [AmberEyes] have never admitted defeat your entire life, so why should you start now. It seems the only perfect human being since Jesus Christ himself is in our presence." -my Uncle Dean
[ Parent ]
The Trajedy Is... (4.50 / 2) (#45)
by thelizman on Tue May 21, 2002 at 08:06:15 PM EST

We're arguing over whether videogames shape a persons outlooks, with respect to war at least. I personally expect the average American to understand the difference between Rainbow Six and Blackhawk Down.
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
Half-relevant (3.50 / 2) (#56)
by NFW on Wed May 22, 2002 at 02:48:36 AM EST

It ain't real? No sh!t? Ya think?

Tell us something we don't already know, Sherlock.

But anyhow...

Sitting on your ass in front of a computer won't improve your 100-yard sprint time, or your marksmanship, or any of the physical abilities required of combat or anything else. But, if it improves your ability to come up with winning strategies, if it improves your team's communication skills, if it gives you the practice you need for better situational awareness, it's still helpful.

Flight simulators don't subject users to the same forces as fighter planes, but they're still useful.

Simulation training can help develop the brainpower for pretty much any task, if the simulator is done well. I have no doubt that this kind of thing will help develop some of the mental skills that soldiers need to get their jobs done. Not all of course, but some, and enough to be of value. As for the physical skills, I also have no doubt that physical training (conditioning, 'war games,' gun range, etc, etc, etc) will be every bit as rigorous tomorrow as today.

I doubt anyone expects video games to grow into something that could replace conventional training for foot soldiers, or even to be half as significant as simulation has become for pilots. But for the mental aspects of fighting, it could help, and that's all it would need to do to be relevant.


--
Got birds?


[ Parent ]

Remember that this isn't anything new (none / 0) (#57)
by Khendon on Wed May 22, 2002 at 09:52:52 AM EST

Military training through playing of games isn't some new-fangled thing. Games have been used to teach tactics and strategy virtually since those concepts were invented.

[ Parent ]
Remember what Reagan said? (4.50 / 2) (#22)
by spacejack on Tue May 21, 2002 at 04:31:27 PM EST

This generation of videogame-playing youths are the next fighter pilots? Or something like that.

something like that (none / 0) (#58)
by lucid on Wed May 22, 2002 at 10:16:07 AM EST

Chances are, he can't remember either.

[ Parent ]

Tax Dollar At Work? (3.25 / 4) (#26)
by FortKnox on Tue May 21, 2002 at 05:45:47 PM EST

So the Department of Defense needs a bigger budget so it can make video games?

I think the US Government should do what my father told me when he taught me how to budget my money:
Make two columns on a sheet of paper.
Mark the first column "NEEDS".
Make the second column "WANTS".

Item Make Sweet Video Game to Recruit Future Soldiers (even though we'll be competing in a difficult industry with tried-by-fire private organizations) goes under "WANTS."
I can think of about a dozen items (off the top of my head) that deserves to go under "NEEDS."
--
Yes, shrubberies are my trade. I am a shrubber. My name is Roger the Shrubber. I arrange, design, and sell shrubberies.
Net Gain (5.00 / 3) (#31)
by MrAcheson on Tue May 21, 2002 at 06:21:14 PM EST

Lets see, the Department of Defense licenses the Unreal Engine to make a training tool for the Army. This is bad because it costs money. Money that is well spent however since the cost to train these troops spread over the number of troops that are likely to be trained is fairly low even if they didn't sell the game. But the DoD also sells the simulation to the public as a game and likely makes a net profit on the development of this technology.

To me this is a pretty sweet idea. Instead of taxing me to fund a government military program, the Army is going to sell me something I would probably like (since I love the NovaLogic Delta Force games) to fund their programs. In essence the military is going to try to fund itself without resorting to raising my taxes. Pretty sweet. This is better than the military working for cost making movies.

Oh and before you says something like "the government doesn't need something like the unreal engine to do its work" keep in mind that the visibility on a battlefield may be measured in miles. That means that good graphics and resolution are keys to an accurate simulation.


These opinions do not represent those of the US Army, DoD, or US Government.


[ Parent ]
Seductive idea, but dangerous (3.50 / 2) (#39)
by tudlio on Tue May 21, 2002 at 07:44:58 PM EST

It's been done before. Ever heard of Air America? One of the biggest airlines in Southeast Asia during the era of the Vietnam war. Quite profitable by anyone's standards. Wholly owned by the CIA.

I don't want the military to have an independent source of funding. I want them to ask my permission (or the permission of my pseudo-democratically elected government) for every bullet they buy, and every operation they conduct.




insert self-deprecatory humor here
[ Parent ]
Funding (5.00 / 3) (#51)
by Bad Harmony on Wed May 22, 2002 at 12:07:07 AM EST

All money collected by federal agencies goes into the general fund, to be appropriated by congress. The agencies do not get to keep the money.

54º40' or Fight!
[ Parent ]

You think this game will profit? (3.00 / 1) (#60)
by FortKnox on Wed May 22, 2002 at 10:47:20 AM EST

Honestly, the US Army going up against the private sector on a FPS?? Into ground where even successful veterans like John Romero have floundered pitifully?

I do not think the Army will turn a profit, and, honestly, using "training" here is pretty pathetic. They want them atuned to violence? Get them to watch all the _Faces of Death_. Everything else, like reaction time and aim are better spent practicing something else besides a video game.

Don't get me wrong, I'm a giant gamer, I just don't think this will turn out as well as you think.
--
Yes, shrubberies are my trade. I am a shrubber. My name is Roger the Shrubber. I arrange, design, and sell shrubberies.
[ Parent ]
Profit (none / 0) (#129)
by mcgredo on Thu May 23, 2002 at 04:38:27 PM EST

They WILL NOT make a profit. That's not the idea. The idea is to generate recruiting traffic. Many people fear the unknown. Asking an 18 year old to sign on the dotted line and go someplace that he does not understand and has never experienced is a tough sell. The idea of the game is, in part, to reduce the fear of that unknown by showing the recruit what it will be like.

[ Parent ]
Profit (none / 0) (#131)
by mcgredo on Thu May 23, 2002 at 04:50:40 PM EST

Such a deal we have for you. The game is free. Zero cost to you. Nada. The Army will not get money when you load that sweet little CD onto your PC. Since they don't have a revenue stream, the talk about profit is irrelevant. The objective is not training, though it could be used for some of that in limited ways. The objective is recruiting. They want to generate recruiting traffic based on interest in the game. Commercial game engines are in many respects way ahead of simulators used by the armed forces; they run on commodity hardware, have excellent graphics and great level builders, and advanced sound. I wouldn't be surprised if the military makes more use of game engines in their military simulation programs, with appropriate changes to dial down the gameplay factors in favor of things that enhance training. (It is possible to get "negative training" if the simulator reinforces bad habits, say, thinking you can use jet jump to get out of trouble.) Probably they will be using things like this for close quarters combat rehersals.

[ Parent ]
NEEDs/WANTs (none / 0) (#137)
by bodrius on Fri May 24, 2002 at 05:04:11 AM EST

Let's see the  NEED list of any Army, off the top of my head:

NEED                  
----                  
1 - Decent Equipment    
2 - Training Facilities  
3 - SOLDIERS, ANYONE, PLEASE ANYONE, FOR GOD'S SAKE WOULD ANYONE JOIN PLEASE?!

They can get items 1 and 2 with relative ease. Getting item 3 is harder, as it's not fot the respective branches of the government to give it to them, not in peace time.

In modern times and countries with an active civil sector, joining the Army is not "cool" anymore.

It's not a great career choice (although depending on the country it's not that bad either), it's not too profitable, and it can get you killed.

Perhaps more worrying, a change of moral values in society means that three of the biggest motivations to join the Army are nil. In ascending order:
- Heroic aspirations: the modern hero is the artistic celebrity, the billionare CEO or the professional guru. Going to war is not seen as the best way to prove you're an adult anymore.
- Social duty: almost no one feels they owe any government "doing their part", and when they do, they prefer to do their part away from the guns and tanks.
- Social ladder: joining an Army used to be a relatively quick way to get an opportunity to become important. Soldiers rose through the class system as they rose through ranks, and it usually took less time to rise through the later. When college education became accessible to a greater segment of the population, college became the quickest and safest way to climb the social ladder.

Some countries (a lot) can afford to keep their armies undermanned; if they go to war they'll draft a bunch of people.

The US is not such a country: it is likely it will go to a war if there is ever any  war of any importance anywhere, it is a potential target of agression, and its military power depends on technology and highly specialized methods (last minute draftees do not a high-tech Army make). They need at least a critical mass of volunteer soldiers that have been training for years at using those high-tech toys they have.

Now, since the Army so far has been making documentaries, websites, and even RealTV shows a la survivor in order to get the kids to think joining the Army is not for losers, rednecks and their dads, and since they're giving this thing for free and making such a big deal out of it, it's clear this is right on the NEED list.

They need soldiers. They need them young and willing to be trained. They see a bunch of teenagers playing Unreal and Quake all day and they say "if we can get them to think it's as cool to be a soldier as playing those games we're set. They'll want to be soldiers". After all, it works for skateboarders, racers, wrestlers, etc.

It's all part of their whole GOARMY campaign, which is all about the "cool" factor. They need teenagers. Now. Badly.
Freedom is the freedom to say 2+2=4, everything else follows...
[ Parent ]

Operant conditioning isn't the Devil in disguise. (5.00 / 6) (#28)
by Apuleius on Tue May 21, 2002 at 06:03:32 PM EST

Operant conditioning is the only way to prepare people for situations in which there is no time to think things through. That is why cops undergo it, and firefighters, and soldiers, and athletes, and many other people. But that means nothing. Operant conditioning on the training field does not mean a soldier will not be able to think for himself in his bunk, at the dinner table, or over a cup of coffee. The only form of OC that does that, which I have seen, is what happens when people join politically oriented mutual admiration societies, something several K5ers seem to have undergone.

Now as for this game, how exactly is a war simulation going to be any more desensitizing than run of the mill Quake, or Grand Theft Auto 3, or any other first person shooter? We already have the movies, the television, and other games doing exactly that, and as far as I've seen the military despises that effect.




There is a time and a place for everything, and it's called college. (The South Park chef)
HLA? (4.75 / 4) (#32)
by Sir Rastus Bear on Tue May 21, 2002 at 06:21:18 PM EST

The armed forces have been agressively pursuing computer-base simulation and training as a viable alternative to live exercises. I'd be very interested to know what the network architecture is behind the multi-player aspects of the game. The High Level Architecture (HLA) is something that DoD has been advocating as a distributed architecture for simulations (picture CORBA with weapons:). It would be a very interesting stress-test to get an HLA-based simulation into the hands of thousands of interconnected gamers.

As far as the violence goes, I think most gamers are already about as desensitized as they are going to get.


"It's the dog's fault, but she irrationally yells at me that I shouldn't use the wood chipper when I'm drunk."

HLA (5.00 / 1) (#128)
by mcgredo on Thu May 23, 2002 at 04:34:25 PM EST

AA uses Epic's standard network underpinning; no HLA involved. Gameplay size will be limited by Epic's server architecture. I suspect HLA would get hammered in a situation like this. HLA tries to abstract away a lot of the area of interest management (AOIM) issues, but I think you really can't do that well in a one-size-fits-all strategy. A lot of people pick the AOIM scheme first, then build the networked virtual world around that. You'd like both full control over AOIM and the ability to abstract it away. And the best way to do that is to dynamically load AOIM schemes at runtime. HLA is notoriously bad at doing dynamic stuff like that.

[ Parent ]
Get your tin-foil hats out (4.00 / 6) (#34)
by jabber on Tue May 21, 2002 at 06:49:05 PM EST

Ok, so if the military shows that video games have the potential and capacity for training people for realistic situations rehearsed by playing the game, what's next?

Will we see Microsoft Flight Simulator banned from store shelves, because would-be terrorists could use it to learn how to fly jets into buildings?

/me inserts tongue firmly in cheek

Or will we see this result in a ban on genetic engineering research, because of the potential drawbacks demonstrated by Resident Evil?

