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First Person Shooters (Games)

America's Army - FPS Psych Experiment 75

Posted by Zonk
from the it-always-feels-like-somebody's-watching-me dept.
dory writes "Newsreview has up a story from October on America's Army and the way the military is using it. The piece discusses a clan, the Army's research mentality and implementations, as well as some MRI studies on gamers." From the article: "The Army has been collecting player information in a vast relational database system called "Andromeda," Wardynski said, which recruiters will be able to use to look up a player's statistics if one of them shows up in a recruiting office. A version of America's Army now in development will take that a step further, allowing players to create a "persistent" online alter-ego, one that steadily progresses through the virtual ranks by taking additional training or specialized missions, generating valuable data along the way."
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America's Army - FPS Psych Experiment

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  • by g-san (93038) on Monday December 13, 2004 @12:49PM (#11073597)
    Quick, go download this game, play with your real name, and get your ass fragged at least 20 times a day.

    • so... do teamkillers get labled as suspected terrorists?

      i've passed on this for other fps's.. can you do anything approaching rocket-jumping? spawn-camping? telefragging?

      has anyone ever considered that this might be an OUTLET for violent behavior.. that is.. someone who would have been interested to do it for real is satiated by the virtual? "no, sarge, i don't think i want to go out there, i just want to get back home to my videogames."

    • I don't know, I made a pretty picture out of the bubbled on the voluntary military apptitude test our highschool forced us to take (yes, they forced all seniors through threat of detention, on the second half of a half day to attend this test).

      Well I stil got constant calls from recruits, I'm guessing because of my sat scores or whatnot. They continued to mail me, but they did stop calling me after I told the recruiter that "honestly, I really don't like this country very much".

      Disclaimer, this was 8 year
      • The aptitude tests don't really count for much, I found out. I didn't write anything at all on mine. Just folded it up and made a paper airplane out of it.

        They said I would be perfect for the Air Force.

      • my younger brother is 18 and gets a lot of calls, he answers them in much the same manner. i still get them occasionally, and i'm 21. my political beliefs are very similar to his [we're both marxists and lean towards pacifism in our personal lives], but i always tried to be as respectful as possible and explain my position on the issues at hand when they inevitably ask 'why'.

        still, each phone call takes about 5 minutes on average, because those buggers are getting pretty desperate.
      • When they ask you how much you weigh, tell them you are grossly overweight (regardless of if you are or not.) That seemed to stop them from bugging me for a while (~10 years ago.)
    • Sargeant (looking around): OK, our last armored truck got creamed by an IED. I need somebody to drive these supplies up to the front in this 72 Buick Regal with "US Army Official Use Only" on it. Any volunteers?

      *** silence ***

      Sargeant (consluting top line of report containing soldiers ranked lowest to highest by combat aptitude): OK, then, it looks like it'll be you.
  • by Pacifix (465793) <zorp@zorpy.cRASPom minus berry> on Monday December 13, 2004 @12:50PM (#11073607)
    ... said this game totally rocks. It's great to be on all of these practice runs... what, they aren't practice??? - J. Bean
    • by Chemisor (97276) on Monday December 13, 2004 @02:23PM (#11074609)
      Battle School made use of a "mind game", an adventure game designed to analyze the mind of its players. You remember it for the "Giant's Drink", which put the player in an unresolvable situation to force adoption of unconventional strategies. It is a much more appropriate analogy in this case, which uses a an FPS game for a similar purpose, except that the skills developed are pertinent to the front-line grunts rather than their commanders. "Less brains, more action" is the future slogan of the American Army.
      • "Less brains, more action" is the future slogan of the American Army.

        Didnt you get the memo?

        The new official slogan of the American Army is:
        "You go to war with the Army you have, not the Army you might want or wish to have"

        Everybody....Repeat after me now:

        You go to war with the Army you have, not the Army you might want or wish to have....
        You go to war with the Army you have, not the Army you might want or wish to have....
  • One more step to making all war completely virtual!

  • Wartime Culture (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jason Ford (635431) on Monday December 13, 2004 @01:02PM (#11073734)
    From the article:

    'In the wake of 9/11, the public and media reaction was, in the Army's words, "overwhelmingly positive." Salon's Wagner James Au, for example, gushed that the game would help "create the wartime culture that is so desperately needed now" and excitedly anticipated the day when youngsters raised on America's Army would pick up real weapons to cleanse the globe of real terrorists' (emphasis mine.)

    I was just pondering the other day what it is our country needs. Education, I thought. Health care, I mused.

    Man, was I off! Now I realize that the thing our country needs most is a wartime culture.
    • "create the wartime culture that is so desperately needed now"

      Wartime Culture is another way of saying "Clueless sheep who believe that a video game is like real war", or "cannon fodder".

      • Re:Wartime Culture (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Jason Ford (635431)
        Wartime Culture is another way of saying "Clueless sheep who believe that a video game is like real war"

        I've never played the game, so I don't know how realistic the game seems. I would think, though, that the game must involve the possibility for your character to be injured or killed. Maybe you're driving along a desert road and BOOM! your up-armored jeep blows up and you die. Or maybe you just get sniped by a camper.

