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The Military Entertainment Games

America's Army As a High School Education Platform? 133

Posted by Soulskill
from the wait-what? dept.
GamePolitics reports on a recent press release from the US Army which says they will be partnering with various military, education, and non-profit organizations to bring an education curriculum to high school students via America's Army. Quoting the press release: "The partnership ... will incorporate Army technology, gaming and simulation resources to enhance student achievement in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The platform for the new curriculum is the America's Army PC game, a free online game that provides civilians with a virtual role in the US Army by introducing them to Army technologies, Rules of Engagement, training and missions. Used as a communications tool, the game has also been adapted for use within the military to produce effective and engaging virtual environments that enhance Soldier training in a number of areas including force protection, convoy survivability and nuclear, chemical and biological detection."
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America's Army As a High School Education Platform?

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  • Lessons on how to obey without question.

    What could possibly go wrong?

    • by LWATCDR (28044) on Sunday September 21, 2008 @02:15PM (#25094833) Homepage Journal

      Actually I took ROTC in high school. They covered illegal orders and UCMJ. They would go as far as to give you simple "illegal" order like calling at ease from a parade rest. The correct response was not to do it without question but to respond with "As you where sir!"
      This was just High School ROTC and we covered things like war crimes and how saying "I was just following orders" is not an excuse.

      • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward
        This was just High School ROTC and we covered things like war crimes and how saying "I was just following orders" is not an excuse.

        My how times have changed...
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Aurisor (932566)

        He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my
        contempt.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by BPPG (1181851)

          If parent is marked flamebait, then I guess Albert Einstein [quoteworld.org] is my favourite troll ever.

          • Re: (Score:1, Offtopic)

            by PhearoX (1187921)
            Isn't it ironic?

            I had no idea Einstein was so ignorant... He cursed the very thing that afforded him the opportunity to speak freely and share the benefit of his advances.

            Thanks for this... What a fascinating dichotomy of perceptions...
            • by Nazlfrag (1035012)

              He's only cursing those who march joyfully, as well he should.

              • by PhearoX (1187921)

                He's only cursing those who march joyfully, as well he should.

                Is it really that bad to love your country and enjoy the privilege of defending it?

                If you're referring to the act of 'marching joyfully' by itself, I did rather enjoy marching in rank and file to music in my high school's marching band... I also spent 4 years in the U.S. Marine Corps, and rather enjoyed that as well.

                I think Einstein was speaking with the perspective he was given by life in Germany. This is the perspective I did not take into consideration when originally interpreting his quote. If I had b

                • Is it really that bad to love your country and enjoy the privilege of defending it?...I also spent 4 years in the U.S. Marine Corps, and rather enjoyed that as well.

                  People who are actually defending their home don't do a lot of joyful marching in ranks. They're busy sneaking about and shooting at the invaders guerrilla-fashion then running away.

                  You do however see a lot of that sort of marching from aggressive, invading military forces, as they attempt to intimidate the people they've just conquered.

                  As

                  • by PhearoX (1187921)

                    In most cases there is no free exercise whatever of the judgement or of the moral sense

                    ...Thank God for this, in America's military our moral judgment is not only encouraged, it is celebrated. I can think of a great many instances where I could have shot, but didn't... Probably should have shot, but didn't... And at every turn, I received a pat on the back for my judgment.

                    I do detest those who pick a fight, then hide in the bushes and buildings, unwilling to fight the fight they brought upon themselves like men. Not stupid men (i.e., the British standing in a tight block, waiting to be shot)

                    • Thank God for this, in America's military our moral judgment is not only encouraged, it is celebrated.

                      Really? Then why is it that almost every member of America's military marched off to Bush's illegal and immoral invasion of Iraq without so much as a whimper? Why is it that the the defense in the court-martial of Corporal Trent D. Thomas asserted that "Marines in combat don't challenge orders"? [pitt.edu]

                      I do detest those who pick a fight, then hide in the bushes and buildings, unwilling to fight the fight they b

                    • by PhearoX (1187921)
                      I'm gonna go WAY out on a limb here and say... Democrat?

                      Really? Then why is it that almost every member of America's military marched off to Bush's illegal and immoral invasion of Iraq without so much as a whimper?