/me shifts tongue to other cheek

Or will we see Dojos across the country get shut down left and right to prevent the emergence of Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat-style violent street gangs?

/me sticks tongue out at the establishment

Or, most horrifically, will we see NASA dissolved, because Asteroids teaches that space exploration is inherently dangerous and can not be successful in the long term?

[TINK5C] |"Is K5 my kapusta intellectual teddy bear?"| "Yes"

What do you mean... (3.50 / 4) (#36)
by mikey g on Tue May 21, 2002 at 07:23:05 PM EST

...by "will we see Microsoft Flight Simulator banned". Close enough: the MS patch that removes the Twin Towers also fuzzes up the game logic; that is, they castrated it.

I think AutoCAD and the like should be banned because people use it to view and manipulate designs for buildings, bombs, and lord-knows-what. Better yet -- don't ban it, just make it inaccurate. Hey, what's a few centimeters between friends?

Perhaps the only thing more dangerous than no information is wrong information....



--
.sig
[ Parent ]
Every weakling's fantasy, (3.80 / 5) (#35)
by demi on Tue May 21, 2002 at 07:21:36 PM EST

made evident by the popularity of Ender's Game and about 80% of anime, is to become proficient in combat by virtue of a natural affinity for machine-simulated battles.

If it will make our soldiers more efficient and less susceptible to shell shock, then great, maybe it will mean reduced loss of life on our side in some situations. I worry, however, that the further pixelation of our adversaries, beyond the point at which they are currently pixelated, will make the issue of collateral damage ever more trivial. I mean, who hasn't played through a FPS without at least once turning on god mode, and killing every living thing that moves?

Marines are NOT ARMY! (4.00 / 4) (#40)
by thelizman on Tue May 21, 2002 at 07:48:44 PM EST

Ignorance is being armed only with a dictionary to define your world. A Marine is a very different animal form a regular "Soldier" (which, properly, is a military combatant in the Army). For starters, all Marines are 0311's, or Rifleman. This comes from the Naval Tradition of using Marines to fire upon other ships when they were still to far away to engage mortal hand to hand combat. After their duties as rifleman, then they are also pilots, tank crewmen, mechanics, etc. There are no non-combatant positions in the Marine Corps - they have the Navy for the sissy stuff.

More importantly, a Marine is more specially trained and equipped than general Army Soldiers, and is roughly comparable in skill to a Green Beret or Airbone Ranger. For this reason, the Marine Corps was exempted from the Nunn-Cohen act which reorganized the military and formed the Special Operations Command. Ironically, the Marines do more with less; While the Army is getting brand new UH-60 Blackhawk variants every year, the Marine Corps newest toy is an updated version of the venerable UH-1 Huey that flew over Viet Nam (four blades, twin engines, but same basic airframe).

In the halls of warriors, there are many braggards. Only the Marine Corps can actually justify their bad-ass attitudes. Quite literally form the Halls of Montezuma to the Hindu Kush Mountain passes, the Marines are the only branch of service who continually justify their existance with results as opposed to defacto necessity.

Finally, please note that in failing to make such a distinction, or in your case continuing to ignore the same, you are both displaying your own severe and willful ignorance, and you are dishonoring the hallowed tradition of those who fought and remain Semper Fi. It's roughly equivalent to saying there are no differences between Windows and Linux.
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
Are you meaning me? (5.00 / 1) (#42)
by AmberEyes on Tue May 21, 2002 at 07:53:59 PM EST

If you mean me, please tell me where I screwed up.

-AmberEyes


"But you [AmberEyes] have never admitted defeat your entire life, so why should you start now. It seems the only perfect human being since Jesus Christ himself is in our presence." -my Uncle Dean
[ Parent ]
No, You're Cool (3.00 / 2) (#44)
by thelizman on Tue May 21, 2002 at 08:04:20 PM EST

(n/t)
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
Marines (none / 0) (#52)
by Bad Harmony on Wed May 22, 2002 at 12:27:31 AM EST

How many Marines does it take to change a light bulb?

Six. Two to assault the light bulb and four to lay down covering fire.

54º40' or Fight!
[ Parent ]

Re: Marines are NOT ARMY! (none / 0) (#72)
by countzro on Wed May 22, 2002 at 12:32:51 PM EST

> More importantly, a Marine is more specially trained and equipped than general Army Soldiers, and is roughly comparable in skill to a Green Beret or Airbone Ranger

Please tell me you're kidding. If not, you most certainly belong in the Corps. Answer me this: if the average Marine is so bad-ass, why does the Corps send *all* Marine armor crewman to be trained at the US Army Armor Center at Fort Knox, KY, by ARMY PERSONNEL? The Corps also does not fall under SOC, although Green Berets, Army Rangers, Navy SEALs, Marine Force Recon and (in time of war) Army Cavalry do. Please, but the gung-ho Marine BS. The only person you're convincing is yourself.

[ Parent ]
The Few, The Proud, The Jarheads (none / 0) (#101)
by thelizman on Wed May 22, 2002 at 04:48:53 PM EST

Please tell me you're kidding.
No. I'm very serious...most of the time anyway.
If not, you most certainly belong in the Corps.
More's the pity that I am in the United States Army.
Answer me this: if the average Marine is so bad-ass, why does the Corps send *all* Marine armor crewman to be trained at the US Army Armor Center at Fort Knox, KY, by ARMY PERSONNEL?
For precisely the same reason EVERY branch sends people to Army Schools. The Army has the budget and the mandate for such schools (especially when you're talking about ArmorCav). On a limited basis, what schools and programs do not exist in the Army are conducted by the other services. Army personell who want to get diver certification up to Master Diver go to the Navy Schools, and Army pilots attend USAF flight schools. You'll also make note that the Marine Corps runs it's own schools that the Army chops its personnel to, such as the Mountain Warfare Training Center. Part of the afore mentioned Nunn-Cohen act was to reduce redundancies in military training, equipment, and personnel, so it's inherent that branches which either established programs after, or had the most effective programs at the time of the bills passage would be responisble for the training of the other three branches. Since the Marine Corps has just about the lowest budget of all the branches, it's always been more practical for Marines to train at Army infantry schools. Even Lt. General Chesty Puller went to an Army OCS school (where he promptly made the Army feel very inadequate).
The Corps also does not fall under SOC, although Green Berets, Army Rangers, Navy SEALs, Marine Force Recon and (in time of war) Army Cavalry do.
No shit sherlock, if you actually cared to read what I wrote before going off on your half cocked bullshitstorm, you'd see where I specifically wrote that the Marine Corps was exempted from the Nunn-Cohen act. Do you need me to draw you a little picture and post it somewhere? Oh, by the way, SOC doesn't have to wait for a war before getting elements of any military unit, including ArmorCav, chopped off to their command. This little FACT regularly pisses off the other three CINC's, along with the mere idea that CINCSOC gets it's own trianing budget.
Please, but the gung-ho Marine BS. The only person you're convincing is yourself.
Bullshit eh? I've already shot down two of your points (if you can call 'em that). It's a simple fact that the Marine Corps is a more specialized and highly trained Corps then regular Army. In fact, you match up any MOSC from the Marines to the Army, you will find that all Marines regularly train in infantry skills while maintaining their MOSC skills. What I want to know is, other than pissing in the wind like a grabastic clusterfuck, did you really have anything to say? I didn't think so, move long.
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
Re: The Few, The Proud, The Jarheads (none / 0) (#112)
by countzro on Thu May 23, 2002 at 12:12:33 PM EST

>More's the pity that I am in the United States Army

If you're so enamored of the Corps, why did you join the Army?

>You'll also make note that the Marine Corps runs it's own schools that the Army chops its personnel to, such as the Mountain Warfare Training Center

The Army sends people to these schools as 'adventure schools', and they are not critical to the MOS path. In contrast, a Marine armor crewman *must* attend armor school at Fort Knox.

>Oh, by the way, SOC doesn't have to wait for a war before getting elements of any military unit, including ArmorCav, chopped off to their command.

::sigh:: Cav units don't get 'chopped off' to SOC, they fall directly under SOC. However, their peacetime command is relegated to whatever regular unit they happen to be attached to. Oh, and since my point was factually valid, you have no basis calling it a 'half-cocked bullshit storm'. Just because I'm disagreeing with you doesn't make what I'm saying untrue.

>In fact, you match up any MOSC from the Marines to the Army, you will find that all Marines regularly train in infantry skills while maintaining their MOSC skills.

The marines you know must be very different people from the ones I know. Of the Marines I've met (including a few ex-Marines in my current unit), I've heard plenty of Marine fairy-tales (they all begin with 'This is a no-bullshit story...'), but their description of Marine life is remarkably similar to Army life. What I want to know is, other than your masturbatory self-congratulation, did you really have anything to say? I didn't think so. Move along.

[ Parent ]
Thick Skulls and Missed Points (none / 0) (#116)
by thelizman on Thu May 23, 2002 at 12:50:17 PM EST

If you're so enamored of the Corps, why did you join the Army?
I have my reasons, they're none of your damned business.
The Army sends people to these schools as 'adventure schools', and they are not critical to the MOS path. In contrast, a Marine armor crewman *must* attend armor school at Fort Knox.
That does not in any way relate to the point that the reason Marines are sent to Army schools is because the Army already has the schools. Rest assured that if Army training weren't sufficient, the Marine Corps would establish their own schools as allowed.
::sigh:: Cav units don't get 'chopped off' to SOC, they fall directly under SOC.
Wherever you get your information, I suggest you put it back. "Chopped" refers to the assignment of resources to a specific task. Also, the nature of SOC is that they do not have any of their own assets (actually, they have a few on a limited basis), but instead acquire them from other branches and government agencies as needed for training or field operations.
The marines you know must be very different people from the ones I know. Of the Marines I've met (including a few ex-Marines in my current unit), I've heard plenty of Marine fairy-tales (they all begin with 'This is a no-bullshit story...'), but their description of Marine life is remarkably similar to Army life.
Perhaps, instead of citing anectodal evidence, you could provide some specifics about "Army Life" versus "Marine Life"? I don't see the Army doing anything "remarkably similar" to a med float. Regardless, this has never been about "who is better", it's about being precise and not confusing Marines with Soldiers. Perhaps I need to write that on your forehead in red ink for it sink it.
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
Re: Thick Skulls and Missed Points (none / 0) (#118)
by countzro on Thu May 23, 2002 at 01:09:48 PM EST

> That does not in any way relate to the point that the reason Marines are sent to Army schools is because the Army already has the schools. Rest assured that if Army training weren't sufficient, the Marine Corps would establish their own schools as allowed.

Actually, it does relate to your point. You make a point of saying that the Army sends its' personnel to other branches for training. I pointed out that, although the Corps has training programs which may be suitable for, say, the 10th Mountain Division, the Army, unlike other branches, prefers to keep its' MOS-critical training in-house.

>Wherever you get your information, I suggest you put it back.

I'm in a light Cav unit. I'm very familiar with my TOO and chain of command. Unless you're saying that the DoD is lying to me about who I'm supposed to be under, I suggest you don't talk about things you have no experience with.

>Perhaps, instead of citing anectodal evidence...

Perhaps, instead of spewing unfounded opinions ("All Marines are better trained that Army soldiers"), you could provide some specific points? As for your comment to IronWolf about Rangers vs. Recon training - Army Rangers and Force Recon are *both* special MOSes in their respective services. You can't enlist straight into the Rangers any more than you can enlist straight into Force Recon. Your point is confused.

>it's about being precise and not confusing Marines with Soldiers

That's funny. Webster's defines 'soldier' as "one engaged in military service; an enlisted man or woman". Perhaps the confusion we're trying to avoid here is between "rational debate" and "arrogant windbag ejaculating his vapid, clouded world-view onto an unsuspecting K5". Perhaps I need to write that on your forehead in read ink for it to sink in.

