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E3: Epic, US Army Develop Games as Recruitment Tool 820

Posted by michael
from the army-of-one dept.
securitas writes "Reuters and AP tell us that Epic Games and the US Army have announced the America's Army series of games, jointly developed by the Department of Defense and Epic. The first two-part game in the five-year project includes an RPG called Soldier and a first-person shooter called Operations. The game will be free of charge and available for download in July or August, with 1.2 million CDs simultaneously released, attached to gaming magazines. Does this remind anyone else of the war-room scene from Toys or Ender's Game?" Future installments will include Sim Mess Duty, Sim Standing Guard in the Rain, Sim Blister, and Sim Invading Iraq to Keep Approval Ratings High.
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E3: Epic, US Army Develop Games as Recruitment Tool

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  • by neo (4625) on Thursday May 23, 2002 @09:00AM (#3571653)
    and I also hope that Microsoft doesn't start complaining about how the Military is now in competition with their games. How is Microsoft supposed to make money on military games if the US Military is giving games away for free?

    On a serious note, I'd only have a problem with this if it didn't show what military life was really like. For example, I hope their sims version shows you the excitement of cleaning bathrooms and that you can level up in rock painting. Both of these skills are extremely important to the US Military.
  • by Wind_Walker (83965) on Thursday May 23, 2002 @09:00AM (#3571654) Homepage Journal
    Blah blah blah Army blah blah games blah blah brainwash the youth of America... God, get over yourself.

    Speaking as a hardcore gamer myself, I could care less about who makes a game. I couldn't care less about how it's distributed. I couldn't care less about how it's "brainwashing people" or how it's "like Toys!". It all comes down to one thing: Is the game fun? From what Penny Arcade [penny-arcade.com] tells me, it is going to be fun. That's all I care about.

    This is what separates the average geek crowd from the true gamers among us. The average geeks don't understand what it really means to be a hardcore gamer. All they care about is how many polys a model has, how good it looks, or how the breasts are modeled ("She kicks high"). Hell, I'm 23 and I'll be playing Mario, Zelda, and dozens of other "kiddie" games the day they're released, and I don't care.

    This is why I hate mainstream media coverage of games. Leave it to the professionals, please.

    • Yeah, but it IS a recruitment game. Isn't anyone afraid the game will be filled with advertisements for the military, such as tons of "Join NOW!" buttons, and pop-ups displaying the US Army website? If the games that are created with corporate advertising in mind are any indication, the final product should be a very good game gone horribly, horribly wrong.
      • by sg3000 (87992) <.sg_public. .at. .mac.com.> on Thursday May 23, 2002 @01:34PM (#3573795)
        > Isn't anyone afraid the game will be filled
        > with advertisements for the military, such as
        > tons of "Join NOW!" buttons, and pop-ups
        > displaying the US Army website?

        You know what would be funny?

        I'm assuming the game runs on Windows. With the Bush Administration working so much with Microsoft-- you know, getting rid of th pesky lawsuit and trying to get Passport made a type of nationwide ID [nwsource.com].

        So imagine you're playing the game on Windows XP with all your Passport stuff filled in, like a good End User. You finish a really hard level, and suddenly a dialog box pops up and asks, "Do you wish to continue?". When you click yes, you get signed up for the army!
    • It all comes down to one thing: Is the game fun?

      I'm totally in agreement with what a "true hard-core gamer" enjoys. Things like NES emulators were made for the "true hardcore gamer," cause you can still have a fun game in just 8-bit graphics!

      But, as I've written before, "realism" has to be balanced with "fun." Having complete realism usually takes away from the fun. This is why I think the game will fail...
    • by LittleGuy (267282) on Thursday May 23, 2002 @10:18AM (#3572241)
      Blah blah blah games blah blah turn the youth of America into violent hoolums blah blah blah parental restrictions blah blah blah Army blah blah ...

      Army?? Blah blah blah?!? Uncle Sam??

      Blah blah blah games GOOD! blah blah patriotic blah blah blah defeat evil blah blah blah WTC Guliani Let's Roll FDNY et al....
  • At least in their games we won't have powerups popping up... or my favorite first person shooter gaffe - shooting people only to have them fall forward or straight down. Of course this could backfire as well, people might not want to join the Army after seeing that its not all that different from a real job.