                      ...because almost every member of America's military believes in the cause... The ones that didn't exercised their rights as a "conscientious objector" and didn't go. That's what democracy is all about. You have every right to walk all over it and call every preemptive strike an 'illegal action' if you so choose. Personally, if you make a motion like you're going to hit me, you better believe I'm going to tie your ass in a knot whether or not you conne

                    • I'm gonna go WAY out on a limb here and say... Democrat?

                      I am a member of no political party, and never have been. If you are limited to thinking in terms of political parties, you might perhaps think of me as a bastard child of a Green and a Libertarian, lost in the forest and raised by wolves. I'm a libertarian socialist, a Zenarchist on good days. I'm a vegan and peace activist who owns guns and teaches people unarmed combat skills [seidomd.com]. I decline to be put in a box.

                      ...because almost every member of America

                    • by PhearoX (1187921)
                      Wow... I'm sorry, but I really don't feel like continuing this conversation after reading all that... You're in so deep, you can't be brought back. Have fun with those conspiracy theories and living in fear, man. You don't appreciate what I did for you, that's fine, you don't have to. You're part of the reason I did what I did, and that's what makes America an...interesting...place to live.
                    • Have fun with those conspiracy theories and living in fear, man.

                      Not that this is likely to reach you, but I don't live in fear. And the Bush administration's plot to invade Iraq by at best heavily spinning and at worst outright manufacturing evidence is not a conspiracy theory, it's a matter of public [cbsnews.com] record [cbsnews.com].

                      You don't appreciate what I did for you

                      I appreciate your desire to serve, and your courage in going into danger to do so. Unfortunately, it's your judgment that lacked. In your desire to "help" me,

          • by LWATCDR (28044) on Monday September 22, 2008 @09:47AM (#25103237) Homepage Journal

            Actually that is fair statment. Soldiers of free country march not out of joy but out of duty. They understand that they are sacrificing so others can be protected. They take pride is service and not out of the shear glory of military service.

          • Damnit, even Einstein hated band geeks like me. I'm so glad high school is behind me.

        • by sco08y (615665)

          He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my
          contempt.

          If you can come up with a better way to get a thousand people from point a to point b without vehicles, I'd love to hear it.

          And why can't we sing? Are you some kind of fascist?

          • If you can come up with a better way to get a thousand people from point a to point b without vehicles, I'd love to hear it. And why can't we sing? Are you some kind of fascist?

            Weapons are the tools of fear;
            a decent man will avoid them
            except in the direst necessity
            and, if compelled, will use them
            only with the utmost restraint.
            Peace is his highest value.
            If the peace has been shattered,
            how can he be content?
            His enemies are not demons,
            but human beings like himself.
            He doesn't wish them personal harm

            • by sco08y (615665)

              And it's poseurs who spout off random shit when they have no clue what they're talking about.

              If a free man of any decency must kill to defend his community

              You're even a poseur when it comes to isolationism. After all, even the early militia was instituted to defend the entire nation, not simply communities.

              • After all, even the early militia was instituted to defend the entire nation, not simply communities.

                Community: A body of people having common rights, privileges, or interests, or living in the same place under the same lawsand regulations; Society at large; a commonwealth or state; a body politic; the public, or people in general; a group of people living in a particular local area; a group of people having ethnic or cultural or religious characteristics in common; a group of nations having common intere

                • by QMO (836285)

                  Or the people in the world that are threatened by terrorism, religious extremeism, murderous dictatorships, etc.

                  I don't think I've ever heard a justification of our current wars quite like yours before. Thank you for the insight.

                  • I don't think I've ever heard a justification of our current wars quite like yours before.

                    Not even close. I said to defend one's community. Wars of aggression are right out.

                    My "community" includes those threatened by bullying, homophobia, and bigotry. I will come to their aid and defense, with force if necessary. But that does not mean I'm justified in going out and shooting or beating people who have been guilty of bullying in the past, or who express homophobic or racist attitudes, or even who make th

                    • by QMO (836285)

                      So, what gives you more right to define "community" for our nation than our elected officials? (Which you've done, in an inconsistent and somewhat hypocritical way.)