[ Parent ]
I'm Calling Bullshit (none / 0) (#124)
by thelizman on Thu May 23, 2002 at 03:56:31 PM EST

Perhaps, instead of spewing unfounded opinions ("All Marines are better trained that Army soldiers"), you could provide some specific points?
That's odd, I don't recall having ever wrote that, and looking back I don't see where I wrote it. If you have to lie to underscore your argument, you obviously don't have much to say. I don't know what you think I said but I suggest you go back and fucking read everything I wrote before throwing your two cents in, because I don't have time to make change for you.
As for your comment to IronWolf about Rangers vs. Recon training - Army Rangers and Force Recon are *both* special MOSes in their respective services.
This is the most rediculous bullshit I have ever heard. "Ranger" and "Recon" are units in their respective branches, not Military Occupational Specialties. In fact, SpecFor doesn't even have an "MOS", with the exception of the Army where the have a 98 series to delineate Soldiers from the 11 series.
You can't enlist straight into the Rangers any more than you can enlist straight into Force Recon. Your point is confused.
My audience is apparently confused, because I never said that you could "enlist" in a Special Forces unit. However, as you force the point I must point out that your information is not current: The Army does now accept people on a contract basis to enlist into Special Forces provided they pass the Q course, and provided they have a college degree.
That's funny. Webster's defines 'soldier' as "one engaged in military service; an enlisted man or woman".
I don't give flying fuck what websters says, I spent the formative years of my life in the Marine Corps community, and I can tell you that if you call a Marine "soldier" you should well expect to get a foot in your ass. The same distinction exists for Sailors and Airmen, and failure to recognize that is exemplary of your ignorance.
I'm in a light Cav unit. I'm very familiar with my TOO and chain of command.
I'm calling bullshit on all counts.
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
Re: I'm Calling Bullshit (none / 0) (#133)
by countzro on Thu May 23, 2002 at 05:48:35 PM EST

From your original post: > In the halls of warriors, there are many braggards. Only the Marine Corps can actually justify their bad-ass attitudes. Quite literally form the Halls of Montezuma to the Hindu Kush Mountain passes, the Marines are the only branch of service who continually justify their existance with results as opposed to defacto necessity.

I don't know what planet you live on, but here on Planet Reality, this is called 'braggadocio' and is generally read in any context as 'marines are better than any other service branch'. So you see I did read what you said, very carefully. If you don't have the mental faculty to recall your own course of conversation, you have no business belittling mine, and I can with some confidence say that I'm much more intelligent than you are.

>"Ranger" and "Recon" are units in their respective branches, not Military Occupational S pecialties. In fact, SpecFor doesn't even have an "MOS", with the exception of the Army where the have a 98 series to delineate Soldiers from the 11 series.

Here you have a semi-valid point. Army Ranger and Marine Force Recon are both qualifications, not MOSes, which I should have been more clear on. However, you obviously have no clue what you are talking about in a more specific sense: Army Special Forces do indeed have an MOS series, which is 18, not 98. 98 is Signal Intelligence. Neither is the SF MOS series its' own series solely to distinguish it from Infantry MOSes (11 series). The two groups have vastly dissimilar purposes, and even mentioning them in the same context is inappropriate.

>I don't give flying fuck what websters says

You apparently don't 'give flying fuck' about grammar, either. By the way, you improperly used the word 'exemplary', as well. It is generally used in reference to positive formation of patterns, or to designate an example to follow. To refute the flimsy point you attempted to make, none of the Marines I know, active, inactive, or cross-service, object to being called 'soldier'.

>I'm calling bullshit on all counts.

That's because you don't know what you are talking about. Go ahead, ask me a question only a Cav scout would know how to answer correctly. I'll answer it, and then you should hope never to see me in real life; NEVER question a scout's honor or integrity.

While we're on the subject, you claim to be in the Army; what was your enlistment date? What's a NOBE, and when do you get one? Where did you go for IET? For that matter, what does IET stand for? How about BRM, IMT, ITT, or SPORTS? Can you define any of these without looking in a book? What are the three principles of dismounted operations?

I didn't think so.

[ Parent ]
Red 5 standing by...LOL (none / 0) (#134)
by Ir0nW01f on Thu May 23, 2002 at 06:40:22 PM EST

Nice post brotha... Ill see ya on the Green when it all comes down. Juss save a drink for me... It just kills me when people try so hard to be right. They just dont get it. Scouts Out!
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[ Parent ]
Re-posted for your pleasure/ Marine, ARMY... (none / 0) (#113)
by Ir0nW01f on Thu May 23, 2002 at 12:18:58 PM EST

While I wont go down the path of who is more "Badass" I feel that Thelizman is a little bit overboard and emotional. Whats the point? I think I lost sight of it in his general ramblimg and well done research on the current status of Speacil Opperations Command structure. Im currently serving within said org. and I didnt realize the whole picture as he so creatively enlightend us with. Im sure I could of done a google search to gather that as well but I feel its not really needed. As for being a Scout, let me set the record straight... There is nothing sensational about it. We serve as a part of the machine, as do all service members. Though our missions tend to be a little more non-traditional in nature, we are deffinatly not Super Troopers. We are very quiet and sneaky, and if we never fire a shot from our personal weapons we have succeded in our missions. (not to mention lots of feild time, dirty, and Ive become an MRE chef!) I guess what Im trying to say is... Each group has its place and the structure crap and who's johnson is bigger is just plain childish. On a side note, Im glad that we have such strong interest in the topic... and I bow to all those who have served, are serving, and to those who have supported us while we have been away. Those are the real hero's. My rant is complete, thank you
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[ Parent ]
Overboard and Emotional (none / 0) (#115)
by thelizman on Thu May 23, 2002 at 12:47:48 PM EST

How is it that when I state a fact, you come back with saying that I am "overboard and emotional"? I have stated that the Marines are "more specially trained than regular Army", and this is indeed a fact. It is the nature of the Marine Corps that this is true. Maybe comparing them to delta operators could be a bit overboard, but comparing them to Airborne Rangers is right on IMHO. This has never been an argument about whose "johnson is bigger", but it's been about being precise: Marines are not Soldiers, and neither term should fail to be capitalized when referring to servicemen and women in the United States Marine Corps or the United States Army.

If you care to whittle away further at my statement regarding the specialization of Marines, I'd be more than happy to compare and contrast the training regiments of, for instance, Airborne Rangers at Ft. Bragg to Recon Marines at Camp Lejeune (which is easy enough to do since Camp Lejeune participates in Ranger training in a low key way).
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
Overboard and Emotional... (none / 0) (#121)
by Ir0nW01f on Thu May 23, 2002 at 01:56:53 PM EST

"more specially trained than regular Army", and this is indeed a fact Well I guess id like to know where you get your facts. Movies and google are not sufficient. Let me break it down for you, as you clearly dont understand and or know what the hell you are talking about. ARMY and The Marine Corp have different rolls in the Dept. of Defense. Weather one group is trained to higher level is completely irrelevant. The Marines are a mobile force used in rapid reaction situations. Hence the mobility of the complete force. I.E. all support and logistics float with them. They are a complete force when they are deployed. (Or have the capability) The ARMY on the other hand is a sustaining force. The ARMY groups are to large to move though out the world with all of the support needed to sustain the group. BUT We do have Task forces, of which I am a part of, and served on in the past. These are smaller groups comprised of all the support and logistics needed for a given period of time.
Now to wether one is "Tougher" than the other... Who really cares. But I will Play. Depending on the job roll of the individual enlisting depends on your training.
Airborne Rangers at Ft. Bragg to Recon Marines at Camp Lejeune
This is not a fair comparison. Marine Recon is one of the pinicle elite grps within the Marines. Akin to the ARMY SF. Each service has their own "Elite" forces AirForce has the Para Search and Resuce, ARMY SF, (some would grp Delta Forces, and Rangers with this) Delta Grps are different matter all together. Im sure youve read the Tom Clancy novels and know this already! Marnines have Scout Snipers and Force Recon, and the Navy have the SEALS. Each have specific rolls when deployed.
To say that one group is Better than the other is completly absurd. All Soldiers, Saliors, Marines, and Airmen have different rolls and the Toughness for each one is different.
(which is easy enough to do since Camp Lejeune participates in Ranger training in a low key way)
This Id like to hear... LOL

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[ Parent ]
Read What I Wrote Before You Reply (none / 0) (#125)
by thelizman on Thu May 23, 2002 at 03:59:27 PM EST

Let me break it down for you, as you clearly dont understand and or know what the hell you are talking about. [snip]
That is all very nice, but completely irrelevent. You continue to operate upon an assumption instead of responding to my statements. Thanks for writing the essay to justify why the Marines are an "expeditionary" force, but it is completely irrelevent to the topic at hand.
Now to wether one is "Tougher" than the other... Who really cares. But I will Play.
You'll be playing by yourself, because nobody is here to argue which are "tougher". Again, you haven't read a word of what I wrote: This much is evident in your response.
This is not a fair comparison. Marine Recon is one of the pinicle elite grps within the Marines.
Rangers aren't exactly the 10th Mountain Division either. It's hardly apples to oranges, but neither belabors the point that I originally made about Marines and the highly specialized nature of their training. You yourself have spoken to this, but like a broken fucking record you keep talking about irrelevant shit like "who is tougher" - a point never even brought up.
To say that one group is Better than the other is completly absurd.
Which is why I'm not arguing that point you dumb fucking illiterate.
(which is easy enough to do since Camp Lejeune participates in Ranger training in a low key way) This Id like to hear... LOL
During Robin Sage excercises, Airbone wannabees are routinely air-dropped over Camp Lejuene and surrounding areas of Onslow County (Holly Ridge seems to be a favorite target). They have to then escape and evade about 120 miles back to designated areas around Ft. Bragg such as Pineland. Meanwhile, Marine units coincidentally are sent into field excercises aboard Lejeune, Geiger, Johnson, and MCAS New River to flush out our little Ranger friends - getting caught is generally a bad thing. It's very low key, but you'll find a shitload of cab drivers making trips from Jacksonville, NC to Fayettville, NC for a reason. Of course, you do know about Robin Sage and all that jazz don't you, Mr. "I'm A Fucking Expert About Everything You're Not Talking About"?
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
You really dont have a clue... do you? (none / 0) (#132)
by Ir0nW01f on Thu May 23, 2002 at 05:24:33 PM EST

All right, you have issues. It is clear that you know noything of what you talk about. And here is why...

Rangers aren't exactly the 10th Mountain Division either.

You are kidding right? The 10th Mountain has several Ranger detachtments.

It's hardly apples to oranges, but neither belabors the point that I originally made about Marines and the highly specialized nature of their training. You yourself have spoken to this, but like a broken fucking record you keep talking about irrelevant shit like "who is tougher" - a point never even brought up.

Well isnt this your post? It speaks for itself.

It's a simple fact that the Marine Corps is a more specialized and highly trained Corps then regular Army.

So now that we understand you to be a complete liar. Well lets see where else he steped on himself...

(which is easy enough to do since Camp Lejeune participates in Ranger training in a low key way)

and...

During Robin Sage excercises, Airbone wannabees are routinely air-dropped over Camp Lejuene and surrounding areas of Onslow County (Holly Ridge seems to be a favorite target). They have to then escape and evade about 120 miles back to designated areas around Ft. Bragg such as Pineland. Meanwhile, Marine units coincidentally are sent into field excercises aboard Lejeune, Geiger, Johnson, and MCAS New River to flush out our little Ranger friends - getting caught is generally a bad thing. It's very low key, but you'll find a shitload of cab drivers making trips from Jacksonville, NC to Fayettville, NC for a reason. Of course, you do know about Robin Sage and all that jazz don't you, Mr. "I'm A Fucking Expert About Everything You're Not Talking

K, ready? Here we go. 1st off Ranger trainging takes place at Fort Benning, Georgia. How do I know this? Well several of my close friends went there for Ranger school.

http://www-benning.army.mil/RTB/rtbmain.htm

Now, Robin Sage is part of the Special Forces "Q" Course held at The Special Warfare Center Ft. Bragg NC, Several Hundred miles from Camp Legeune NC.

SF Qualification Course
(SFQC) (The "Q" Course)
Phase 3 Training - 38 Days
Collective Training to "Robin Sage"


http://www.training.sfahq.com/sf_qualification_course.htm

Please stop now, because its just sad. I dont belive you ever served in the ARMY... But wait... did you not just tell countzro that you were a marine? lets see...

I don't give flying fuck what websters says, I spent the formative years of my life in the Marine Corps community, and I can tell you that if you call a Marine "soldier" you should well expect to get a foot in your ass.