    It is also possible that they may run afoul of Congress, after all all that violence has got to be bad. Figure some Congressional Democrats will scream about it and the anti-2nd Amendment crowd will be there soon.
    • or my favorite first person shooter gaffe - shooting people only to have them fall forward or straight down.

      You know, this isn't necessarily a gaffe. Although a bullet has lots of kinetic energy, because of its low mass it doesn't have a high momentum. Also, bullets tend to pass through people rather than lodging in them so they may not transfer all their momentum.

      The direction someone falls is determined more by physiology than physics.

      If you shoot someone with a rifle bullet, they will collapse, but this is thought to be due to blunt trauma of the spinal cord [firearmstactical.com] (see bottom of page) rather than the momentum of the bullet per se.

      With a pistol round, if they fall, it's likely to be due to blood loss or surprise at being hit.

      In either case, there's no particular reason for them to fall away from the side they were hit on.

  • Army of One (Score:5, Funny)

    by Imperator (17614) <`ten.reknehsremo' `ta' `2todhsals'> on Thursday May 23, 2002 @09:01AM (#3571661)
    See, I don't get this whole "Army of One" business. If I were to join the army, I wouldn't want to be fighting alone. I'm not delusional: I know I can't defeat enemies Rambo-style. No, I'd want to be part of a "Big-Ass Army of Many Ass-Kicking Soldiers, Tanks, and Other Military Equipent". Apparently I have to sign up with some other country to get this.
    • Re:Army of One (Score:2, Insightful)

      by mobets (101759)
      They've started a new one. "Watch ME become WE"
    • Re:Army of One (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Martin Blank (154261) on Thursday May 23, 2002 @09:10AM (#3571725) Journal
      It's an attempt to stamp out the perception of a soldier being a mindless automaton, a concept well overdue. I know a number of military people, and aside from being generally more disciplined and more respectful, they're not all that different. Once they get into other, more elite units like the Rangers, Airborne, Special Forces, etc, they *have* to be able to think for themselves, particularly because their missions require flexibility and since command may well fall on them in an emergency.
      • True enough, altho frankly I'm a bit puzzled be the Army's decision to recruit directly into the Special Forces.

        Frankly I'd like those people to have a firm understanding of how the "regular" military units and people operate.
        • Hmm, actually I recall seeing something on the History Channel about some special forces that were needed for WWII, and they needed people who had no prior military training because they needed to be able to act on their own and what not. I wish I could remember more details, but basically they did not want anyone who had gone through the regular military training, as that would be a weakness for what they were going to be doing.
        • Re:Army of One (Score:4, Interesting)

          by GMontag (42283) <gmontag@noSPAm.guymontag.com> on Thursday May 23, 2002 @09:55AM (#3572066) Homepage Journal
          Frankly I'd like those people to have a firm understanding of how the "regular" military units and people operate.

          Total agreement there. We have had that problem in Aviation since about 1983, when the branch was formed and immediately started training Aviation Officers within the branch from day one.

          In the past, one had to work in another branch, at least through their Basic Course, before going to flight school and then they were still maanaged by their primary branch. We (I was Armor and Air Defense before going Aviation) had a much better understanding and appreciation of the "ground guys" than these newer folks seem to have.

          On another note, they could add Sim bust-your-knuckles-repairing-track and Sim bang-the-crap-out-of-your-head-inside-the-tank, Sim fall-off-the-speed-rope, i.e., "you can get hurt without being shot" games.
    • by Rolker (24927) on Thursday May 23, 2002 @09:13AM (#3571746)
      Join Canada'a army! Then you will be part of an "Army of about Eight"
    • Re:Army of One (Score:3, Insightful)

      by rark (15224)
      I think the idea is that they are trying to get away from the whole 'cannon fodder' stereotype -- where any individual soldier is merely one more target in a wall of human targets, and nothing more.

      That, and trying to convince a generation that at least *thinks * they are individualistic that they really want to join up.

    • See, I don't get this whole "Army of One" business.
      I think they're actually shooting themselves in the foot with that campaign... I was going to join the army, but then I saw that commercial and realized, "hey, I'll just let that guy do it."

      I mean, that guy's a whole army all by his lonesome... why would they possibly want my help?

      --
      Damn the Emperor!
  • by Livn4Golf (83604) on Thursday May 23, 2002 @09:02AM (#3571669) Homepage
    Future installments will include Sim Mess Duty, Sim Standing Guard in the Rain, Sim Blister, and Sim Invading Iraq to Keep Approval Ratings High.

