Not Surprising.

They hired game designers to improve the weapons platform.

Wonder when the Army will realize they need community managers?



  1. mystery said,

    July 22, 2008 at 4:11 pm

    At times like these, I’m reminded of the wisdom of the Simpsons:

    “The wars of the future will not be fought on the battlefield or at sea. They will be fought in space, or possibly on top of a very tall mountain. In either case, most of the actual fighting will be done by small robots. And as you go forth today remember always your duty is clear: To build and maintain those robots. Thank you.”

  2. sdfjkl said,

    July 22, 2008 at 8:44 pm

    Heh, they even use gamer hardware – that’s a HOTAS Cougar in that video (see,458.html).

    Next up: Game versions of military software to bolster their budgets.

  3. Calaruis said,

    July 23, 2008 at 1:58 am

    I’m just wondering when they will realize the error of their ways when it’s the 36th test of the same system, and the lead designer says, “Now behold the power of this fully armed and operational battlestation…”

  4. July 23, 2008 at 2:49 am

    You cast Hellfire Missle at the Al-Qaeda Vehicle.
    The Al-Qaeda Vehicle attempts to Dodge…
    Your Hellfire Missle hits the Al-Qaeda Vehicle for 1200 damage! (128 absorbed)
    Al-Queda Terrorist Killed !
    You gain 232 experience points.
    Al-Queda Suicide Bomber Killed !
    You gain 312 experience points.
    Small Goat killed !
    You gain 2 experience points.
    You have gained a new level ! (Major)
    BomboX> “Ding!”
    Legolassy>”woo woo! Grats, man!”

  5. Squash Monster said,

    July 23, 2008 at 2:59 am

    Good community management is the last thing the army needs. If somebody was out there making sure the world community got along without any huge problems, the army would be out of a job.

  6. =j said,

    July 23, 2008 at 4:34 am

    The enemy’s gate is down.

  7. VPellen said,

    July 23, 2008 at 5:48 am

    I honestly find this more than a little disturbing. I’m all for saving lives on the battlefield, I really am, but I don’t know if I want to see killing made PSYCHOLOGICALLY easier.

  8. Rickard said,

    July 23, 2008 at 5:29 pm

    Sounds like Enders Game is closer than we think!

  9. July 23, 2008 at 7:50 pm

    I expect everyone is going to approach this idea with the attitude of “Let’s not make killing less traumatic”.

    But, if you think about it… the guys ordering the killing are sitting in Washington D.C., Command Tents, or Command Humvees.

    So why are we upset that the soldier that is actually DOING the killing is now only going to suffer the same stress as the officer ORDERING the killing?

    The enemy is going to get killed either way. I think it’s GOOD that the soldier will suffer less psycological stress for following someone else’s orders.

  10. July 23, 2008 at 8:06 pm

    Dev Note: The Iraqi Confrontation will be taken offline at 8am EST while we apply patch 2.4. We hope to have the War back online by 2pm EST.

    – Hellfire Missles will now apply the correct damage type.
    – Small Goats will now longer display as “Furry Al-Queda Dissident”
    – ‘Dump All Ordinance’ will now display a confirmation window.
    – ‘Powned!’ sound effect replaced with a Triple Beep
    – /afk now places drone into ‘Loiter’ mode instead of “Self-Destruct’
    – Drones may no longer ‘Loiter’ near womens showers.
    – The Iraq Nuclear Facility Instance is now available for Questing.

  11. Frank said,

    July 24, 2008 at 11:52 am

    They’ve been trying to make war “psychologically” easier for years now. I suppose any advantage would be good enough, to be honest.

    All the stuff out there that makes war into a game makes this occurrence all the more inevitable. That’s not to go all tree-hugging hippy on everyone, just to say that there are many ways in which war is made into a game or a strategy-fest for various reasons, so this is a natural extension of that.