Ahh, so you were a marine, err ARMY... umm whatever!

and as far as that goes, I think Ill continue...

In fact, SpecFor doesn't even have an "MOS", with the exception of the Army where the have a 98 series to delineate Soldiers from the 11 series.

This is clearly wrong because SF MOS's are the 18 series. Like...
18C - SF Engineer Sergeant
18B - SF Weapons Sergeant
http://www.training.sfahq.com/weapons_school.htm

Check your information, sheesh...

However, as you force the point I must point out that your information is not current: The Army does now accept people on a contract basis to enlist into Special Forces provided they pass the Q course, and provided they have a college degree.

I belive the SF requirments are pretty straight forward...again do a little reading. There is no degree requirment, but yes, like all SF soldiers, you must pass the 'Q' course. That hasnt changed in 30 years.

Well Im done countering you. Youre a sad person. I belive you may have some valid opinions, but they are just opinions. You were never in the ARMY, because you dont have a clue as to what you are talking about. that was evident in your last post. Every REMF knows that 'Q' course is for the SF and that Ranger School is in Ft. Benning! But alas you didnt. So sorry friend I call Bullshit on you. As for the countzro...

He's in my F-in unit you dumbass!!

But all in all I will defend your right to lie, as you are and american.
......
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[ Parent ]
The Death of Reading Comprehension (none / 0) (#135)
by thelizman on Thu May 23, 2002 at 06:44:24 PM EST

All right, you have issues. It is clear that you know noything of what you talk about. And here is why...
I don't know "noything"? Thanks for making me laugh.
You are kidding right? The 10th Mountain has several Ranger detachtments.
Once again, you risk having a foot planted securely in your ass. The Rangers (and the SOF community at large) regard 10th Mountain regulars as being one step up from civilianhood. They may be detached to them, but it's more akin to how I'm stick between you and your bunk-buddy.
Well isnt this your post? It speaks for itself.

It's a simple fact that the Marine Corps is a more specialized and highly trained Corps then regular Army.
I don't think I ever wrote that, and I cannot find where I did, but as worded I still don't see where you can argue with that statement based on anything other than your ignorance. Marines ARE more specialized in their training than regular Army. Most of the regular Army I work with have admitted that with considerable disdain.
K, ready? Here we go. 1st off Ranger trainging takes place at Fort Benning, Georgia. How do I know this? Well several of my close friends went there for Ranger school.
Well WOOHOO for your "close" friends, but unfortunately not all Rangers train at Benning (Benning just happens to be the HQ of the 75th Ranger Regiment - it's likely, no probable, that you're confused). A considerable number attend the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School which is at Ft. Brag, and go through the Robin Sage excercise. Fucks sake man, Robin Sage is a HUGE undertaking, even civilians from the local area participate in it for realisms sake.
Now, Robin Sage is part of the Special Forces "Q" Course held at The Special Warfare Center Ft. Bragg NC, Several Hundred miles from Camp Legeune NC.
Put mapqest away moron, it is only about 95 miles as the crow flies to Ft. Brag (along highway 24 it's a bit further, most people take I-40 then 95 south to avoid the backroads).
Please stop now, because its just sad. I dont belive you ever served in the ARMY... But wait... did you not just tell countzro that you were a marine? lets see...
The sad thing is that you can't read worth fucks sake. I said I lived in the Marine Corps community - as I was a brat. I went to schools on Camp Lejeune, got seen by Navy Corpsman when I got sick, and saw shaved heads the norm. Whatever the fuck you're reading, it sure as hell isn't what I wrote.
I belive the SF requirments are pretty straight forward...again do a little reading. There is no degree requirment, but yes, like all SF soldiers, you must pass the 'Q' course. That hasnt changed in 30 years.
Apparently you're fond of skipping over key points of wordage, as I said these were the requirements for direct enlistment into a SpecFor MOS (which you claim isn't possible). Fucking CNN of all people did a piece on this just two weeks ago - god damned civilians know more than you show.
As for the countzro... He's in my F-in unit you dumbass!!
That explains alot, especially how you jumped in out of nowhere, and why you two were operating off the same ignorant assumptions. You two make a great couple. Personally, I'm done with this myself. Neither of you idiots have in any way countered my point about the specialized training of Marines, but instead launched into a shameful pissing contest - and still managed to show how dangerous someone can be with just a little information.
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
Re: The Death of Reading Comprehension (none / 0) (#136)
by countzro on Thu May 23, 2002 at 06:58:43 PM EST

I'm getting sick of your ignorance and arrogance, so this will be the last time I devote any effort to responding to your mindless blather.

>The Rangers (and the SOF community at large) regard 10th Mountain regulars as being one step up from civilianhood

How do you know this? Are you a Ranger? I didn't think so.

>Fucks sake man, Robin Sage is a HUGE undertaking, even civilians from the local area participate in it for realisms sake.

No civilians participate in Robin Sage, or indeed *any* Army training exercise. They can't participate: it is illegal to disclose operational procedure to civilians (or anyone without sufficient security clearance). The 'civilians' in Robin Sage exercises are soldiers who live in the mock towns and villages for the duration of the exercise. The next time you're going to blindly regurgitate something you saw on CNN, please bother to first check your facts.

>I said these were the requirements for direct enlistment into a SpecFor MOS (which you claim isn't possible)

Go down to your local Army recruiter, and as him if you can enlist into an 18-series MOS. He will tell you that you can't. The closest thing you can do is enlist into a combat MOS and get a contractual guarantee for SF Q-course within one year of your completion of MOS training. Even if you were to pass the Q-course, you would not be entitled to go through selection. All that little clause they put in your contract guarantees you is the opportunity to go try to pass the Q-course, which *anyone* in the Army can do. All you do is go to your retention NCO and say, "I want a slot in SF Q-course."

Go back to wishing you were in the Marine Corps now, and leave the rest of us alone.

[ Parent ]
Please read.... (none / 0) (#138)
by Ir0nW01f on Fri May 24, 2002 at 11:20:49 AM EST

Well in the grand spirit of America the one thing that we can agree on is that we are free to discuss these matters as pasionatly as we want. God Bless America and to all those that have served before us and are serving now. -IronWolf US Cavalry Recon Scout
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[ Parent ]
Do you promise to shut up once and for all? (none / 0) (#139)
by thelizman on Fri May 24, 2002 at 04:45:08 PM EST

I'm getting sick of your ignorance and arrogance
Touché.
No civilians participate in Robin Sage, or indeed *any* Army training exercise. They can't participate: it is illegal to disclose operational procedure to civilians (or anyone without sufficient security clearance). The 'civilians' in Robin Sage exercises are soldiers who live in the mock towns and villages for the duration of the exercise. The next time you're going to blindly regurgitate something you saw on CNN, please bother to first check your facts.
You're a moron. This is common knowledge that can be verified from a variety of sources, including the US Armys own literature. I myself have participated in being a civilian "casualty" while staying with my brother-in-law in Fayetville. There's nothing at all sensitive about the excercise. You're so full of shit your eyes have probably turned brown.
Go down to your local Army recruiter, and as him if you can enlist into an 18-series MOS.
Why would I waste my time, the recuiters are glorified salesman in uniform. They don't even know what MOS's are open at any given point. That's why all the enlistment work is done at a MEPS, where (if you take the time, because I already know the facts) you will be able to find out from a counseler that persons with a minimum of a bachelors degree and at least 21 years of age are accepted into the 18 series with the provision that they pass the Q-Course. This is no differerent than any other Army contract such as 97 series enlistee being required to pass the DLAB.

Quit dicking around. If you were really in the Army like you claim, you'd know these basic and simple facts. Moreover, you would'nt have the time to jerk off on K5, unless of course you're some little Colonels bitch and you spend all day behind a computer, in which case you're posting on this board shows an extreme derilection of duty. Maybe I'll send a quick e-mail to someone at NIPR.mil, let them back resolve the time of your posting to your terminal. The DoD sysadmins love busting shitbricks like yourself.
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
This just occured to me... (none / 0) (#80)
by Skwirl on Wed May 22, 2002 at 01:18:39 PM EST

I'm beginning to suspect that the first symptom of zealotry is an eagerness to quibble over definitions.

--
"Nothing in the world is more distasteful to a man than to take the path that leads to himself." -- Herman Hesse
[ Parent ]
Fool. (none / 0) (#100)
by DuckSauce on Wed May 22, 2002 at 04:44:09 PM EST

>More importantly, a Marine is more specially
>trained and equipped than general Army
>Soldiers, and is roughly comparable in skill to
>a Green Beret or Airbone Ranger.

You have to be to completely ignorant of Army Special Ops to say this. Do you have any idea how hard it is to become a Special Forces soldier or even a Ranger? Hell, we could bring in some of the other services, do you think you're more highly trained than a Navy SEAL? What about an Air Force Pararescue Jumper?

[ Parent ]

Foo (none / 0) (#126)
by thelizman on Thu May 23, 2002 at 04:12:16 PM EST

You have to be to completely ignorant of Army Special Ops to say this. Do you have any idea how hard it is to become a Special Forces soldier or even a Ranger?
How "hard" it is doesn't matter jack shit, the Marines are still more specially trained and equipped than general Army, and that is why they are comparable to special forces. If you see a problem with that statement, then it probably centers around your own ignorance regarding the definition of "specialized", which does not in any way infer degree of superiority.
Hell, we could bring in some of the other services, do you think you're more highly trained than a Navy SEAL? What about an Air Force Pararescue Jumper?
I never said "more highly trained", you dipshit. I also never went as far to compare them to a PJ or Seal, and I also admitted that Delta is a stretch...IN TERMS OF SPECIALIZATION.
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
Marines Are More Specially Trained And Equipped (1.00 / 1) (#127)
by thelizman on Thu May 23, 2002 at 04:12:55 PM EST

For all the ignorant morons like Ir0nW01f, Ducksauce, and countzro who don't speak english well, have very poor reading comprehension, and generally drone on about shit they have a poor understanding of (all the while claiming to have prior service experieince), be advised that "specialized" has a set meaning. I would'nt expect that any of you three idiots could properly operate a dictionary and thus save yourself the spectacle of running amok on a tangent, you really should become familiar with the definition the term "specialized". All three of you clusterfucked morons have been shreiking like a bunch of bitches that I have said Marines are "better" in some aspect than the rest, when what I said was "specialized".
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
Influence (2.00 / 3) (#47)
by inerte on Tue May 21, 2002 at 08:24:14 PM EST

  So do games influence people?

  Aren't some of these governament folks saying exactly this? And how we should ban or restrict access to violent games? Or will they make UnArmy without blood?

  More important,  who will be the enemies? Historical figures? Vietcongs? Communists? Terrorists? What is a terrorist? Someone with a beard and a bomb? That's what a game can show. Plot? Supposelly games aren't a form of speech (at least "right now").

  If a soldier plays it and records the game, or take screenshots of it, will he be able to share it? Is it release of confidential information, since it will show how the army operates, from the inside?

  What if they use formation Eagle XYZ to camp a enemy group? What if they don't?

  Normal players that put they high scores and trade information on message boards, what will we do with them? If they show an outstanding tactical performance, maybe the game is being released to find who has these kind aptitudes? (now that's paranoic ;-)

  If games are ruled to be influent, even if it's not a "law", a "rule", just a commom sense, what will happen when a kid enters a school and someone finds a copy of this game at his house? Can we sue the Army because it's teaching our children a violent behaviour?

  Or not? Are we going to allow just the Army, while none else can make these kind of games?

  I simply don't like the idea, and maybe I make to many questions ;-)

--
Bodily exercise, when compulsory, does no harm to the body; but knowledge which is acquired under compulsion obtains no hold on the mind.
Plato

Operant conditioning (2.50 / 2) (#48)
by Rainy on Tue May 21, 2002 at 09:11:27 PM EST

So you're saying, if my employer pays me to do my job, and I take the money and do the job, he's operantly conditioning me? Boy, I never thought of it like that. Oh my, that sure changes everything. How am I going to live now that you've uncovered the dark secret of operant conditioning? You've blown my mind. This is like some strange trip on amanita mushrooms combined with salvia divinorum, that friendly envelope with the check in it suddenly develops a set of teeth and leaps at me.