    Don't forget the final game in the series: "Risking Their Lives to Protect Your Right to Make Stupid Jokes."
    • What about "Sim Manhatten Project"? Add that as a mod to Black & White.....
    • "Risking Their Lives to Protect Your Right to Make Stupid Jokes"

      Oh right. Could you please point me to the latest bill/law/act voted that actually Protect Your Right To Whatever ?

  • See US training (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Arsewiper (535175)
    If it's accurate and in depth it should sell well in the Middle East. Hope it emphasises not shooting allies.
  • by Sarin (112173)
    so basicly this says: uncle sam wants PK's
  • by Bassthang (78064) on Thursday May 23, 2002 @09:07AM (#3571702) Homepage
    Accidently shooting your allies in "Operations" will gain you extra points. (The versions of the game in non-US NATO countries will not have this feature).

  • How could such a game be terribly different from another other first person shooter, especially those that were specifically designed to simulate an army experience (minus the bathroom duty, etc.). I'm guessing the sole difference is that you'd see army advertisments everywhere, and the music would be bad. And I'm sure the won't have boot camp instructors yelling their heads off, etc., but rather the classic "shaking-jaw-scrolling-text-so-slow-can't-speed-it -up-but-can-skip-it-with-a-keypress" mission briefs...
    "Hey, did you know that these violent games that you love to shoot people in are based on real life? In the next level, there are no extra lives - join the Army!"
    • The difference is the realism. If you check out some of the news on the game from gaming sites, you'll see that they've included a lot of little points of realism in the game that most military games ignore, such as the use of hand signals, being forced to shake when you snipe without being in the prone position, and losing A LOT of your accuracy when you fire an automatic weapon.
  • Navy games? (Score:5, Funny)

    by pjdepasq (214609) on Thursday May 23, 2002 @09:17AM (#3571776)
    Gee, I hope if the Navy does something like this, there will be SimTailHook.... now that's one I'd like to play!
  • I have seen this (Score:5, Informative)

    by Lumpy (12016) on Thursday May 23, 2002 @09:20AM (#3571801) Homepage
    It is based on the Unreal engine, and it is awesome. nothing like your regular FPS.. it has the reality dial turned way up... if you get hit once you are dead, or bleeding to death no mega heath, no railgun's, no ammo everywhere, just your handy GI issued weapons. From the demo I watched and played, FPS fans will hate it. and several of the "kids" though it sucked, it requires thinking, skill, and for the player to be clever... very unlike FPS games where most of the players just run around hopping firing at everything that moves... camping is a requirement and only the stupid players do anything other than camping (stupid players=dead players)

    so basically, if you're the type of FPS player that gets' wildly mad at campers, you will hate it.
    • camping is a requirement and only the stupid players do anything other than camping (stupid players=dead players)

      Camping? Simulated camping? Gosh! Sounds great fun! I'll have to get that game!
    • by FortKnox (169099) on Thursday May 23, 2002 @09:57AM (#3572077) Homepage Journal
      I thought the fundamental rule of game design is to balance Realism with Fun. Ask any famous game designer about it. Sometimes you gotta reach out away from the real to make the game flow well, or to balance out what you can do.

      Lets look at some popular games:
      CounterStrike: Most people would say this is as "real" as it gets, when you die, your gone. But you can get hit in the leg, stamper for a second, then are back running full speed again. You can get shot in the arm, but still fire back. This game has a lot of realism, but it still balances it out with a 'fun factor.'
      Age Of Empires: The designers of AoE always talk about how stuff like Catapults had to be changed. Originally, you needed someone to fire and move them, but it lead to too many problems, so they just made them self useable, and movable. Upon doing this, they felt the game flowed better, and the testers had more fun with the game.

      I could go on, but I think "true realism" isn't what the gaming community wants. Games are a time when you can do stuff you normally wouldn't do...
    • Sounds like fun to me. I liked Thief: The Dark Project. Death was very easy to find, and very hard to deal. I spent most of my time in that game slowly sneaking through, waiting for the enemy to come into my sights.
  • by Art_XIV (249990) on Thursday May 23, 2002 @09:22AM (#3571816) Journal
    I don't seem to recall there being any "Save often, Reload when you are Killed" workaround during my time in the Army.

    Nor were power-ups of any sort available, unless you count caffiene.

    It was certainly real-time, though much of the real-time was spent waiting.