  12. pharniel said,

    July 24, 2008 at 5:27 pm

    Games are also the best way to think about a battle, espeically after you get to a certian size. (the numbers for d-day are staggering, most humans would simply lockup when trying to deal with that scale. games and game theory allows one to pull to a higher level that is more manageable)

    The real problem is the ‘assisting’ programs. A drone that looses connection and just flys in a stright line isn’t so bad, but read up on the number of accidents and casualties caused by computer assisted double-a guns deciding that the crews manning them are enemy incoming during training.

    the ‘client-server’ correcting in the system is what’s important, because that can get real bad real fast for everyone.

  13. pharniel said,

    July 24, 2008 at 5:33 pm

    and, because i need to post more, lord knows:
    trying to lessen the psychological impact has been going on since the dawn of man.
    “your freinds arn’t dead, they are in Valhalla, and as long as you die well you will join them for eternal feasting and glorious battle for all eternity”
    Warrior cultures, epic poems, the afterlife etc. are all designed to make doing horrible things more bearable, or at least having veterans who are less broken than otherwise.

  14. July 24, 2008 at 6:52 pm

    The sad fact is that American soldiers are more likely to suffer battle stress and emotional problems than just about any enemy on the battlefield (except the French). ‘Modern’ army training concentrates more on technical training and less on ‘brain washing’ than most armies. Except for the Iranian Minesweepers, where the training consists of: “Walk that way, and do not turn around, because the guys in the 3rd rank have guns”.

    An American soldier kills someone, and then deals with the guilt of taking a life, the Arabic soldier goes back to his cave with a big smile on his face and brags about it.

  15. sanyaweathers said,

    July 24, 2008 at 7:22 pm

    I love you people.

    One wee note: Let this blog be one of the few places on the internet where we don’t mistake “Arabic” or “Muslim” for “fundamentalist nutjobs misreading their holy book to justify horror.” Please. For the children.

  16. Flim said,

    July 25, 2008 at 2:52 pm

    I, for one, welcome our new drone overlords.

  17. Loredena said,

    July 25, 2008 at 5:15 pm

    /quote An American soldier kills someone, and then deals with the guilt of taking a life, the Arabic soldier goes back to his cave with a big smile on his face and brags about it. /endquote

    Speaking as an American of Arabic descent… There are plenty of American soldiers who are psychotic nutjobs who will head back to their cave with a big smile too, it’s not unique to a culture. Arabic soldier nutjob. Fundamentalists (whether Muslim, Christian, Hindu or Buddhist) who are also nutjobs are their own special class, the starting race/religion is irrelevant.

  18. Loredena said,

    July 25, 2008 at 5:16 pm

    meh. That was supposed to say Arabic soldier not equal nutjob, I forgot it would drop the greater/lesser signs for html /sigh

  19. Grimjakk said,

    July 29, 2008 at 3:47 pm

    The term you’re looking for is “Jihadist”. And I have to point out that there are NOT plenty of American soldiers who are psychotic nutjobs… as our psychotic nutjobs tend to get courtmartialed and sent to prison.

    Don’t make the mistake thinking two sides have to be morally equivalent. The starting race is irrelevant, but the religion? No. I reject that on the it’s face. There is little chance that a Christian or Buddhist “Fundamentalist” is going to strap a bomb to their body and try to kill as many innocent people as they can.

  20. Loredena said,

    July 29, 2008 at 7:20 pm

    /quote There is little chance that a Christian or Buddhist “Fundamentalist” is going to strap a bmob to their body…. /endquote?

    Oh? I remember the Olympic Park bombing in Atlanta (I lived there at the time) and turned out he was a Christian fundamentalist nutjob. An argument could be made that the first suicide ‘bomb’ was when the Knights Templar destroyed one of their own ships during the Crusades, killing ~140 Christians in order to also kill Muslims (thus I suppose we could say that jihadist = crusader). And of course, the IRA was rather fond of the concept during the 90’s.

    The bottom line is that neither race nor religion has a monopoly on nutters willing to kill others (and possibly themselves) to further their agenda.

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