                      Also, I'd like to point out that:
                      You've claimed that physical violence can be justified by name-calling, if the "names" fall in certain categories.
                      You've also (perhaps out of ignorance) claimed that weekly shooting attacks by a national military don't justify military response.

                      Careful reading of your posts will help you understand your first im

                    • So, what gives you more right to define "community" for our nation than our elected officials?

                      The community that our national elected officials should be concerned with, is exactly the community of our nation. That's their job.

                      If individual citizens want to define their community as including people in other nations, and go join up with fighting forces in those other nations, fine. (Provided of course that said forces are not at war with the U.S.) You want to include Israel in your community and go join

                    • by Descalzo (898339)

                      My "community" includes those threatened by bullying, homophobia, and bigotry. I will come to their aid and defense, with force if necessary.

                      Right there, you are kinda saying you're willing to use force to stop name-calling.

                      Also:
                      You seriously hadn't heard of the repeated attacks on US planes between 1990 and 2003?

                    • Right there, you are kinda saying you're willing to use force to stop name-calling.

                      No, I'm not "kinda" saying anything of the kind. And I think you even know that, with your sudden disclaimer of "kinda".

                      First, I said "those threatened" - those suffering only name calling are not being threatened. Second, I offered "aid and defense, with force if necessary" - the use of defensive force is necessary only - indeed, can only exit - if aggressive force is present.

                      You seriously hadn't heard of the repeated a

                    • by Descalzo (898339)
                      >First, I said "those threatened" - those suffering only name calling are not being threatened. Second, I offered "aid and defense, with force if necessary" - the use of defensive force is necessary only - indeed, can only exit - if aggressive force is present.

                      Now I'm REALLY confused. Because before it sounded like you DIDN'T support the war in Iraq, and now here you are supporting doing battle against Saddam Hussein.

                      I give up.

                    • Now I'm REALLY confused. Because before it sounded like you DIDN'T support the war in Iraq, and now here you are supporting doing battle against Saddam Hussein.

                      I see that your reading comprehension skills need work. Let me see if I can resolve your confusion:

                      I supported Operation Desert Shield. It was a legitimate defensive use of force.

                      I did not support Operation Desert Storm. While conducted with legal authorization, it was an aggressive intervention in a border dispute in an unstable region, and Am

      • by wasmoke (1055116) on Sunday September 21, 2008 @03:58PM (#25096009)
        I'm currently doing ROTC in college, and it really sickens me when people give the old argument that military personnel are trained to obey orders without question.
        My experience is much the same as yours in JROTC; that is, we are being taught as future officers to question those orders which seem unreasonable or dangerous.
        The main problem is that most people who have not had any exposure to the military do not know anything except what the media says. Nobody bothers to actually speak to a Marine, for example, because it's so much easier to just watch CNN for the REAL news. Ah well, I'm involved in what I am to protect the public's right to protest what I'm involved in, so I guess I shouldn't complain.
        • by LWATCDR (28044)

          I learned a lot from my time in the AFJROTC. It has served me well all these years. Yea it is a real shame that so many people are so sure and secure in their ignorance.

        • by hey! (33014) on Monday September 22, 2008 @08:14AM (#25102199) Homepage Journal

          Well, let's get out of the realm of the abstract for a moment. Anybody who is reasonably educated knows that an order to do something illegal, say to murder a prisoner, is not valid. So you don't have to feel so injured by misunderstanding. There's always going to be a few or course.

          On the other hand, the principle that soldiers should not obey an illegal order is really only good as the ability of a soldier to distinguish between legal and illegal. There isn't always a clear line, say between legal, aggressive interrogation techniques and illegal torture. One of the benefits of ROTC is, hopefully, and officer corps with greater critical thinking skills. Still, by in large troops and the officers who lead them are not lawyers, they have to use their ethical common sense to get them through dilemmas.

          The real danger when you give a man a lethal weapon and put him under orders is not particular to the military. It is group think. And don't say that isn't a problem. Every military person I have talked to has plenty of stories of bureaucratic pigheadedness on a massive scale.