Stop using complicated words, you're scaring people :-).
--
Rainy "Collect all zero" Day

Conditioning (1.50 / 2) (#50)
by askani on Tue May 21, 2002 at 11:24:44 PM EST

Conditioning of humans starts before we are born. The problem with conditioning is finding out if you are conditioned to respond in a sort of way. The part that really fries your brain is, whenever you respond to something is a conditioned reflex or is it a reflex that orginates with you?

Medal of Honour (4.00 / 1) (#53)
by smallstepforman on Wed May 22, 2002 at 01:10:39 AM EST

Medal of Honour teaches the importance of operating in a group, laying supressing and covering fire, the danger of snipers etc.  A local LAN in 2 rooms (attackers / defenders) can showcase the importance of playing as a unit, so yes, I can see the benefits of using FPS for military training.

I cant wait to see soldiers attempt rocket jumps ;-)

Re: Medal of Honor (5.00 / 1) (#62)
by countzro on Wed May 22, 2002 at 11:38:44 AM EST

I still have to disagree. Conceptually, you can say that games such as MoH teach teamwork, IMT, etc. However, this breaks down when you try to apply 'lessons' learned in a computer game to real life. I have several friends who I game with online (Day of Defeat, Firearms, MoH, etc.) I have also gone paintballing with them a few times, too.

These same people who can move in a perfect turning echelon formation to assault a building in DoD completely suck at paintball. Why? Because ultimately the experience gained in playing the computer games we play is only applicable within the sphere of computer games. While intellectually these guys know how to lay a base of fire, pick an avenue of approach, and so forth, when you ask them to do it in real life they can't; their experience is based in a different domain from real life. In real life they get tired when they run, their gear is heavy and restrictive, guns make *very* loud noises, camouflage actually makes it harder to see the bad guys, and paintballs (not to mention bullets) hurt. Because they have no real life experience, when they are placed in a real life situation, they are sitting ducks, and I slaughter them accordingly :). My point is, I have a strong base of real life experience, while they have only their game experience. These guys, who regularly trounce me in online games, run around like suicidal morons in real life. There is no electronic substitute for the experience gained by throwing on an LBV and kevlar and playing with real guns. None.

Disclaimer: Just my $0.02

[ Parent ]
Training... (4.00 / 1) (#97)
by ucblockhead on Wed May 22, 2002 at 03:50:53 PM EST

You are probably right, though I'd bet that training in both FPS systems and in live training has a synergistic effect. You can't train people with live weapons in real life.
-----------------------
This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]
Re: Training... (none / 0) (#114)
by countzro on Thu May 23, 2002 at 12:22:26 PM EST

>You can't train people with live weapons in real life.

Well, you can't have wargames where your shooting live rounds at each other in a training exercise, but there are plenty of times when live ammo is flying past.

For example, the Army uses live ammunition when teaching team combat movement; you're shooting at popup targets, but you're shooting live rounds right over your buddy's head as he's moving up the course. That's when you learn if you can really trust your battle-buddy. :)

Another (and more stressful) example is the night-time infiltration course. This is where they put you in a big 100mX100m square box filled with wet sand, barbed wire, logs and pits (which have C4 charges in them that blow while you're crossing the course), and tell you to low crawl from one end to the other while they shoot live 7.62x54 machine gun rounds right over your head.

For force-on-force training, the MILES system works well (MILES is a laser-tag system which attaches laser transmitters to real weapons fitted with blank adapters. The soldiers and vehicles have sensor gear that tells them when they've been hit and killed), but paintball is still my favorite. It may only be really good for MOUT training, but paintballs hurt, so you tend to be more careful than you would be with MILES.

[ Parent ]
Operant conditioning? Hardly. (5.00 / 4) (#55)
by countzro on Wed May 22, 2002 at 02:34:37 AM EST

A quick commentary on a few points brought up the op-ed.

First, the idea that the "America's Army" and "Marine Doom" projects were exercises in operant conditioning is simply laughable. Operant conditioning is dependent upon a tangible reward system, something which a video game can *not* provide; the 'positive reinforcement' of obtaining a high score or surviving a game round is ephemeral at best.

Second, I am a U.S. Army Cavalry Scout. For those who want to doubt me, I went through IET at Fort Knox, KY, from Sep. 98 through Jan. 99. I stayed in the luxurious MG Paul A. Disney billets, fired BRM on Ditto I and Ditto II, and marched up and down misery, agony and heartbreak. My primary MOS is 19D10D3, Armored Reconaissance Specialist (Bradley Crewmember). In the years since then, I've accumulated my fair share of scars and experiences. I have one of the most dangerous jobs in the Army; I am a dismount scout in a light scout troop. Our job is forward battlefield recon. We're pretty much always outnumbered and outgunned. Speaking from my Army experience, there is *no* way that this is anything other than a FPS, albeit one with a decidedly pro-U.S. bent. Computer games cannot by any stretch of the imagination prepare a person, physically or psychologically, for the stress of actual combat.

Disclaimer: Just my $0.02

Hrrrmmm (none / 0) (#61)
by retinaburn on Wed May 22, 2002 at 11:18:09 AM EST

I think that having a soldier-to-be playing a realistic video game simulation in addition to the normal training (which in turn simulates aspects of combat) would fare better in combar versus someone with just the normal training.

If it didn't then surely we wouldn't have kids shooting up each other in the playgrounds, because everyone knows video games cause killers. ;)

I think that we are a young species that often fucks with things we don't know how to unfuck. -- Tycho


[ Parent ]
Re: Hrrrmmm (none / 0) (#63)
by countzro on Wed May 22, 2002 at 11:46:32 AM EST

>I think that having a soldier-to-be playing a realistic video game simulation in addition to the normal training (which in turn simulates aspects of combat) would fare better in combar versus someone with just the normal training.

Speaking from my personal experiences, the guys who play computer games aren't any better than the guys who don't. Even assuming for the sake of argument that this *is* so, you must admit that in that case it is simply reinforcement of earlier physical training; that is to say, the reinforcement provided by the game would only be of benefit to those with experience to reinforce (combat arms military personnel), and of no benefit (other than entertainment) to those without (the gaming public, REMFs).

Either way, the idea that these games are preparing the next generation of soldiers by convincing them that violence and the Army are fun is still laughable, at best.

[ Parent ]
Agreed but.... (none / 0) (#65)
by retinaburn on Wed May 22, 2002 at 11:58:29 AM EST

Either way, the idea that these games are preparing the next generation of soldiers by convincing them that violence and the Army are fun is still laughable, at best.

You mean its not ?? All those great war movies (Renaissance Man, Private Benjamin) lied ?

I think that we are a young species that often fucks with things we don't know how to unfuck. -- Tycho


[ Parent ]
Re: Agreed but.... (none / 0) (#68)
by countzro on Wed May 22, 2002 at 12:07:13 PM EST

>You mean its not ?? All those great war movies (Renaissance Man, Private Benjamin) lied ?

I enjoyed those movies, but certainly none of them caused me, or even reinforced my decision, to enlist. The movie that got me was 'Stripes'. ;-)

[ Parent ]
Stripes!!! (none / 0) (#69)
by Ir0nW01f on Wed May 22, 2002 at 12:09:30 PM EST

Right on, I ran across the log that John Candy racked his nuts on!!!! Yep, STRIPES got me as well!
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[ Parent ]
Re: Stripes!!! (none / 0) (#70)
by countzro on Wed May 22, 2002 at 12:12:12 PM EST

Yeah, I racked my nuts on that, too, but I think I already told you about that.

For anyone who didn't know, Stipes was filmed at Fort Knox, KY.

[ Parent ]
A guy I know in the Old Guard (none / 0) (#77)
by wiredog on Wed May 22, 2002 at 01:07:41 PM EST

Enlisted the day after he saw "Starship Troopers"...

"one masturbation reference per 13 K5ers" --Rusty
[ Parent ]
It's all about JAG (none / 0) (#81)
by nosilA on Wed May 22, 2002 at 01:33:38 PM EST

I've on occasion thought about military service after watching JAG, which is one of my favorite TV shows.  Not very seriously, and perhaps only due to  my ongoing career crisis, but still - it does glamorize the military.

I think movies and TV shows really do effect people's desires to enlist, and I wouldn't be surprised if a video game did the same.

-Alison
Vote to Abstain!
[ Parent ]

I enlisted (none / 0) (#84)
by wiredog on Wed May 22, 2002 at 01:43:58 PM EST

Because I was being expelled from GMU, and didn't want to work, again, at McDees.

Also, it was necessary for me to get out of town for a while, until the heat died down. The Army seemed like a good place to lay low.

"one masturbation reference per 13 K5ers" --Rusty
[ Parent ]

laying low... (none / 0) (#86)
by Ir0nW01f on Wed May 22, 2002 at 01:48:17 PM EST

Well if you have to lay low for awhile, theres a great ARMY Fort in Kanasas? Ft Levanworth. I here thay have a great execise program, and they are non-deyployable. Good for you.
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[ Parent ]
Laughable? (none / 0) (#74)
by Skwirl on Wed May 22, 2002 at 12:48:46 PM EST

Either way, the idea that these games are preparing the next generation of soldiers by convincing them that violence and the Army are fun is still laughable, at best.
The way I see it, either the military has once again wasted taxpayer's money on a masturbatory toy or they plan on using the game as propaganda. "Operant conditioning" is probably not the right psychological word for what's going on here. It's much more subtle. I'm sure that the military, as an institution, knows a lot more about influencing opinion than any particular individual.

Vietnam proved that you can't fight a war without popular support, and the way you fight the propaganda war on the local front (especially with an unspecified enemy) is to convince as many people as possible that war is fun, or necessary or good or whatever. Personally, I find that position morally repugnant, because war will never be anything more than a necessary evil and I'm not even sure it's all that necessary most of the time.

--
"Nothing in the world is more distasteful to a man than to take the path that leads to himself." -- Herman Hesse
[ Parent ]

Re: Laughable? (none / 0) (#76)
by countzro on Wed May 22, 2002 at 01:02:47 PM EST

>The way I see it, either the military has once again wasted taxpayer's money on a masturbatory toy or they plan on using the game as propaganda.

I agree. Nothing in any of my posts contradicts this opinion. I haven't ever said the game wasn't propaganda; it obviously is intended to some effect on public opinion, and I support that effort by the military.

>Personally, I find that position morally repugnant, because war will never be anything more than a necessary evil and I'm not even sure it's all that necessary most of the time.

I'm glad you find war repugnant. So do I, and I'm the guy who's going to fight the next one for you. However, the idea that efforts to promote public morale and popular support of the military are morally questionable is absurd. The popular support of a war is important to only one group of individuals: the soldiers fighting it. If you think that supporting the morale of a fighting force is a questionable practise, I challenge you to find me a *single* example of any conflict in which propaganda did not play an important role.

[ Parent ]
Loyalty (5.00 / 1) (#89)
by Skwirl on Wed May 22, 2002 at 02:16:39 PM EST

The popular support of a war is important to only one group of individuals: the soldiers fighting it. If you think that supporting the morale of a fighting force is a questionable practise, I challenge you to find me a *single* example of any conflict in which propaganda did not play an important role.
Propaganda will probably always play a deciding role in all political affairs. However, I'd prefer a society where important decisions are made by rational and truthful arguments, instead of by appealing to the lowest common denominator's emotions.

In my opinion, the notion that you have to support a war to support the men and women who are fighting the war is a really dangerous and widely held strawman argument.

What bothers me about modern war is that the decision-makers who choose when and where to go to war are totally removed from the consequences of fighting it. The US Commander in Chief doesn't have to be on the frontlines to give direction anymore. The majority of Europe had to be razed by the allies before Hitler felt the pressure in his bunker. The only thing leaders have to fear is the occassional assassination attempt, and that's just as likely during peacetime as war.

The only thing that leaders have to answer to is the majority of society. Without any dissent from society, leaders would be free to go to war on a whim.