  • As a vet, I don't make light of our nation's armed services, their dedication, or their mission. I did, however, find it amusing to think about other possible sims to show true military life:

    Sim KP, Sim Boot Camp, Sim Freeze-Your-Ass-Off-While-Marching, etc...

    God Bless our sons and daughters in harm's way!
  • Sim Friendly Fire
    Sim Don't Ask Don't Tell

    or everybody's cult favorite...

    Sim Seargent Pile
  • Way to go (Score:2, Insightful)

    by TheCabal (215908)
    Future installments will include Sim Mess Duty, Sim Standing Guard in the Rain, Sim Blister, and Sim Invading Iraq to Keep Approval Ratings High.

    Nice way to belittle the work and sacrifices that I and millions of other people throughout the world have given in protecting YOUR rights. Yes, guard and mess duty sucks, but it's a part of military life. So does PT, first call at zero-dark-thirty, inspections, shining boots, cleaning weapons, endless makework, etc.. but it's all a necessary part of military life in order to keep discipline.

    As for "Sim Invading Iraq to Keep Approval Ratings High", that's an issue with the leadership, not the men and women who go when given the order. It's easy to criticize and ridicule from the safety of one's Aeron office chair. It's another thing entirely to raise your hand and swear to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. Don't knock it until you've tried it.
    • He's not knocking it. He's making a joke. You know, funny, ha ha. Some people enjoy making jokes, laughing at jokes, and humor in general. General. Get it. Hah hah.

      You seem to not be one of those people. And that's okay. But no need to get defensive. I doubt he has anything particularly against you, TheCabal, or the military.

      People make fun of things. Things get made fun of. The army isn't special in this. And they shouldn't be one of the exceptions. If we make them a group that you "can't" make fun of, then
      we lose some of that precious freedom that you are trying to protect.

      So, either laugh with them, or just ignore them, but no need to berade the man for having a sense of humor.

      Justin Dubs
      • Make them a group we "can't" make fun of? No, we can't do that. There's a little thing called the First Ammendment in the Constitution that the people in the Army swear to protect and defend. No one can, or is suggesting, that it be made illegal to make tasteless jokes. In fact, there's a USENET group just for that kind of thing. But it is perfectly acceptable to make them socially unacceptable outside of special groups like alt.tasteless.jokes.

        Personally, I only found the last one tasteless. The other fictional titles were funny, but it's all a matter of personal taste. Instead of letting TheCabal express his/her opinion on the matter and leave it at that you have to berate him/her and basically flat-out try to stifle free speach by saying "just ignore them" [and don't say anything]. I don't think The Cabal was saying that michael didn't have the right to make tasteless jokes, just pointing out that one (or more depending on your personal view) was tasteless. If you give it more than five seconds of thought you'll see that there is quite a distinction between the two.

    • ...here's an American thanking you for your hard work on my behalf. Cheers (and here's to a world where everyone pulls his own weight and doesn't bitch about it).
    • It's another thing entirely to raise your hand and swear to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. Don't knock it until you've tried it.

      I dunno, it didn't look all that hard when I watched President Dubya do it on TV. And judging by his example, you can swear to protect and uphold the constitution of the US and piss on it at the same time. Imagine that!
    • Geeze. You had it easy. When I was in the Army we got up at zero-dark-hundred.
  • Unlike similar combat games, the primary goal of "America's Army" is not killing a massive number of enemies, but instead completing tasks and setting career goals.
    "Will there be guys tearing off arms and using them for clubs? No. Because the Army would never do that."


    They just lost their target audience - if I can't use somebody's arm as a club, I ain't interested. Career goals? Fsck that.
  • by rabbits77 (453747) on Thursday May 23, 2002 @09:29AM (#3571872) Homepage
    what /. has against military service? In many countries the average /. reader's military service is *mandatory*. Also, as a US citizen myself,I volunteered and served in the U.S. Navy and cannot complain one bit about the experience. Was it harder than sitting on my ass playing Mortal Kombat(which was new at the time >:)? Yes it was. Did it help me pay for college and make me a better person? You bet your ass it did. Maybe I don't come from as privileged a background as the rest if you but military service helped me out substantially. I guess it is just fashionable to spend your late teens and twenties doing drugs and being a bored, sullen, and directionless loser nowadays.
    • The fact is, nearly all of the tech-elite teens and twenty-somethings have a deep 'loathing' of the military. They inherited it from :

      • Their Hippie parents
      • The others of there parent's generation who were shattered by their experience in Vietnam.
      • The fact they they have been given everything, without struggle.
      • Hmm, may be that explains why I'm quite different than the usual crowd on Slashdot, at least when it comes to the military and politics.