          I have known many military people over the years, and one thing that I think is fair to say is that good soldiers, marines, airmen and sailors have a can do attitude. That contributes to the both the dynamism and dysfunction of the military. Survival may trump that, but the first response to an order to take a fortified position is to view it as a solvable problem. This takes an implicit trust in the competence and judgment of your superiors, and that habit means going along with things you know are damnably stupid -- so long as they aren't illegal or immediately fatal.

          Trust and a willingness to go along with anything short of illegality are good things in a soldier, but bad things in a citizen and especially a civilian leader. A good citizen has to question the competence and judgment of the leadership. When political mistakes reach the military, it's too late to question. One military saying I've heard is that shit rolls downhill, and it's the military's job to deal with the politicians' shit. A politician's ought to avoid handing the shit down to the military by being skeptical.

          Skepticism is not a military virtue, which is not to say anything negative about military service. No profession is the beginning and end of all virtues. One of the problems I see of certain political viewpoints is that they like to promote the military as the entire repository of American virtue because obedience or rather willingness to get behind the mission, is so useful to them.

          Look at Colin Powell, a great soldier, a top notch military leader, and a bad Secretary of State. He brought his military values of duty and loyalty into the job, and ended up being a catspaw. It wasn't that he accepted an order to lie; he accepted the mission he was given and took ownership of it, the way good soldiers do. It made him both useful and an object of scorn within the administration. By giving his superiors more than they deserved, he gave his true masters less.

        • My experience is much the same as yours in JROTC; that is, we are being taught as future officers to question those orders which seem unreasonable or dangerous.

          So why, then, did the defense in the court-martail of Corporal Trent D. Thomas assert "Marines in combat don't challenge orders"? [pitt.edu] Do only officers get to question orders?

          Why, indeed, did almost every member of the military march off to Bush's illegal invasion of Iraq with nary a whimper? Only a handful stood up and refused [thenation.com].

          I'm involved in what I

          • by wasmoke (1055116)

            So why, then, did the defense in the court-martail of Corporal Trent D. Thomas assert "Marines in combat don't challenge orders"?

            If you had actually read the article, you'd notice that the case was about premeditated kidnapping and murder. That, in my humble opinion (NOT the opinion of the rest of the Navy, mind you), is the mark of an idiotic NCO that should never have made it out of boot camp. That is a good article to use as "evidence" if you are into judging an entire organization based on the actions of two individuals.

            Protect it from whom? The Canadians? The Mexicans? Al Qaeda...

            Nobody would have thought Russia would invade Georgia, either.
            I don't disagree with you that nobody is going

      • by n3tcat (664243)
        I would love to see one of the 2LT's in my directorate tell a LTC that. Ah the laughs that would be had at their expense...
        • by Kagura (843695)
          The laughs would belong to the 2LTs if the colonel ordered them to kill an entire family who lived outside the city, but too close to the base and refused to move. That is an illegal order, and I doubt many LTCs issue such commands.
      • This was just High School ROTC and we covered things like war crimes and how saying "I was just following orders" is not an excuse.

        America follows laws against war-crimes? You wouldn't know it... Or do they only apply to low-level soldiers?

      • by sco08y (615665)

        Actually I took ROTC in high school. They covered illegal orders and UCMJ. They would go as far as to give you simple "illegal" order like calling at ease from a parade rest. The correct response was not to do it without question but to respond with "As you where sir!"

        Okay, this is drill and ceremony so it's supposed to be highly formalized, and we don't do this stuff on a day to day basis. You're wrong on several counts. First of all, it's perfectly valid to go from parade rest to at ease. You go from looking straight ahead to following the speaker. Second, when you're at parade rest, you really not supposed to speak. Third, it's were, not where.

        To understand "as you were" you have to know that in D&C a command is made up of the preparatory command and command of ex

        • by LWATCDR (28044)

          I took JROTC before the C64 hit the market. So it was a LONG time ago.
          So yeah I forgot some of the drill rules.
          I have not had to use them much since then.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by morari (1080535)

      Not too different than what is taught in school anyway. This is just more overtly propaganda.

