Non-gaming war talk for a minute.

I like commenting on the Worth Reading posts patrick makes. On his most recent one it talks about what real war is from the perspective of a veteran. I don't feel it's about games but how war is misrepresented. His entire point relies on soldiers working for the money, and the fight. It's very Apocalypse Now. And while I wouldn't disagree with a lot of his points, I find it's less people like him become sociopaths but more they become desensitized. They make decisions to put the people they know the least in the most danger so that they won't feel as bad. They block out the horrors they see. They try to keep themselves distanced from the horror, and they need to because otherwise the reality would kill them. As humans we adapt and take on these horrors. Even further we ignore the bad as much as we can. Not everyone can do it, and lots break down. As he said no one out there's a true hero, they're all just surviving. When you act like one you die.

And I do agree that the military is creating a false image of war. They get people in based on the image of heroes. I know some war guys, they aren't supermen. They're trying to further themselves in the world. And usually things don't happen. You have to be fit, and you'll still get tired, but more than that it's mostly boredom. I doubt we'll ever see a war sim unless an activist makes it. And even then there will probably still be the existence of some military shooters. I bet most of the people reading this know the war games aren't representative, and that real war is tough. But when you're playing Call of Duty past the ridiculous nature and basic concepts, how often do you feel like a badass? How often do you feel like you're a war hero, or forget that it's not real. In the moment you're playing, you're not thinking about actual war. You're not thinking about all the bullets hitting you. You're thinking about your objectives. And in real war, you're just trying to get by.

Not being an actual soldier, this is all taken from the soldiers I know, retired, in duty, or on leave. I'm not saying anything about the quality of games, or that my perspective is necessarily right, but more an extended comment to make you think a little more.

3 Comments
4 Comments
Posted by Xpgamer7

I like commenting on the Worth Reading posts patrick makes. On his most recent one it talks about what real war is from the perspective of a veteran. I don't feel it's about games but how war is misrepresented. His entire point relies on soldiers working for the money, and the fight. It's very Apocalypse Now. And while I wouldn't disagree with a lot of his points, I find it's less people like him become sociopaths but more they become desensitized. They make decisions to put the people they know the least in the most danger so that they won't feel as bad. They block out the horrors they see. They try to keep themselves distanced from the horror, and they need to because otherwise the reality would kill them. As humans we adapt and take on these horrors. Even further we ignore the bad as much as we can. Not everyone can do it, and lots break down. As he said no one out there's a true hero, they're all just surviving. When you act like one you die.

And I do agree that the military is creating a false image of war. They get people in based on the image of heroes. I know some war guys, they aren't supermen. They're trying to further themselves in the world. And usually things don't happen. You have to be fit, and you'll still get tired, but more than that it's mostly boredom. I doubt we'll ever see a war sim unless an activist makes it. And even then there will probably still be the existence of some military shooters. I bet most of the people reading this know the war games aren't representative, and that real war is tough. But when you're playing Call of Duty past the ridiculous nature and basic concepts, how often do you feel like a badass? How often do you feel like you're a war hero, or forget that it's not real. In the moment you're playing, you're not thinking about actual war. You're not thinking about all the bullets hitting you. You're thinking about your objectives. And in real war, you're just trying to get by.

Not being an actual soldier, this is all taken from the soldiers I know, retired, in duty, or on leave. I'm not saying anything about the quality of games, or that my perspective is necessarily right, but more an extended comment to make you think a little more.

Posted by Philantrophy

I see the points you are making, and it's difficult to convey war to anyone who hasn't been in it. I was a conscript last year, let me point out that I haven't been in actual combat, but we trained for it and some of the things that breaks the immersion right away are:

1 - The weapons are always held up, ready to aim down the sights

2 - The equipment you have to carry gets heavy after long marches, in games you never seem to get tired

3 - There is a lot of down time. Setting up the tents, digging foxholes, guard duty, watching over the stove etc.

Posted by DemBones

I would like to hear from other soldiers who were in similar positions. You're essentially on the outside looking in, regardless of how many "war guys" you know.

Posted by Xpgamer7

@DemBones: My point in putting the last sentence there. I am not a soldier, and am just making a comment, not a fact or statement.

Also I feel the games were trying not to be immersting but to be exciting and both create a deep multiplayer game, and an adventurous story. It's focused on trying to let you win the battles, not make them feel real. If you want to see a slightly streamlined game like this Red Orchestra is a good place to start. But it doesn't break Philanthropy's points.