Foreign Policy Blogs

Army Recruiters: Now in your XBox!

An Army of One Xbox

An Army of One Xbox

We talk a lot about cyberwar – trying to affect real-world outcomes with electronic attacks. Here’s the opposite: America’s Army, a videogame developed by the military over the past few years to serve as a recruiting and training tool, where you use computers to virtually make things go boom.

Great writeup in Foreign Policy. Also referenced on NPR.

[I]ts getting harder to figure out where the games end and the war begins. In Talon the game and the real-life version, soldiers are watching the action through a screen and even holding the very same physical controllers in their hands. And these controllers are modeled after the video-game controllers that the kids grew up with. This makes the transition from training to actual use nearly seamless.

Drone airplanes are just the easiest cost-benefit beginning to this form of disconnected battle. Considering that the biggest collective mental barrier to warfare is the death of American men and women (because, y’know, the military budget comes from magical Candy Mountain and doesn’t actually need to be paid for) will this lower the barrier to conflict?

It certainly has made our invasion of Pakistan easier.

On a similar note, I personally learned everything I need to know to be a general while training with gigantic killer chickens.

Hat tip: The Boss, Robert Nolan.