    • by bravobulldog6 (1365139) on Sunday September 21, 2008 @07:23PM (#25097785)
      My name is MAJ Paul Stanton and I am a former infantryman and current computer scientist in the US Army. The views that I present here are entirely my own and do not represent an âoeofficial statementâ for the government or military. In your comment, you insinuate that Army Soldiers obey without question and are members of a non-thinking organization. Please allow me to explain a little about the current operational environment that our Soldiers are fighting in and the educational preparation they receive prior to deploying overseas. We are fighting a complex, asymmetric, thinking enemy who constantly creates ambiguous situations that our Soldiers face daily. Our Soldiers must think and be creative to defeat this enemy â" and they do. You may not hear about it, because our media chooses to tell the isolated story of a mistake instead of the countless examples of Soldiers doing the right thing, but I have much experience in Iraq and Afghanistan that supports our thinking Soldiers. How do Soldiers prepare for the challenges that theyll face? There are many formal educational venues â" ROTC, West Point, and officer schooling for officers and Basic, Advanced Individual Training, and unit training for Soldiers. At each opportunity, Soldiers learn about ethical decision making and have the opportunity to practice via scenario based training (the same time of scenario based training that Americas Army supports). The result is an intelligent and capable Soldier who thinks on the battlefield. Yes, you probably have a mental picture of a negative instance â" one that the media discussed at length. . . .has it happened? Yes. But is it the extreme exception? Yes. Soldiers face âoeshoot / no-shootâ scenarios in real time, with real bullets, on a daily basis. They make the right decisions â" they are not automatons, but rather smart, competent, ethically-minded people who want nothing more than to do the right thing. Please take the time to think about the challenges Soldiers face, and then consider how they can operate without thinking. I believe that you will find that it would be impossible.
      • Thanks Major. I'm a retired Army Staff Sergeant (1967-1989) I get so tired of the knee jerk "soldiers are stupid automatons" meme. In my years in the Army I was privileged to live in placed like Germany, Thailand, Korean, The Philippines and Vietnam. I met great people in each of those places. In fact my wife is from Thailand and we have two grown children and two grandchildren. Some of the soldiers I was privileged to work with were not highly educated, but some were, and even the ones that were not were
      • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Sir, since your S4 seems to have let you down, you can have some whitespace from my secret squirrel stash:

        "

        "

        Feel free to use it to break up paragraphs, indent, whatever you need.

        All the way!

    • I'm in the military and I obey and question.

    • by vrmlguy (120854)

      Lessons on how to obey without question.

      What could possibly go wrong?

      My first response to this dribble was to Google "You cannot learn to give orders unless you first learn how to take orders", but it didn't show up a definite source for the phrase. It did, however, find this little gem: http://books.google.com/books?id=edpoFMjzD-IC&pg=PA185 [google.com]. Google won't easily let me copy and paste, so read the paragraph that starts with "Of course" and the two that follow for an examination of how American soldiers are trained to think for themselves.

  • Sorry guys, (Score:2, Funny)

    by eddy (18759)
    but your society has jumped the shark.
    • but your society has jumped the shark.

      Where do you live? I will be your ex-american monkey boy!! Living underneath your bed will do.

    • I know. It's time for all of us with the sense and capability to GTFO. The battle was fought and lost.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Kids will learn calculus if that makes their avatar level: "Look at this dude, I'm a level 5 scientist!" And when time comes to put down the game: "OMG I learned all this stuff and now I'm a scientist in real life too!"

    • by Bragador (1036480) on Sunday September 21, 2008 @02:00PM (#25094657)

      I actually am hoping for such a game to eventually exist. And if nobody makes it I might do it but I don't have the skills...

      Look at websites like http://www.hackthissite.org/ [hackthissite.org] where you basically learn many things. When you find the solution to a problem, you are awarded points. This pushes you to learn more and achieve more.

      Instead of having HTML, javascript, programming, etc challenges, why not make something like that for general science?

      Make learning FUN!

      Also, I'd LOVE games to learn languages like http://www.tbns.net/knuckles/ [tbns.net].

      Again: MAKE. LEARNING. FUN!

      • by Daimanta (1140543) on Sunday September 21, 2008 @03:49PM (#25095925) Journal

        Sounds like a good idea but personally I am against it. It is a disease of the modern society that everything you do has to be fun. If you make everything "fun", people will be more likely to refuse doing something because it lacks fun. People need do things because they need to do things. You need to learn how to calculate if you want to do anything that involves numbers(like filling in your tax papers). Having the knowledge should be its own reward.

