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First Person Shooters (Games) The Military United States Entertainment Games

First-Person Shooter Modified For Fire Drill Simulation 158

Posted by Soulskill
from the crap-where's-a-medkit dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "Researchers at Durham University have modified a video game and turned it into a fire drill simulator using the Source engine (the 3D game engine used to drive Half-Life 2), and created a virtual model of one of the university's departments. Dr. Shamus Smith said that although 3D modeling software was available, modifying a video game was faster, more cost effective, and had better special effects. 'We were interested in using game technology over a customized application and the Source Engine, from Half-Life, is very versatile,' said Smith. 'We used the simulation to see how people behaved in an actual fire situation and to train people in "good practice" in a fire.' The team says the virtual environment helped familiarize people with evacuation routines and could also help identify problems with a building's layout. One problem, however, was that while the simulation worked for most people, those who played a lot of video games did some unusual things when using the simulation. 'If a door was on fire, [the gamers] would try and run through it, rather than look for a different exit,' said Smith." This makes me wonder to what extent entertainment software will fill the role of non-entertainment software as the tools and engines become more and more powerful. Ars mentions related news that the US Dept. of Naval Research is dumping millions of dollars into "virtual reality-like simulations of small-scale urban conflicts." It's unclear whether this is related to the US Army's similar program.
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First-Person Shooter Modified For Fire Drill Simulation

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  • Mods (Score:5, Funny)

    by baldass_newbie (136609) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @06:54AM (#26735465) Homepage Journal

    'If a door was on fire, [the gamers] would try and run through it, rather than look for a different exit,' said Smith."

    You need the firesuit mod for that perk.

    • by Bearhouse (1034238) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @07:05AM (#26735517)

      Reminds me of the story of the airline pilot who, late at night and after a long transatlantic trip, smashed into the back of a car at a red lght. When questioned, he swore that his first relex was to pull back on the steering wheel and fly over the obstacle rather than brake...

      Getting back on topic, why not? Simulation programs have traditionally been bespoke, hugely expensive and frequently less 'rich' than some games. Also, actually doing a fire drill in a large complex is not without risk and expense.

      • by u38cg (607297) <calum@callingthetune.co.uk> on Thursday February 05, 2009 @08:43AM (#26736119) Homepage
        I can believe that, though he should really have been driving so as not to be that close in the first place. I rode horses most of my life, and when I came to learn to drive I found it very unsettling indeed not to have the ability to push the car sideways with my leg. Also, driving without wearing a helmet of some kind made me feel kinda naked.
        • by Sir_Lewk (967686) <sirlewk@NospAm.gmail.com> on Thursday February 05, 2009 @08:53AM (#26736261)
          That's rather interesting, I wonder, have you tried riding a motorcycle?
        • by kabocox (199019) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @10:13AM (#26737475)

          I can believe that, though he should really have been driving so as not to be that close in the first place. I rode horses most of my life, and when I came to learn to drive I found it very unsettling indeed not to have the ability to push the car sideways with my leg. Also, driving without wearing a helmet of some kind made me feel kinda naked.

          Um, you can wear a helmet in a car if you really want to.

        • by rts008 (812749)

          Well, I was with you 100% until 'helmet' came up...WTF??? (yes, I had horses many years before I got my first bicycle)

          • by u38cg (607297)
            I said helmet rather than hat because most /. types would probably think of a baseball cap or something. Beyod that, I imagine you'e from the US, and didn't regularly wear a hat for riding. In the UK, not wearing a hat is like showing your grandma your cock; it's considered bad form.
            • by rts008 (812749)

              Ahh!Different culture.

              "Beyod that, I imagine you'e from the US, and didn't regularly wear a hat for riding." Yes, from the US,(Oklahoma) and never been worried about whether I had on the 'right' hat to ride on a horse. I just jumped on the critter and rode.I had horses many years before I was introduced to a bicycle. Never worried about putting on a fashion show first.

              "...not wearing a hat is like showing your grandma your cock; it's considered bad form."

              Well, I would not deign to go about flashing my cock

            • by rts008 (812749)

              Ah..
              Then ignore my previous reply[check time stamp].

              My apologies! Really.

              I grew up on a ranch, and had my own horse since I was 3 years old, (yes, I was dumb, awkward, unknowing, and unaware-but I learned quick)

              We focused more on 'getting the job done' than protocol, but yes, I understand and respect it. Traditions and customs, right, mate? (no sarcasm intended-it really provides a solid foundation for everyone to work from)

              Again, I apologize for my over-board reply. No good excuse! :-)

              *feels 1 cm tall!*

            • Please ignore my unfounded aand pointless ravings.
              I had totally misunderstood your point of view, smashed my nose from knee-jerking, and made a total arse of myself.
              You have my sincere apologies! :-)

              • by u38cg (607297)
                Haha, I make it a rule never to reply to a /. comment at 3am, regardless of how enthused I am ;)

                It's not so much an etiquette or custom thing as simple safety - trailing around a ranch isn't the same thing as galloping flat out across unknown country while fox-hunting, and your head does tend to be the first thing to hit the ground when it does go wrong . And I'm certainly not going to slag off American horsemanship - some of it is very fine indeed.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by furby076 (1461805)
        Simulators can give you some insight, but it is far different then actually doing it in a physical environment. Ever drive a racing car game? It's a bit different then driving a racing car - hence why you smash into the wall all the time in the game. For this it would be great to learn the routes, but they need to introduce stress into the situation. At the very least the game, while designed to look like the building, will not look just like it (cartoon pixels of a wall do not look like a wall).