Clearly, peace protesters and individual soldiers have different moral loyalties. Soldiers are, hopefully, loyal to their commanders. Peaceniks are, hopefully, loyal to the idea that all human life is sacred and that all war, or at least a particular war, does not justify taking life. In that sense, peaceniks are fighting for the soldiers' lives most of all.

Likewise, soldiers in a democracy are fighting for the protester's freedom to protest. Ironically, the people most strongly in a position to take away everyone's freedoms are the world's commanders.

A soldier might see the enemy's commander as the biggest threat. A protester probably sees their own nation's commanders as the threat.

--
"Nothing in the world is more distasteful to a man than to take the path that leads to himself." -- Herman Hesse
[ Parent ]

Re: Loyalty (none / 0) (#91)
by countzro on Wed May 22, 2002 at 02:31:20 PM EST

>Propaganda will probably always play a deciding role in all political affairs. However, I'd prefer a society where important decisions are made by rational and truthful arguments, instead of by appealing to the lowest common denominator's emotions.

Decisions are not made through an appeal to the populace's emotion. *Support for a decision* is *solicited* through such an appeal.

>In my opinion, the notion that you have to support a war to support the men and women who are fighting the war is a really dangerous and widely held strawman argument.

Of course you don't have to support the war to support the soldiers. However, in that situation, you must take into account that public demonstration against the war you don't support negatively affects the morale of the soldiers you do.

>The only thing that leaders have to answer to is the majority of society. Without any dissent from society, leaders would be free to go to war on a whim.

I disagree. The consent or dissent of the populace is by no means the only thing keeping us from constant, global war, which your statement implies. War is a consequence of many things; population growth and density, political climate, economics, etc. No sane leader would ever go to war 'on a whim'. War is only reached as a means of relieving any of a plethora of environmental pressures [before someone chimes in on my use of the word 'environment' here, look it up in a dictionary].

>Peaceniks are, hopefully, loyal to the idea that all human life is sacred

So are soldiers. The difference being that soldiers are willing to give their lives in defense of others.

>A soldier might see the enemy's commander as the biggest threat.

Actually, I see fear and misunderstanding as the biggest threat of all. Bullets come in a close second.

[ Parent ]
The cost of war (5.00 / 1) (#99)
by Skwirl on Wed May 22, 2002 at 04:07:38 PM EST

No sane leader would ever go to war 'on a whim'. War is only reached as a means of relieving any of a plethora of environmental pressures
The problem is that history is littered with blatantly insane leaders, from Caligula to Stalin. I think someone might even have to be a little tweaky to want to take on that kind of responsibility. A quick perusal of various psychobiographies shows that US presidents aren't always rational.

Problems of resource distribution, cultural conflict and overpopulation all have peaceful solutions. Take oil, for example. I don't see why weening the United States off foreign oil would be impossible, but it would be painful, costly and require great sacrifice from everyone who owns a car. The politician who implemented such change would be signing his own pink slip. It's simply easier, cheaper and less politically risky to maintain access to that resource with a military presence.

A perfectly rational, self-interested politician may make a decision that is detrimental to society if it will further his/her career. I'm assuming that this rational decision-maker is sitting down and struggling with the pro's and con's of various solutions. I hope that the threat of popular, or even minority, protest is adding dramatically to the cons column of war, because I believe violence is the worst option. As long as there are groups of people and finite resources, there will always be a pressure to go to war. The reason we don't have constant war is because war is unpopular.

Moreover, I believe that even the least successful peace protest saves lives. Scorched earth has proven to be a quick and efficient way to end a conflict. However, the constant threat of local and international outrage prevents that strategy. In fact, now we see wars that are accompanied by token attempts at humanitarian aid.

So are soldiers. The difference being that soldiers are willing to give their lives in defense of others.
That's not really fair. One of the trademarks of militant nonviolence is a willingness to give up one's life for a cause.

--
"Nothing in the world is more distasteful to a man than to take the path that leads to himself." -- Herman Hesse
[ Parent ]
Erm (5.00 / 1) (#64)
by AmberEyes on Wed May 22, 2002 at 11:48:55 AM EST

Operant condition isn't based on tangible rewards. You're thinking of rats pushing buttons for food pellets. :) Kind words and social acceptance are even rewards (and many other intangible things can be used as rewards in this as well) used in Operant Conditioning, and this is why Operant Conditioning is used in school learning environments to try and get kids to behave and learn. Any teacher can tell you that.

And if someone doesn't get a sense of satisfaction (reward) from playing computer games, then why do they play them? Because they enjoy being antisocial and wasting time? Or because the game gives something back to them, which encourages them to continue to play? That's all Operant Conditioning is, modification of behavior based on a reward.

You can argue about the degree of modification that something like Marine Doom or America's Army ultimately has over someone, and to that I respond by pointing out how Marines were fighting over who got to play the simulator next. Again, games are a great source of material to be used in Operant Conditioning, since they're fun, and fun can be used by a reward. Execpt of course if the Marines were being made to play Daikatana. Heh.

But, you can't agrue that it's not Operant Conditioning, and any psychologist will tell you that as well.

-AmberEyes


"But you [AmberEyes] have never admitted defeat your entire life, so why should you start now. It seems the only perfect human being since Jesus Christ himself is in our presence." -my Uncle Dean
[ Parent ]
Re: Erm (none / 0) (#66)
by countzro on Wed May 22, 2002 at 12:03:21 PM EST

From Univ. of Wuerzburg's online library:

We use the term "operant conditioning" to describe one type of associative learning in which there is a contingency between the response and the presentation of the reinforcer. This situation resembles most closely the classic experiments from Skinner, where he trained rats and pigeons to press a lever in order to obtain a food reward ("Skinner-Box", see figure). In such experiments, the subject is able to generate certain motor-output, (the response R, e.g. running around, cleaning, resting, pressing the lever). The experimentator choses a suited output (e.g. pressing the lever) to pair it with an unconditioned stimulus (US, e.g. a food reward). Often a discriminative stimulus (SD, e.g. a light) is present, when the R-US contingency is true. After a training period, the subject will show the conditioned response (CS, e.g. touching the trigger) even in absence of the US, if the R-US association has been memorized. Such instrumental or operant conditioning is opposed to Pavlovian or "classical conditioning", where producing a response has no effect on US presentations.

And so we see that operant conditioning is based initially on tangible positive reinforcement. I will further argue that just because computer games are entertaining, you are not being conditioned to play computer games. Were that the case, in the absence of the unconditioned stimulus (the 'satisfaction' of a good computer game), you would *still* continue to play computer games. I don't know about you, but if I don't find a game enjoyable, I don't play it.

[ Parent ]
Well.... (none / 0) (#71)
by Ir0nW01f on Wed May 22, 2002 at 12:16:30 PM EST

I see that you rely on a Google search for your information. Hmmm. A substitute for real experiences? Admit it, you really dont know what the hell you are taking about, do you? There isnt some form of X-philes mind control going on here! I mean, really... Good ole Kipp, from Springfield OR. fired 56 shots from 3 weapons, hitting less that 25%. HE played violent video games and part of his defense in court was the Violent Video Game defense. As you can see the outcome was the same. Prison! So, using your rational, with his level of experiences in DOOM he should have had a higher hit rate? Wasnt he CONDITIONED to do better? Well, thats my thoughts. There you have it.
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[ Parent ]
Nope (5.00 / 1) (#73)
by AmberEyes on Wed May 22, 2002 at 12:40:22 PM EST

From the University of Singapore, re: their use of Operant Conditioning as a tactic to modify behavior -- note the last paragraph in particular.

As for your further agrument, I again ask you to pay attention to my article, where I talk about the popularity of Diablo, a game where, quite realistically, you rapidly click your mouse, repetitively, in order to attain higher experience points to win against your opponents.

Computer games are forms of Operant Conditioning. They are designed that way by creators (again, would you play monthly fees in an online game where you spent all your time clicking, unless you were enjoying it? That enjoyment is operant conditioning -- you avoid stopping because you get rewarded), they are accepted as such by psychologists, and it's fairly evident to understand that this is how they work.

I'm not saying that the U.S. Military is reduced to drooling killers by these games, and anyone who says the same is probably insane. I'm saying that they serve to desensitize civilians by making them more acceptable, and in the case of Marine Doom, I'd hazard to say that they do have an effect on the Marines in question. Again, as I've said elsewhere on this thread, the degree of it is what is in question.

-AmberEyes


"But you [AmberEyes] have never admitted defeat your entire life, so why should you start now. It seems the only perfect human being since Jesus Christ himself is in our presence." -my Uncle Dean
[ Parent ]
Re: Nope (none / 0) (#75)
by countzro on Wed May 22, 2002 at 12:55:18 PM EST

::sigh:: Any environmental stimulus which elicits a physical or cognitive response could be classified as operant conditioning. That does not make it so. If I trip and fall, according to B.F. Skinner, the pain I feel when my head bounces off the ground is negative reinforcement, and therefore likely to condition me not to trip again. Here we see the logical fallacy of Skinner's theory: not all stimulus is conditioning. The attempt to apply the rules of operant conditioning the EverQuest which you link to is flawed. EQ does not fit any of the four schedules of consequences put forth by Skinner in his theory, and fails to consistently reinforce. More appropriate would be an analysis of EverQuest with regards to the psychology of addiction.

I don't believe you ever said that the military is reduced to drooling killers, or even anything to that effect. I do believe you are overestimating the applicability of operant conditioning, and the desensitizing effect of violent computer games.

[ Parent ]
positive/negative refers to the stimulus (none / 0) (#140)
by FlipFlop on Mon Jun 24, 2002 at 08:41:51 PM EST

If I trip and fall, according to B.F. Skinner, the pain I feel when my head bounces off the ground is negative reinforcement, and therefore likely to condition me not to trip again.

Actually, Skinner would call that positive punishment. The words 'reinforcement' and 'punishment' refer to the effect on behavior. 'Positive' and 'negative' refer to the stimulus.

Reinforcement makes a certain behavior more likely. Punishment makes a behavior less likely. Positive refers to the applying of a stimulus. Negative refers to the removal of a stimulus. So the four possibilities are:

  • Positive reinforcement - granting a reward to make a behavior more likely. Paying an employee (applying stimulus) for working (increased behavior) is positive reinforcement.
  • Negative reinforcement - taking away a punishment to make a behavior more likely. If your spouse yells at you until (removal of stimulus) you take out the garbage (increased behavior), the yelling is negative reinforcement.
  • Positive punishment - applying a punishment to decrease a behavior. If your spouse punches you (applying a stimulus) every time you yell at the kids (decrease behavior), the punching is positive punishment.
  • Negative punishment - removing a reward in order to decrease a behavior. If your boss reduces your paycheck until (removal of stimulus) you stop passing gas in meetings (decrease behavior), the reduced paycheck is negative punishment.

So, as you can see, applying a stimulus (pain going through your head) to reduce a behavior (tripping) is positive punishment.

AdTI - The think tank that didn't
[ Parent ]

Operant Conditioning - Check your sources please (3.00 / 1) (#67)
by Ir0nW01f on Wed May 22, 2002 at 12:06:23 PM EST

"Little is known about the basic functional organization of operant conditioning despite its popularity among the students of Cognitive Psychology." http://www.biozentrum.uni-wuerzburg.de/genetics/behavior/learning/opactiv.html The ARMY is not in the bizz of creating "Mindless button pushers". We are to small of an army for that now-a-days. Suggesting that we were / are "conditioned", or will be "conditioned' by video games is absolutely absurd. I guess it just goes to show you that the critics have never served themselves and it easy to bash something you know nothing about. -Me (19Detla, Recon Scout, USARMY Cav)
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[ Parent ]
Training (none / 0) (#78)
by mmealman on Wed May 22, 2002 at 01:10:11 PM EST

"Computer games cannot by any stretch of the imagination prepare a person, physically or psychologically, for the stress of actual combat."

I'd disagree to an extent. I fail to see how a computer game can't be used as a training tool. All training is to some extent a "game", using mock weapons on a mock battlefield.

Let's take a game like Counterstrike. Why couldn't that game be used to train team structures? Take your fire teams, put them in a Counterstrike squad and have them compete against other teams. I guarantee you that the ones that use tactics and team communication will beat the ones that don't.