        Note, I didn't post this because it is fun, I posted it because I felt like I needed to respond to you.

        • by kabocox (199019)

          Sounds like a good idea but personally I am against it. It is a disease of the modern society that everything you do has to be fun. If you make everything "fun", people will be more likely to refuse doing something because it lacks fun. People need do things because they need to do things. ...
          Note, I didn't post this because it is fun, I posted it because I felt like I needed to respond to you.

          I'm of mixed nature. I don't mind them putting the http://www.military.com/ASVAB [military.com] into a game. Honestly, I'd say a l

        • by Feanturi (99866)
          While your perspective appears to be good in principle, the fact remains that when an activity (or workload) is fun, you tend to learn how to do it much better, giving it more of your attention and energy. You make more of an honest effort to master it. If we do not strive to make more things fun, people will continue to do those un-fun things half-assed and in a hurry to get them over with, which doesn't help those activities ever get any better, or more well-learned.
      • by oncehour (744756)
        Drop me a line and let's discuss this idea in more detail. I'd be down for helping, and I may have the resources to get it out there in front of the actual kids.
    • by plover (150551) *

      No kidding. If the average kid had to do homework as a part of grinding in WoW, considering how much time they spend in game we might end up with a nation of Doogie Howsers.

      Of course, all the asian gold farmers would quickly have their PhDs, and we'd really just end up with a nation of kids all trained to send their money overseas.

  • by whitroth (9367) <whitroth@@@5-cent...us> on Sunday September 21, 2008 @01:53PM (#25094569) Homepage

    So, will all military references be removed for educational purposes, or is this an attempt to militarize education, and sucker more kids into the US military, for more colonialism and adventurism?

    And before anyone starts arguing, are *you* in the military? If not, and you agree with the miltitarization of education, and you are in your 20s or thirties, and not incapacitated, what excuse do you have for *not* being in the military, right now?

    Oh, I see, like Dick Cheney: you have "other agendas" (read, get rich, and risk somebody else's kid's neck for your money).

                    mark

    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      At school, we learn to follow a regimented schedule set by our superiors and accept their judgment as to our worth (grades). There are also military recruiters on campus. I agree that education should not be militarized. I just disagree that it hasn't happened yet.

    • by jfreaksho (263517)

      I don't know anything about how they intend to use the game or its military base. I'm guessing that the military base is the reason they are planning to use it.

      I think that education in this country has serious issues, and the military being present in it is not the worst of these.

      I think that people are not suckered into military service nearly as often as you might think. It was the best option I had available at the time, and I just reenlisted eight months ago, near the end of my 8-year contract. Ther

      • by rtb61 (674572)

        What is interesting here is the US army is emphasising non combat roles and career opportunities. This might be a somewhat misleading due to the carry preference to contract out a lot of those non combat roles to private corporations, which means of course the non combat roles as shrinking and young people enlisting are likely to find themselves bound to a career they had not expected. This might change of course as it has become apparent that contracting out those works has proved a corrupt failure.

        Perh

        • If the army has trained tradesmen, how could American companies rake in the pork from "reconstructing" the cities flattened during their various illegal invasions (Iraq, Afghanistan) and low-contact engagements (eg Serbia/Kosovo -- "no need to get shot -- let's stand back and drop bombs on them. Chinese embassy? Oops! Civilian utilities -- water; electricity? Oops!" Heck, they even managed to bomb the Wrong Country (Bulgaria).)

          HAL.

    • by ErikZ (55491) *

      Interesting, educating students about the military is now "the miltitarization of education".

      It would be a tragedy of education if high school students graduated without knowing the basics of their own military.

      Especially in the US, which has the most powerful military in the history of mankind.

      Ooops. I'm late for my flight to the colony of Japan!

  • From the article (Score:2, Informative)

    by blool (798681)
    I was a bit confused as to how America's Army could be educational(it's a pretty run of the mill FPS, similar to CS, with a lot of U.S military "atmosphere" to it). However it seems that they plan to expand a little bit for this education initiative.

