Sunday, June 17, 2007

i would be a happier American IF...

Dear Civilians,

I am going to go on a small rant to introduce to you a computer game developed by the US Army as a (no kidding) recruitment tool. This is one of the craziest things I've ever heard of. The point of the game is to be a part of an team of US soldiers fighting groups of terrorists. All the weapons are as realistic as possible, and the graphics are state of the art. The game is online with people from anywhere and is mission-based, meaning it's not a deathmatch style game, but a goal-style game. You have to recapture the enemy's territory and eliminate all the players on the other side, & c. It's also free.

Here's the kicker: each side thinks that it is the US army and that the other side is the terrorist group. The game changes the "skin" of the player entities on the opposing team so that everyone playing the game thinks that they are on the Army's side... the "good guys," of course.

There's a wealth of information in the wikipedia article about the game (especially under the "controversy" sections and in the cited sources). I have a hard time with propaganda devices like this one for something like the US MILITARY. You've all seen the "Army of One" ads on TV. The government in this country is trying to popularize war and militarism through entertainment. War is not entertainment. Perhaps that deserves it's own line.


I feel like we shouldn't have to learn this lesson. I feel like it really ought to be obvious. I would be a happier American if this game did not exist. I would sleep better at night knowing that a simulated environment where everyone thinks that the Other is a Terrorist was not something that our Government wanted to give out for free to every kid in the country. Just how sick and barbaric are we?

Sad and scared,


Blogger Heather said...

Amen! It's a frightening world we live in, and just when I think it can't get any scarier ... it does.

Your parents came from a generation when we believed we could promote peace by not allowing our children to play with guns. That didn't work. Now the pendulum has swung to the other extreme. I don't think an overdose of war games is the answer, either.

Gosh, do you think we need to TALK to our children about local and world politics and events, help them UNDERSTAND the differences in cultures, religions, and belief systems that make up the human race, and set an EXAMPLE with our own lives?

I do.

7:43 AM  

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