        * My parents are going on 70, and are certainly not hippies
        * My Dad served in the Navy for 23 years, plus one of my five brothers, and one of my three sisters. None had shattering experiences.
        * Being one of nine children, I wasn't given anything and earned everything I now have, which is probably quite more than the "tech-elite teens and twenty-somethings" that were given everything.
      • And then of course there are those of us who don't hate the _existance_ of a military, but do hate it's self perpetuating nature and do hate it's use to kill innocents in countries far away simply to boost the ratings of a brain-dead president. If I thought any of the recent operations would actually do anything to protect the interests of the US population (or any other part of the West, as I'm not american) then maybe I'd support them, but history will show them to be little short of expensive, pointless, wastes of time and lives.

      • Don't forget number 4: War movies don't look like Captain America taking on the Nazi forces with his bar hands any more. They more like the real thing. The real thing that leaves people with nightmares, flashbacks, and deep psychological scarring.

        Oh, and possibly number 5: First Person Shooters. Once you've seen yourself go down in two seconds among a hail of enemy fire, you start to laugh at the idea of entering a similar situation in real life, only with one hit point instead of one hundred.
    • by Rupert (28001) on Thursday May 23, 2002 @10:14AM (#3572207) Homepage Journal
      I think for a living. I do not find the idea of being told I can't think for myself at all appealing. So I don't do it.

      Not that I'm particularly knocking the Army's training methods. I just think I'm very poorly suited to being a soldier.
    • by jamie (78724)
      "Please Explain... what /. has against military service? ... I guess it is just fashionable to spend your late teens and twenties doing drugs and being a bored, sullen, and directionless loser nowadays."

      Several of the people involved in bringing you Slashdot, including the author who posted this story, have previously been in the U.S. armed forces.

      And -- Hey... I may be sullen, and I may be directionless, but... uh what was that other thing you said?

    • by Sebbo (28048) <sebbo@@@sebbo...org> on Thursday May 23, 2002 @10:37AM (#3572390) Homepage Journal
      Hey, I manage to be bored, sullen, and directionless without drugs, I'll have you know!
  • EULA (Score:5, Funny)

    by ThaReetLad (538112) <sneaky@blueRABBI ... minus herbivore> on Thursday May 23, 2002 @09:33AM (#3571911) Journal
    Just make sure you read the small print to make sure you haven't accidently signed up for a 4 year tour of duty in the middle east.
  • Iraq (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 23, 2002 @09:34AM (#3571914)
    1) Saddam Husain has used weapons of mass destruction( WMDs) such as nerve gas against Iraqi kurdish civilians.

    2) He ejected U.N. inspectors who were making sure he complied with the peace terms stating he wouldn't continue to develop WMDs including the Iraqi nuclear program.

    3) He has launched strikes on civilian populations in Israel during the Gulf War even though Israel was not part of the military coalition. He did this in the hopes invoking an Israeli response which would gain him the support of other Arab nations.

    Now because you obviously didn't know this or understand the implications I will state it slowly:

    If allowed to develope a nuke, he's likely to use it against a civilian target. Possibly in a pre-emptive strike.

    Where is it going to happen? Who knows. Will it be trucked in or on top of a missle? Not sure. A strike against him is necessary to make sure that this doesn't happen.

    Sidenote: Informative opposing opinions != Troll, a point often lost on the moderators of this "news source".
    • Re:Iraq (Score:4, Funny)

      by WildBeast (189336) on Thursday May 23, 2002 @11:29AM (#3572823) Journal
      War on drugs failed, now let's do war on terrorism, oh we can't get hold of Osama, let's go after Saddam.
    • Re:Iraq (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Ralph Wiggam (22354)
      You could have written the exact same post in 1998. Why do we have to go to war now? Because approval ratings are down and without a war going on, people might notice that Bush's fiscal policy is a complete mess.

      And why just attack Iraq? Iran and North Korea both have nuke programs. They're the Axis of Evil you know.