    The first educational module will be incorporated into the PLTW Principles of Engineering course. Students will use the America's Army gaming technology to explore kinematics in a ballistics project. They will be able to test the accuracy of their calculations i

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by LingNoi (1066278)

      The first educational module will be incorporated into the PLTW Principles of Engineering course. Students will use the America's Army gaming technology to explore kinematics in a ballistics project. They will be able to test the accuracy of their calculations in the virtual environment to observe how different variables such as displacement, time, velocity and elevation angles affect the principles of engineering.

      ROFL! Please tell me this is some kind of joke. The guy is saying that kids will get better at

  • by anarkavre (904651)
    ...Hitler Youths and military propaganda for the 21st century. Nothing new here.
  • It sounds to me like they're modding the America's Army game to make physics simulators for students to try out, and maybe increase their interest in science or engineering. It's probably cheaper for the government to do this than to develop a whole new system that incorporates many of the same features AA already uses. Just because the programs are based off of a popular shooting game doesn't mean 15 year olds are going to be playing military shooters in school (although I'm sure many of them have no qualm
  • ... our armed senior class overlords.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Is this really a problem? Aren't we all smart/mature enough to not turn into soldiers because of a Army math problem?

    How many of you protesting this idea also think there should not be restrictions on violent video games because they don't really influence behavior?

    You can't have it both ways.

  • "Utilizing the gaming platform, PLTW, Ohio DOE and the America's Army team have developed a number of applications which will be implemented over the coming year to enhance PLTW's engineering curriculum, currently implemented in 3,000 middle schools and high schools nationwide. The first educational module will be incorporated into the PLTW Principles of Engineering course. Students will use the America's Army gaming technology to explore kinematics in a ballistics project. They will be able to test the acc

    • by w32jon (1317789)

      that was my impression after reading the article as well, I didn't get "Army brainwashing" vibes from it.

      It sounds like educational physics simulations that just happen to use the America's Army engine.

  • banned from college because of too many TK's
  • Perfect. (Score:3, Funny)

    by Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) on Sunday September 21, 2008 @04:39PM (#25096371) Journal
    I always wanted a simulation that would allow me the visceral experience of getting an education, with out actually learning anything.
  • ...I will never send my kids to a public school.
  • by JonathanBoyd (644397) on Sunday September 21, 2008 @05:51PM (#25097065) Homepage

    Jack Thompson accuses games of corrupting our youth: results in moral indignation from Slashdot, saying that games don't turn anyone into anytihng.

    Schools mod America's Army for educational purposes: results in moral indignation from Slashdot, saying that the military is using games to brainwash people.

    Don't know if any individuals hold to both views, but it's interesting how these seem to be vocal opinions.

    • by pxc (938367)

      Don't know if any individuals hold to both views, but it's interesting how these seem to be vocal opinions.

      The two positions are the same (they are opinions of different thing), but the opinion/emotional response is the same: outrage.
      Outrage is generally a more vocally expressed opinion than complacence or acceptance.

      • True. I'm just wondering if anyone does actually hold to both opinions and what they would say to the suggestion that it might be contradictory. Playing devil's advocate really since all this seems to be happening the other side of the Atlantic and thus is largely irrelevant to me.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Dutchmaan (442553)

      I'm wondering if the same people who are supporting this would have issue if oh say, a school required a child to participate in a class that uses Grand Theft Auto as a learning tool with a curriculum by a gangster rapper?

      It's not about the video game (no one had/has issue with kids playing AA on their own time), it's about the teaching of ideology.

    • by huha (755976)

      Games can be used to convey messages, just like books. If you take a random shooter, chances are you'll get at least an attempt at a story which acts as a reason for your gaming (the half-life series being a very good example of this). However, there is not much ideology in these games and you won't be forced to play them if you so desire or parts of the storyline do offend you.

      It's different with school books or games being played at school--these should be as neutral as possible and not carry any sublimal

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I'm an Air Force Major, and this is a terrible idea. I would never want my child to join the US Armed Forces under the current regime.

    Most of our enlisted people are gung-ho, but (frankly) we officers are paid to think.

    And many of us think that Iraq was a way for certain corporate entities to profit through sweetheart contracts and the like.

    The way our leaders think is this: "Even if we spend $3 billion of taxpayer money, if we can make $100 off it - hey, that's $100 we didn't have".

    Sorry - got a little o

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