[ Parent ]
Re: Training (none / 0) (#79)
by countzro on Wed May 22, 2002 at 01:14:56 PM EST

Please read the rest of this thread.

I am also beginning to realize that the people who think that these computer games have real training value are people who have never served in the armed forces (in a combat role).

[ Parent ]
Video training... (5.00 / 1) (#83)
by Ir0nW01f on Wed May 22, 2002 at 01:41:36 PM EST

Video training is a tool used by the millitary for familluarization. Example: Fort Knox has several multi million dollar 'trainers' that are used to teach the mechanics of fire control, target aqusition, and the like. They are complete hull mock ups of an actual tank, and Bradly fighting vehicle. These are EXTREMLY usefull. Think of the cost AND dangers of sending in untrained privates into a real tank with live ammo on a firing range. They use the simulators to "get the feel" before going to the live ranges. It has been a proven measure in reducing accidents and lives. My point is that these simulators are not used to "Desensitize" the troops, or make them "Blood thirsty". Strictly to prepare them for running a live tank.
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[ Parent ]
There are different types of training (none / 0) (#82)
by Sir Rastus Bear on Wed May 22, 2002 at 01:39:41 PM EST

Simulations are great for training people on equipment. If we train a bunch of 19-year-olds at the seat of a radar console, it doesn't matter if the signals they see on the screen are real or simulated. They can still learn what all the buttons do and how to interpret the symbology. This is way different from the sort of physical training that is being referred to here.

As the weapons systems become more high-tech, computer simulation and games become more relevant.

I think a good question to ask is whether pro athletes use sports games to improve their performance, and (I think) the answer is "no". Brett Favre may play Madden football, but it's not part of his training schedule.

If game-playing brought any sort of measurable improvement in physical performance, pro athletes would be all over it.


"It's the dog's fault, but she irrationally yells at me that I shouldn't use the wood chipper when I'm drunk."
[ Parent ]

Training.... (none / 0) (#85)
by Ir0nW01f on Wed May 22, 2002 at 01:45:16 PM EST

Ah, well said. <clap! clap! clap!>
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[ Parent ]
Yeah but (5.00 / 1) (#87)
by mmealman on Wed May 22, 2002 at 02:03:47 PM EST

We're not talking about physical training and pro athletes. This is the sort of cheap tool that could be used in addition to regular training to help new recruits grasp basic team concepts.

No way can a computer game replace running around a yard with a ton of gear strapped to your back. But can it help teach some dumber than drek new kid that working as a team = winning?

[ Parent ]
Team training... (5.00 / 1) (#88)
by Ir0nW01f on Wed May 22, 2002 at 02:16:33 PM EST

Well I see your point, but in the grand scheme of things, there is no real replacement for actually putting 5 guys together and forcing interaction to solve a problem. Try this. If your a gamer and play Counter Strike you could get together on a Sat. afternoon and try to play out the tactics you use in the game. Then through in the sounds... Explosions from grenades, hurt individuals, and bullets bouncing off of the walls. I know from first hand experience that when bullets are bouncing around in close proxeimity, people just dont get up and "Bunny hop" out of being pinned down! CS can give us an animated distorted view. But ultimatly its a game, and the players know what risks are acceptable. Dieing has no real meaning in a game. In real life, however, dead is dead. A game will not be effective training tool, it may just train bad habits and risks, therfore a liability and a waste of training time and money. I will, however, go as far to say that games like CS, and the others are very popular amoung the Services with the soldiers, seamen, and airmen. Why? because we get to live a fantasy that we are familluar with, without the final outcome. Death. (I actually thought this one out and didnt blast back with emotion!I must be Conditioned!) he he
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[ Parent ]
True (none / 0) (#95)
by mmealman on Wed May 22, 2002 at 03:06:04 PM EST

I guess I'm just curious if tools like this can be used if they're developed correctly.

For example, in a game like Counterstrike with larger groups it's generally much more effective to have some people hold back in reserve(who move out to support the area where the most fighting is) than to send everyone out at once. Maybe that's sort of a "duh" to someone with real combat experience, but it isn't when you're just learning. Or maybe it doesn't translate into the real world at all.

Or something else I've learned in these games, is that knowing your terrain is key. If I really know my terrain well, I can guess where the enemy will be and where best to attack from. Also, if I know where best to attack from, I know where to look for attacks when I'm approaching. Something else I've learned is if I can make an enemy anticipate my moves(feint), I can use that against them by attacking them from another direction that they aren't prepared for.

Obviously those skills may mean nothing in a real battle and you can't condition what someone will do or won't do when a bullet is coming at them with a video game. But I wonder if there are basic tactics and strategies real skilled soldiers have learned through experience that help them survive and can some of those concepts be worked into a video game that soliders would play on their spare time for fun?

[ Parent ]
True... (none / 0) (#96)
by Ir0nW01f on Wed May 22, 2002 at 03:35:09 PM EST

Well stated. You are right in all of your examples. But these tactics are trained first hand in real enviornments to teach the soldier the "Feel" the "Smell" and other senses of a combat situation. The examples of knowing terrain, anticipating moves, and movement to contact are pieces of the puzzle that MUST be understood and to be kept in check during combat opperations. Confussion is the biggest enemy. A game such as CS is one of the best examples of this that I have played. When the other side is confussed or dissorientated the side that has "Control" ussually wins. This is true in real life. The Rangers in Somallia had superior fire power, air support, and logistical backing, but they were almost defeated by an untrained millitant crowd. How did this happen? Confusion and dissorientation. Unclear targets and objectives. Not to mention they moved into a situation where they didnt "Know the terrain". These factors led them to be whittled down and beaten up pretty bad. Games like Op Flashpoint, CS give us a small glimpse into the tactics that can win a battle, but ultimatly the "Senses" of a soldier must be tested. Soldiers need to respect the "Bullet" and know that they cannot take several hits from automatic fire and survive to win the "Game" with 1 health point left!!! he he We only have 1 health point to begin with!
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[ Parent ]
I think the analogy works (none / 0) (#93)
by Sir Rastus Bear on Wed May 22, 2002 at 02:44:27 PM EST

Both pro sports and combat are primarily physical activities and physical activity is learned by doing.

Teamwork is important, and some aspects of it can certainly be taught by having everyone playing a warfare sim, but it's probably easier and cheaper to teach it by having the guys go run around outside. I would guess that almost any sort of teamwork activity you want a bunch of guys to do, whether it's to storm a building or pass the football downfield, can be pretty well communicated on a whiteboard.

On the other hand, to train a navy battle group in a coordinated exercise is complicated and costly. The savings you can get by simulating that is huge.


"It's the dog's fault, but she irrationally yells at me that I shouldn't use the wood chipper when I'm drunk."
[ Parent ]

Simulations are good for more than just equipment (5.00 / 1) (#103)
by Otto Surly on Wed May 22, 2002 at 05:06:25 PM EST

<disclosure>I work for the company discussed below.</disclosure>

Consider Boston Dynamics, a company that writes (among other things) mission planning and training software. Our simulations will not teach you how to aim a rifle or give you the physical endurance needed to crawl on your belly over rough terrain for a great distance, but they will help you practice figuring out where to aim your rifle, whether to shoot that guy over there, how to coordinate your actions with your fellow soldiers, and so on. These are essential skills, and we have a thriving ten-year-old business because the Army, Navy, various law enforcement agencies, and so on believe that our tools are useful in training their personnel.

Boston Dynamics is the company I happen to know best, but we are not alone.

It's unfortunate that you chose to make such an assertion without looking at existing, well-known simulation tools. Please take more care in the future.



[ Parent ]
So ... (none / 0) (#117)
by Sir Rastus Bear on Thu May 23, 2002 at 12:57:46 PM EST

... you're saying that the "America's Army" game is a viable training tool, on a par with your company's products? ;) According to the article, the military is not using this game as a training tool. It's a game that they're releasing as part of their public relations efforts. The issue under discussion is whether that game provides any significant training benefit. My opinion is that playing this game won't make you a better soldier anymore than playing NBA Live on the Playstation will make you a better basketball player. Lord knows I've tried.

If the point you're trying to make is that specialized M&S systems can augment real-world training for specific tasks, I don't have a problem with that statement.

You are correct that simulations are used for more than just equipment, although from my experience in the field of military M&S, equipment-based training is an effective, low-cost solution. Tactical systems generally require a significant amount of training to operate, and they can typically be modeled with a high degree of fidelity. Note that I'm not saying that equipment-oriented training is the only application of M&S, or that dymanic human simulation isn't relevant.

What I am saying that the "America's Army" game is not relevant as a military training tool.

I browsed your company's website and it looks pretty cool. I'll look for it at the next I/ITSEC.

As for your last sentence ... I only accept such advice from those who have earned my respect.


"It's the dog's fault, but she irrationally yells at me that I shouldn't use the wood chipper when I'm drunk."
[ Parent ]

"Oh, OK." (none / 0) (#130)
by Otto Surly on Thu May 23, 2002 at 04:46:41 PM EST

I read the comment to which I replied as a fairly bald-faced assertion that computer-based simulation was not yet useful for training other than in the limited context of simulating specific equipment. That assertion is what I was responding to so vehemently, but it seems that I misread you. I apologize.

Regarding the actual utility of "America's Army", I'm a bit more optimistic than you are. It seems to me that there is an important general skill that you could build in this or any other well-executed real-time game, and that would be useful on the battlefield or elsewhere: quickly evaluating a scene from your opponents' perspective (to anticipate their actions) and from your own (to choose your own actions)—in other words, good general tactical skills. In addition, it would likely hone more specific skills to do with the actual simulated environments, as a more sophisticated analogy to those playing cards with silhouettes of enemy planes on them: training your eyes to look for this or that shape, such and such a movement pattern, and so on.



[ Parent ]
Your statement is "simply laughable" (5.00 / 1) (#90)
by 5150 on Wed May 22, 2002 at 02:24:28 PM EST

My background - 5 years active duty enlisted Marine, undergraduate degree in Psychology, currently completing (coursework done, just waiting on paperwork) a degree in Instructional Design, and currently am on a project related to developing web-based instruction for a military organization.

Operant conditioning and its Application to learning

Games such as "Marine Doom" and "America's Army" do utilize operant conditioning. Whether the Marine, soldier, or civilian is avoiding mess duty (negative reinforcement), or {heaven forbid} actually enjoys some aspect of the game (positive reinforcement) they will continue to play, and probably want to play more, the game itself. Your statement that, "Operant conditioning is dependent upon a tangible reward" is as you put it, "simply laughable" and demonstrates your complete ignorance of the subject.

Military Games

While enlisted in the Marine Corps I participated in both military reading and gaming groups. (These groups were not compulsory, although as Marines we were supposed to read books from the Commandant's Reading List) Both types of organizations often focused on strategies and tactics of warfare. While neither type of education provided everything needed to win a war, they did provide valuable insight, practice, thought, and, yes, camaraderie. Games are part of military history and tradition, these particular games provide a new perspective via a different technology.

Simulation

The military has recognized the benefits of simulation within training and education, as evidenced by the Army's Simulation, Training, and Instrumentation Command (STRICOM), the Navy's Modeling and Simulation Management Office, and the Air Force Agency for Modeling and Simulation, the Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference, as well as many other organizations and conferences.

Training of Psychomotor Skills

Robert Gagne developed a hierarchy of learning. The skills that these two games may provide training for are the psycho- aspects of psychomotor learning. Obviously, the majority (if not all) of motor skills needed on the battlefield or other combat area are absent in these games, but if properly used many of the psycho- skills can be furthered through the use of such games. Will these games replace field exercises? I would be among the first to say, hell no! But, there is a place for such tools in the field of training, and the potential exists for valuable skills to be learned by playing such games. While these games, as you state, "cannot by any stretch of the imagination prepare a person, physically or psychologically, for the stress of actual combat", they can provide a forum to learn - prior to ever reaching actual combat - that will help prevent unneeded stress while in combat.

[ Parent ]

Re: Your statement is "simply laughable" (4.00 / 1) (#92)
by countzro on Wed May 22, 2002 at 02:41:56 PM EST

Please read Skinner in full before commenting on the applicability of operant conditioning. Had you done so, you would realize that in situations where operant conditioning is feasible, tangible reinforcement is the *only* effective initial conditioning stimulus. And so, I find that your arrogant tone and lack of full research, not to mention your touting of an undergraduate degree, are "simply laughable".