        And people are going to want to sign up for real?

        If I were making a game to recrui
        • as for making joining the forces a sexy option for the kids, they have definitely done their part. for one, there is no blood in america's army, just like real war. nobody gets dismembered when fragged, and everyone fighting against you is a 'fanatical terrorist who hates america' rather than an enemy soldier ("just doing his job") by default. you don't see babies with bombs strapped to them, nor do you see the weeping families of the innocent deceased crying over them.

          you know what they say: war is heaven
        • I've played the game several times. It is very difficult. It is fast-paced. The game is constantly in flux.

          You are assigned to a squad of about four people. Depending on the type of squad, you get different equipment.

          If you work together as a team, you survive. If you try to go Rambo, you get killed. If your squads work together, you win quite easily. If the squads want to do their own thing, they can get killed.

          it is rather realistic. For instance, if you try to shoot while running, you won't hit the br
          • There is a big incentive not to die early on.

            Wow! It's more realistic than I thought!

            I must admit, though, that the physics you describe do sound rather cool.
          • it is rather realistic.

            It's still a game. While the game may teach strategic thinking, stop before you shoot, it pales in comparison to any war. The game is safe. The consequences for death, killing your teammate are light. You're a hero!

            Where's the blood? The dead babies? The feeling when your leg gets blown off. Post Tramautic Syndrome? The hundreds-of-thousands veterans who commit suicide because war is so horrible? Not sure the Army wants you to think about those things...

            • You ask some very good questions.

              The first one I can answer: the penalties for killing or wounding your teammates are actually a significant behavior control. I haven't played in a while, but there are two factors for determining what your role is: your skill and your honor. While honor is the most important (a higher honor lets you choose any role you want on the team), as long as you have the requisite skills (e.g. you are qualified to be a sniper) you can choose what you want.

              The goal is to improve you
        • In Full Spectrum Warrior, another gov't produced video game, if any of your squad members die, you fail the mission and start the mission over or at a save point.

          No one is allowed to die.

          Yes, these are absolutely designed to recruit.
    • I'd take a wartime culture over an ignorant culture anyday. If we're gonna get killed or go around killing people, we might as well know why rather than sit around on our asses wondering why some guy in a hole has been hating us for the past few :

      years (see : Somalia/Cuba/Central America/Africa)
      decades (see : Russia/China/Korea/Vietnam/Middle East)
      centuries (see : France/Germany/England/Europe)
      millennium(s) (see : Crusades/Promised Land/Muslims/Hebrews/Christians)
      unknown amounts of time (see : Nati

      • There's a huge difference between disagreement/displeasure and enough anger to go to war.
        Africa - Displeasure about the US not doing enough to fight disease/hunger/internal wars
        Middle East - Righteous anger about the US alignment with Israel and US foreign policies in the middle east, which has continued to increase and spiral into religious hatred towards the US itself
        Cuba/Russia/China/N.Korea/Vietnam - hostilitiy of Communism vs Capitalism
        Europe/Canada - displeasure with the current US administratio
        • True, but I was talking about historically. If you go back into the past, the U.S. has been one of the most annoying countries in history for third world countries. As for present day, well. Theres always parts of Africa who blaim the U.S. for the U.N.'s lack of activity, the Middle East has always hated us for some reason, the Cold War is still burning treasury coffers across the world, Europe hasn't liked us since the end of WWII, somethings always going on in South America with the U.S. getting blaimed f
          • If you go back into the past, the U.S. has been one of the most annoying countries in history for third world countries
            I would argue historically European countries had far more impact on third world countries. Between the 16th-19th centuries colonization basically tried to divide the world between the European powers. The impact of that time has lasted through even recent times, apartheid in S. Africa, French involvement in Vietnam(French Indochina War), Falkland islands, are all examples.
            The anger to
        • Right now most of the world is displeased with the US because of the isolationist policies of the current administration.

          WTF Mate? Isolationist policies? How the hell does that reconcile with "spreading democracy?" We do not have "isolationist policies." We have unilateral, interventionist policies, not isolationist policies. The war in Iraq is an interventionist policy, and a multinationalist one at that. Granted we supply most (~90%) of the funding and troops, but there are other nations that supp
          • We do not have "isolationist policies." We have unilateral, interventionist policies, not isolationist policies
            You are correct I couldn't think of the exact term. I was thinking more along the lines of isolating us from our allies (though the goverments support us there is a vocal minority against the US that has gained influence, see Spain) because we didn't get the rubber stamp from the ineffective UN.
            I don't think we differ through the rest, as I said in another post [slashdot.org], most of the world doesn't truly
  • by -dsr- (6188) on Monday December 13, 2004 @01:12PM (#11073841) Homepage Journal
    The Last Starfighter, right? Video games scattered across the nation as secret military training, and the high-scorers being recruited.