      -B
  • So is Sim Army going to contain:

    1) Running around and around for hours.
    2) Getting bored playing cards.
    3) Spending hours cleaning your kit.
    4) Getting shouted at and humiliated by someone you hate.
    5) Sitting on your bunk, waiting.
    6) Cleaning your kit again.
    7) Going in to town on Saturday night and getting completely drunk and throwing up
    8) Letching at women and the desperate machismo of oversexed young men who don't know how to communicate with the opposite sex.
    9) Institionalized racism and sexism.
    10) Cleaning your kit again.
    12) Unquestioningly following dumb orders.
    13) Being a guiniepig for experimental drugs with horrible side effects.
    <sarcasm>
    Or is it going to be all fast action shooting and strategic planning, just like real life in the army?
    </sarcasm>
  • by Professor (83241) on Thursday May 23, 2002 @09:38AM (#3571942) Homepage
    The America's Army videogame suite, Operations and Soldiers, were built completely by the MOVES Institute, not by Epic Games. We licensed the Epic Games engine for Operations. For more information on the games and imagery from E3, see http://movesinstitute.org

    Michael Zyda
  • Sure to succeed (Score:4, Insightful)

    by sg3000 (87992) <.sg_public. .at. .mac.com.> on Thursday May 23, 2002 @09:39AM (#3571947)
    This idea to use games to convince impressionable kids to join the army is a good one.

    Looking around, all the people of my generation have one of a few careers:

    * Alien-attacker, particularly where you have three bases to hide behind
    * Ever-hungry giant mouth eating never-ending supply of pellets
    * Race car driver on tracks with a lot of popup
    * Professional princess rescuer, particularly when you can jump on a lot of mushrooms
    * Cubical worker

    That last one is the least suprising. I remember as a kid, me and my friends would never stop playing "Cubical Worker!" It was the most popular game in America at the time, which is why everyone seems to have grown up to do it for a living.

    > The Army expects by September to spent about $7.5 million on the program

    Whew! I'm glad we're spending $7.5 million on this project. With this new Republican leadership manning the purse strings, we've got so much money, I was worried there was no way we'd be able to spend it all. This is a great example of how to get rid of it.

    What was that? A $100 billion dollar deficit [salon.com]?

    Wait... which party was for big government and likes to waste money?
    • Re:Sure to succeed (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Storm Damage (133732)
      The AP article quoted a high-level Army recruitment officer saying that if they get 300 recruits out of this campaign, it will pay for itself.

      That means the Army spends $25k in marketing and advertising for *each* recruit they get.

      I wonder what would happen to enlistment if they gave up the high-profile dramatic ads in lieu of a much more simple campaign, modestly marketed in 5-10 second spots and in simple type in newspapers, magazines, and high-school posters:

      "Join the Army. $20,000 signing bonus. Paid cash"
  • First, I originally heard that the only way Epic is tied to this game is by selling the Unreal Engine to the US Military.

    Second, the US Army needs to take a lesson from my father, when he taught me this when I was 16. When you budget your money, you get out a piece of paper and make two columns. Mark the first "NEEDS", the other "WANTS."
    Where do you think the game will go?

    Also, how can they dare compete in an industry where tried-by-fire veteran game designers can fail miserably (ie - Diakatana)??

    Mark this one down as the year's dumbest use of money... (Don't get me wrong, I'm a big gamer, I just think the US Military could use the money elsewhere).
  • by bluestar (17362) on Thursday May 23, 2002 @09:44AM (#3571975) Homepage
    What's next? Some new boy band singing "Yvan Eht Nioj?

  • Army Game (Score:2, Interesting)

    by chobee (555901)
    We take a lot for granted you know. We all sit here and bitch (myself included) about how our rights are being chipped away. How I don't have a right to copy CD's and share music blah blah blah. What sometimes we forget is what rights we do have. Like the right not to join the army if we want. Other countries have a mandatory service for everybody. The freedoms we have must be guarded both intellectually and physically. Slashdot is a great forum for philosophical debates but how much good are a bunch of bitching geeks when push comes to shove. Yeah yeah yeah the pen is mightier than the sword but sometimes you have not choice but to physically protect what you have. The army advertising for volunteers by giving away a game is a great alternative to mandatory enlistment.
  • Simulation? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by bckspc (172870)


    I hope it comes with training on crimes of war [crimesofwar.org], international law [uwa.edu.au], and the Geneva Conventions [irct.org].