Please also read the entire thread before posting a reply. I never said games or simulation have no training benefit. I said they have little to no benefit in developing skills related to actual combat. Skills which are largely technical, such as the Army's armor simulators, Naval submarine simulators, radar simulations, Air Force flight simulators, etc. are greatly reinforced by this type of training. But they are technical skills, and not the training you need to survive in combat, which was my point.

[ Parent ]
Re: Your statement is "simply laughable" (none / 0) (#102)
by 5150 on Wed May 22, 2002 at 05:00:40 PM EST

"Reinforcers always strengthen behavior; that is what "reinforced" means." - Skinner, A Brief Survey of Operant Behavior (quote from the 9th paragraph)

You state that "tangible reinforcement is the *only* effective initial conditioning stimulus", but nowhere do I mention initial conditioning stimulus. While there certainly can be tangible, initial reinforcement in games, such as a change in pulse and pupil dilation, there can also be secondary reinforcement such as praise from peers. The important aspect is that there is a measurable increase in the desired behavior.

Furthermore, there are a lot of combat skills a soldier needs that can, to some degree, be taught and/or practiced through computer-based materials.

[ Parent ]

combat skills? (none / 0) (#105)
by Ir0nW01f on Wed May 22, 2002 at 06:46:35 PM EST

"Furthermore, there are a lot of combat skills a soldier needs that can, to some degree, be taught and/or practiced through computer-based materials." I guess that begs the question... How would you know? Are / were you a soldier? Just checkin
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[ Parent ]
Marine (none / 0) (#107)
by 5150 on Thu May 23, 2002 at 09:04:44 AM EST

While my MOS is nothing as sensational as Cavalry Scout, I was an active duty Marine for 5 years. (as I previously mentioned in my first posting of this string) As such I was a basically trained Marine and was required to maintain combat readiness through very regular training. While I don't approve of his grammar and spelling, nor do not claim to be "roughly comparable in skill to a Green Beret or Airborne Ranger" thelizman has a nice string about the fact that Marines are NOT ARMY! as well as The Few, The Proud, The Jarheads.

[ Parent ]
Marine / ARMY, yada, yada, yada! (none / 0) (#110)
by Ir0nW01f on Thu May 23, 2002 at 11:39:07 AM EST

While I wont go down the path of who is more "Badass" I feel that Thelizman is a little bit overboard and emotional. Whats the point? I think I lost sight of it in his general ramblimg and well done research on the current status of Speacil Opperations Command structure. Im currently serving within said org. and I didnt realize the whole picture as he so creatively enlightend us with. Im sure I could of done a google search to gather that as well but I feel its not really needed. As for being a Scout, let me set the record straight... There is nothing sensational about it. We serve as a part of the machine, as do all service members. Though our missions tend to be a little more non-traditional in nature, we are deffinatly not Super Troopers. We are very quiet and sneaky, and if we never fire a shot from our personal weapons we have succeded in our missions. (not to mention lots of feild time, dirty, and Ive become an MRE chef!) I guess what Im trying to say is... Each group has its place and the structure crap and who's johnson is bigger is just plain childish. On a side note, Im glad that we have such strong interest in the topic... and I bow to all those who have served, are serving, and to those who have supported us while we have been away. Those are the real hero's. My rant is complete, thank you
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[ Parent ]
just Pride (none / 0) (#119)
by 5150 on Thu May 23, 2002 at 01:26:45 PM EST

There is just something about being a Marine or former Marine (alias: Corps-Vet) that inspires a pride that just isn't as apparent from members of other branches. I have relatives that have served in the other branches (Dad - AF; one grandfather - navy; other grandfather - army; great uncle - army, kia; uncle - army) and there are many elements of camaraderie between them and those they served with, but (with the exception of my uncle in the army, who served in Vietnam) they just don't seem to have the pride that most Marines have. Possibly because the Marines have such amorphous roles in the grand scheme of the armed forces, possibly because we seem to be expected to do more with less.

As for your mission being successful if you never have to fire a shot, I would say that in a sense, that is true for the entire military. I much prefer funding, training, and supplying a military that is prepared for war, than I do funding, training, and supplying a military that is at war.

My personal slant is that all citizens should have to serve in some capacity. We have a lot of rights and freedoms in this country, and to a large degree, we have them because of the men and women that defend and protect us daily. Most people I have met, that have not served, have no idea what its like to live day in and day out prepared for combat. I think many civilians would be much more appreciative and supportive of the military had they experienced it. I also think that they would value their freedoms and take their responsibilities more seriously if they had served.

That said, for the most part I'm glad I'm not in anymore, and I am very grateful for everyone who is, has, or will be protecting and defending our rights and freedoms, whether they are in the field eating dirt & MREs, flying patrols to ensure no-fly zones are not entered, or in a stifling hot engine room keeping the ship in shape.

[ Parent ]

Re: just Pride (none / 0) (#120)
by countzro on Thu May 23, 2002 at 01:44:08 PM EST

>My personal slant is that all citizens should have to serve in some capacity. We have a lot of rights and freedoms in this country, and to a large degree, we have them because of the men and women that defend and protect us daily. Most people I have met, that have not served, have no idea what its like to live day in and day out prepared for combat. I think many civilians would be much more appreciative and supportive of the military had they experienced it. I also think that they would value their freedoms and take their responsibilities more seriously if they had served.

I whole-heartedly agree. In many ways, I think the ideas of government presented in Heinlein's Starship Troopers, which support this theme, would lead to a much better quality of government for us all.

>That said, for the most part I'm glad I'm not in anymore, and I am very grateful for everyone who is, has, or will be protecting and defending our rights and freedoms, whether they are in the field eating dirt & MREs, flying patrols to ensure no-fly zones are not entered, or in a stifling hot engine room keeping the ship in shape.

Amen. Now, if we could just get the people who have never served to feel this way, too...

[ Parent ]
Just Pride... (none / 0) (#122)
by Ir0nW01f on Thu May 23, 2002 at 01:59:44 PM EST

Well said.
I do agree, the Marines have an great amout of respect and Pride.We have that , in a way, within the Cavalry Forces in the ARMY.
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[ Parent ]
More info on America's Army released (5.00 / 2) (#94)
by AmberEyes on Wed May 22, 2002 at 02:59:34 PM EST

An interview has been done with Michael Capps, the executive producer of American Army.

Some choice quotes:

HomeLAN - How did the idea of the Army Operations game come about?

Michael Capps - It started as a twinkle in the eye of LTC Casey Wardynski, to take the Army where the kids are -- online, playing computer games.



HomeLAN - What other gameplay aspects do you consider to be important?

Michael Capps - The Army didn't want to put out a game where people get to play terrorists, but at the same time, we all know that the best multiplayer gameplay comes from human-against-human matches. So what we've done is crafted a game in which you're always the US force, and the OPFOR always looks like an enemy force -- no matter which side you're on.



HomeLAN - You stated that the game will be made available for free. This is a rather unprecedented move. Why was the decision made to give the game away?

Michael Capps - The game was created in order to let the broadest range of people see what the Army is really like -- to virtually play soldier, if you will. By making the game free, we are getting the game to as many people as possible. It's a darned fun game, and we want everyone to take part in the fun, and to learn something about the Army.



HomeLAN - Finally, is there anything else you wish to say about Army Operations?

Michael Capps - We believe that this is the world's most advanced military game, and that it accurately reflects the world's most advanced military.

The goal of this project is simply to show people what the Army is really like, and that's why it's free. You've got to admit, the Army has to be pretty cool to even try this. Come see for your self.



Want to see how the game looks for yourself? Check out these 19 screenshots from Adrenaline Vault.

-AmberEyes


"But you [AmberEyes] have never admitted defeat your entire life, so why should you start now. It seems the only perfect human being since Jesus Christ himself is in our presence." -my Uncle Dean
OK, so it's propoganda (none / 0) (#98)
by Eater on Wed May 22, 2002 at 04:02:26 PM EST

It's free - why else would they do it, but for propoganda/recruitment purposes? It's militarism at its best (or worst), although I really don't care quite so much. If they sold it, I wouldn't buy it, since it would mean supporting their cause, but since they (the Army) decided to use their taxpayer money to release the game for free, I don't really mind myself, if it's a good game. And I doubt it will have any more effect on public opinion of the armed forces than Counter Strike or Global Operation, or any other game of that sort. Eater.

[ Parent ]
America's Army website (none / 0) (#104)
by timbong on Wed May 22, 2002 at 05:36:14 PM EST

There is a website for the game at americasarmy.com. It has a bunch of screenshots and you can sign up to get it in the mail for free.

Yeah, and get recruited... (none / 0) (#108)
by Iesu II on Thu May 23, 2002 at 10:54:32 AM EST

My little brother got a card in the mail a couple years ago claiming if you filled out the card (name, address, phone, demographics) and dropped it in the mail, you'd get a free solid bronze U.S. Marines medallion or some such little bangle. The catch: you had to be 18. So he filled it out in MY NAME. It was my senior year of high school. Starting a couple of weeks later, the local marine recruiter called every single week 'till I left for college asking to talk to me. I talked to him a few times; he was totally rabid. I kept telling him I wanted to go to college and had no intention of serving in the armed forces, and he'd respond with things like, "Oh, that's stupid, boy," and then rant for 20 minutes about how the marines are a better education than blah blah blah... Despite repeated requests by me and my parents to stop calling, he didn't give up until he was told that I was at college.



[ Parent ]
Oh yeah - he never did get the medal. [nt] (none / 0) (#109)
by Iesu II on Thu May 23, 2002 at 10:55:23 AM EST



[ Parent ]
Recruiting is a lousy job (none / 0) (#111)
by jolly st nick on Thu May 23, 2002 at 12:07:54 PM EST

There was an article in my local paper about some Marine recruiters. Most of them hated doing this job, but it is vital to the Corps. All officers are required to spend at least part of their career doing this difficult and thankless job if they want to advance.

The problem isn't raw numbers. The marine recruiters interviewed didn't have too much trouble finding the number of recruits they needed. It was that they were also required to meet a certain quota of highly intelligent young men who could be trained to do the more complex technical jobs. The kind of young men who could go to college and have a bright career ahead of them. Naturally, any kid who was thinking of college then law school or an engineering career might be reluctant to consider a dangerous and not very lucrative career as a marine. The recruiters positively courted any college material kid who showed even polite interest in the service.

[ Parent ]

Operant Conditioning: The Horror! (none / 0) (#141)
by Kasreyn on Mon Jul 01, 2002 at 01:17:13 PM EST

Did you know that if you pet a kitten repeatedly, it will reward you with a purr, causing you to pet the kitten for EVEN LONGER than a person who didn't like kittens would?!

SHOCKING!!

Everything in social interaction and learning works the way. Putting multisyllabic labels on it to scare the gullible reeks of attention-getting ploy to me.


-Kasreyn
"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
The real conspiricy theory.... (none / 0) (#142)
by steveftoth on Mon Jul 01, 2002 at 02:28:36 PM EST

Ok, so I found this through an MLP story that's up right now and wasn't a member of K5 when this article came out originally. After reading all these opinions on the topic, I think that everyone is missing the REAL POINT of this game.

As it has been pointed out, this game will not do a very good job of training people to be in the military. It won't be able to condition people to cope with the real stresses of WAR. Why, because you can't shut a war off. You can't just leave the battlefield when dinner is ready.

I think that the real reason for this video game is much more insidious then that. It has two main purposes:

1. Help foster an enviroment in our own country that is pro-military.

2. Desensitize people to the attrocities that take place in war.

Today, unlike any other age, we have the ability to see everything that is going on in all over the globe. Thanks to CNN, Fox news, ABC, etc... the coverage of any 'war' is going to be able to show people what it is like to be in battle without even being there. The more exposure that people have to this kind of enviroment, of seeing virtual people getting killed, the less likley they will be to protest it when it happens in 'real life'.

America's Army: The Game | 142 comments (119 topical, 23 editorial, 0 hidden)
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