    Does the DoD now get *all* of their ideas from Hollywood?
  • "5t0p 5n1p1ng j00 f4g T4lib4N c4mP3r 4nd f1ght l1k3 4 m4n!"
  • by Caesar_X (575997) on Monday December 13, 2004 @01:28PM (#11073996)
    I know several people who worked on America's Army, and I found the article very thought-provoking. But when I see the overweight, Frito-eating guys at the local online-game center playing AA or HL2, I don't see how the Army is going to make these...men...into soldiers. There is a big difference between pressing a mouse button to kill a virtual terrorist and humping an 80-pound pack for two weeks only to get a fleeting shot at the enemy now and then. Let's be honest here, most of the soldiers of tomorrow are playing on the football fields when they are 14 and 15.
    • But when I see the overweight, Frito-eating guys at the local online-game center playing AA or HL2, I don't see how the Army is going to make these...men...into soldiers.

      By the time honored method of military training: having a DI scream in their face.
    • HARTMAN: Quickly! Get your fat ass over there, Private Pyle! Oh, that's right, Private Pyle ... don't make any fucking effort to get to the top of the fucking obstacle! If God wanted you up there He would have miracled your ass up there by now, wouldn't He?

      PYLE: Sir, yes, sir!

      HARTMAN: Get your fat ass up there, Pyle!

      PYLE: Sir, yes, sir!

      HARTMAN: What the hell is the matter with you anyway? I'll bet you if there was some pussy up there on top of that obstacle you could get up there! Couldn't you?!

      PYLE: S
    • If you are a good shot, and are able to think clearly when bullets are flying, you are an excellent candidate. The military has physical training programs (coupled with a carefully controlled diet, and psychological/emotional framework built into the training regimen) that can turn a fat, out-of-shape twenty-something man into a perfect cannon-fodder/drone/soldier.

      And if someone is over the threshold (100 pounds overweight? 200 pound overweight? who knows?) maybe they can use gastric-bypass surgery a
    • In the army of the future, Frito-eating guys from the local online-game center will be remotely controlling cyborgs made from football players.
    • Agreed. Well said. However, the body can be conditioned much easier than the mind. It's the attitude that usually accompanies the Frito eating that worries me. Does Joe Carbo-cruncher care enough about anything besides his personal gratification to be a good soldier?

      Being successful in the U.S. military requires a commitment to a set of values, among them selfless-service, honor, and personal courage. The Army is not a mercenary organization looking for cold-blooded privateers... at least, not yet.

      It's ca
      • It's called the Service for a reason. I doubt a game could ever capture what that really means.

        Now that would be a great game, and is the kind of thing that games should aim for. I think it would be a tremendous achievement if a game required a commitment to a set of values. Because computer games indicate what you "should" do by rewarding you though it's hard to get away from motivating people to gratify themselves. I think the form itself is at odds with selflessness. OTOH I've never designed a game

  • I'm going to log in tonight and shoot everything that moves (friendly soldiers, women, children). If they send me off to Iraq I'll be sure to have the database data at my court martial.
  • Let's say I was playing in another country? Will they send me citizenship papers along with my recruit forms. If not, I'm moving to canada before I download and play this game (or at least that's what I'll be putting as my address)
    • How do I fake my IP address to say I'm in Canada

      (They'll never figure out my master plan, and coupled with my tin foil hat, I'll be completely uncatchable. Plus, they can't see my true thoughts, cause I'm typing in these magic 'make my thoughts invisible' parentheses. I'm so damn smart and discrete. Stupid Army Recruiters. Mwahahahahahahahahahah.....hahahah..Ha..hahah!)

      PS: Hahhahahahahahahahahahah...I mean (HAHAHAHAHAHHAH.....HAHA...............heh heh heheheheh...Heh ha)
      • I like how no one considers the option of just NOT playing the game, which is one big commercial for the Army anyway.
        • (in best drill sargent voice)
          SON! Have you ever heard of the concept we call HUMOR!
          Seriously. While I may not have been funny, I was anything but serious. Don't you think if I were that anxious to play a free game that's been out for months, I would've already done so? Maybe next time I'll add a disclaimer.

          Attention: Canada SHOULD NEVER be the answer to avoiding US Army recruiting.
          (use Mexico, they have a warmer climate, cheaper cost of living and donkey shows)
  • by Anonymous Coward
    "The wars of tomorrow will be fought by tiny robots on the tops of very high mountains.
    Your job will be to build and maintain these robots."
  • "who hasn't seen one of these games--known as first-person shooters--here's the gist of them. You're placed in a combat zone, armed with a weapon of your choice, and sent out to find and kill other players. Knife them, club them, blow them apart with a shotgun, set them afire, vaporize them with a shoulder-launched missile, drill them through the head with a sniper rifle--the choice is yours. Depending on the game, blood will spray, mist or spout. Sometimes your kills collapse in crumpled heaps, clutching t
    • Ah, but if you've used the weapons and know the typcial tactics, requirements, and so forth (I'm enlisted in an SF unit), you know the difference between a realistic simulation and Unreal II. I have a hard time with most FPS's because they have you running in, standing up, guns blazing, as if you're Rambo or something.

      Sure, that's /fun/, but compare that to a situation where it makes sense to set up a reverse slope defense, to recon an area before returning to your rally point and moving out, or to run

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