  • by bubblegoose (473320) <bubblegoose@Nospam.gmail.com> on Thursday May 23, 2002 @09:58AM (#3572091) Homepage Journal
    Here is the new Sim being designed by the Navy to simulate Sub duty:
    HOW TO SIMULATE SUBMARINE LIFE AT HOME
    Surround yourself with a few people you don't like. Close all windows and doors tightly, close curtains. Seal any openings to the outside world with a proper vault. Unplug all radios and TV sets to cut yourself off completely from news, football games, Saturday Night Live, the Muppet Show, etc.

    Hourly monitor all operating home appliances, if not in use, log as secured. If using the bathroom, do not flush toilet for first two days to simulate smell of blowing sanitaries and venting inboard. Then flush daily.

    Wear only approved FBM coveralls, or proper Navy uniforms. No hats, special T-shirts, etc. Cut your hair once a week ensuring that you make it look like hell. Work 18-hour day intervals to ensure your body really gets confused. Listen to the same cassette over and over until you can't stand it anymore, and then put in one that you can't even listen to without acute nausea setting in. Set your alarm to go off just as you fall asleep, with alarm set at loud, or buy a special alarm clock with various settings, (i.e., "Man Battle Stations, Fire, Flooding in the Basement").

    Prepare food with a blindfold on to simulate what real submarine cooks do. Then take the blindfold off and try to get your dog to eat it. Then break out a can of tuna and/or peanut butter.

    Cut your bed in half, and enclose all but one side using the dimensions of a small casket as a reference. When not in bed, make up blankets properly so no one will see or care.

    Periodically, for want of excitement, open main power breaker and run around yelling, "Reactor Scram", until you are sweating profusely, then restore power. Buy yourself a snorkel and mask, and again, periodically, just for want of nothing else to do, put it on and pretend you're in a smoke filled room with no way out. For added variety, hook up the garden hose and pressurize it.

    To enable yourself to handle anything, constantly study wiring diagrams and operating instructions for various home appliances (stove, refrigerator, can opener). For no reason at all, at specified intervals (monthly, weekly, etc.) tear one item apart, just in case it was going to break down.

    Paint everything around you gray (Navy FSN gray, no substitutes) or off-white. To be sure you are living in a clean and happy environment, every Friday, set alarm on loud for a short but hated drill sound, then get up and manned with only a bucket and sponge and greeny, clean one area over and over, even if it was already spotless. Then make out a discrepancy list.

    Once a day, after normal programming hours, plug in TV and watch one movie being careful that it is (a) at least five years old, (b) made long enough prior to showing to be sure that you've seen it at least once before, or (c) be so bad you have to install a seatbelt in your chair to keep you there until it is over.

    Since no doctor will be available, stockpile Band-Aids, aspirin, and Actifed as these are proven cure-alls. Practice if necessary on your dog (surgery, dentistry, or death).

    When commencing this test simulation, lock your family, friends, and anything that means anything to you outside. Tests will run for at least two months with no end in sight.

  • Screenshots (Score:2, Informative)

    by amembrane (571154)
    27 screenshots are here [avault.com]

    That new Unreal engine is just amazing, I can't wait to see all the modded games people make with it.

  • by lkaos (187507) <anthony.codemonkey@ws> on Thursday May 23, 2002 @10:12AM (#3572194) Homepage Journal
    I think the better statement is "Not Invading Iraq to Keep Cheap Oil."

    Iraq has a murderous dictator in charge who has waged genocide against his own people and is developing weapons of mass destruction. If we really were a country that believed in freedom and good will towards men, we would have bombed the shit out of Iraq years ago instead of letting millions die at the hands of Sadam.

    Since people tend to believe in hollywood so much, just look back to Spider-man and the message that everyone was touting as being so grand, "Great power comes with great responsibility." We sure as hell have the power but we're just sitting around on our lazy asses so that we only have to pay $1.25 a galloon to drive the /. PT Crusier.
  • AmericasArmy and GoArmy.com will have links to the download. BUT NOT CURRENTLY! The game is still in beta so don't even bother. We've been testing it for months as I work for the web group who does goarmy.com The game is truly awesome.
  • by telstar (236404) on Thursday May 23, 2002 @10:36AM (#3572380)
    Didn't we already give terrorists the keys to the castle with Microsoft Flight Simulator 2000? Now we're showing them how to drive our tanks and humvees, and perform tactical raids?

"The only way for a reporter to look at a politician is down." -- H.L. Mencken

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