        As fo
        • Simulators can give you some insight, but it is far different then actually doing it in a physical environment. Ever drive a racing car game? It's a bit different then driving a racing car - hence why you smash into the wall all the time in the game. For this it would be great to learn the routes, but they need to introduce stress into the situation. At the very least the game, while designed to look like the building, will not look just like it (cartoon pixels of a wall do not look like a wall). As for gamers doing things that someone normally one would not do, how about doing a triple twist jump while putting two shots into the heads of your classmates and landing safely on the other side? :)

          Sorry, bunny hopping, martyrdom and last stand will get you banned from the office.

      • by Rich0 (548339)

        Indeed - depending at what point in a takeoff/landing roll something like that happened the appropriate solution would be to go full throttle and try to get over it. Big jets have long breaking distances (especially during takeoff when weight is maximized and the engines take seconds to spool down). Past a certain point the only reason they would hit the brakes at all is that fewer people would die when you hit whatever is past the end of the runway than if you were to try to take off and come crashing ba

    • Re:Mods (Score:5, Funny)

      by shbazjinkens (776313) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @07:14AM (#26735547)
      Left out of the story was the gamers' unusual tendency to repeatedly crouch and stand over the top of victims, rather than drag them to safety.
    • Re:Mods (Score:5, Funny)

      by Corunet (856471) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @08:33AM (#26736033) Homepage
      IDDQD!
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by billcopc (196330)

      Get the rocket launcher and make your own exit ?

      If they made their fire drill look and act like a game, that's their own damn fault. Real people don't strafe-jump down the stairs either. In fact, real people tend to just stand around staring at each other, complaining about how the alarm makes it difficult to work and how some people take these drills too seriously. After a few minutes they start asking "Should we leave ?" as their cube neighbour shrugs "I dunno, let's go raid the vending machines!".

      Peop

      • While you raise some interesting points(and truthful, IMO), this one is easy to figure out for the veteran FPS player:

        Frag EVERYONE, they will only get in your way.

        Make sure you teabag your PHB! (this is important for gaining XP and leveling up)

        When you get safely outside, SPAWN CAMP FTW!!!

        Grenades are your friend.

        Oh yeah, loot the CEO's corpse for the BFG9000 and his Golden Parachute!

        Mine and booby trap EVERYTHING!!

        Have I overlooked anything?

      • by LoRdTAW (99712)

        Well the strafe jump is a problem of design, not inherent of the game engine. Those variables can be adjusted and you can remove the ability to move about as if you were playing TF2.

        Also player collision should be implemented so people cant run through each other. Bots can be used to simulate the other people so you don't need the whole school to simultaneously join a single server. Players that jump through fire should "die" in a non violent manner such as instantly turning into a spectator. Then display a

      • by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland AT yahoo DOT com> on Thursday February 05, 2009 @03:51PM (#26743555) Homepage Journal

        "It's not the drill procedure itself that's so terrible, once people are moving, they will continue following whoever's in front of them. It's getting them to start moving that's the hard part."
        I am on the emergence response team, so when the bell goes off Scream "Oh dear God!", jump up, and run screaming to the exit.

        I use to just fire a few round in the air to get people moving, but the 7th story start complain about bullet holes in their floor...whiners.

        • > I am on the emergence response team, so when the bell goes off Scream "Oh dear God!", jump up, and run screaming to the exit.

          Also, I learned from the Simpsons that the first person out should bolt the door shut from the outside.

      • What, exactly is strafe-jumping down the stairs that "real people" don't do?

        I remember in a real emergency, I was out of my 2nd story office and in the front parking lot in about 17 seconds.
        That was after about a 5-7 second pause before deciding it was the real thing and the building might not be left standing. I'm pretty sure I went down the stairwell and not out the window... :-)...amazing what adrenaline can do when it kicks in.

    • Re:Mods (Score:4, Funny)

      by plover (150551) * on Thursday February 05, 2009 @07:18PM (#26746381) Homepage Journal
      I heard a story (supposedly true, but this is the internet, right?) of a military flight simulator based on a game mod. It was being demoed for some Australian military honcho, and he complained that the scenery lacked "realism", really meaning he wanted to see herds of animals. So the developers went back and "skinned" some of the NPCs to look like kangaroos and placed a bunch of them in herds around the airfield. At the next demo, the same honcho did a low flyby over the kangaroo herd, and some of them opened fire with the weapons the developers forgot to disable! Classic.
  • But, but... (Score:3, Funny)

    by Jurily (900488) <jurily&gmail,com> on Thursday February 05, 2009 @06:54AM (#26735467)

    video games are dangerous!

    How are we supposed to ban them now?

  • by krnpimpsta (906084) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @07:12AM (#26735537)

    while the simulation worked for most people, those who played a lot of video games did some unusual things when using the simulation. 'If a door was on fire, [the gamers] would try and run through it, rather than look for a different exit,' said Smith.

    I'm pretty sure I'd also run through the fire, at least a few times or until video-game-death, just to see what happens..
    Obligatory XCKD link [xkcd.com]

  • First video games allegedly are the cause for kids to shoot up their high school. Now they're using the Half-life engine for educational simulations?

    Sounds a bit like having their cake and eating it, too.

    On a more humorous note, I wonder if any of the players tried strafe-jumping down the hall to exit the building faster!
    • by KlaymenDK (713149)

      Yeah, I can't really see this *not* happening: someone taking one look at the map for their (school|place of work) and saying to themselves, "gee, this would make for a fun after-hours match map..." This has been done since the days of Doom.

    • by furby076 (1461805)
      Or the people who bitched about games are not involved in this program, and those who are for games are involved in this program? You know the news we get does not originate from the same person, it is from various people/groups.

      Now someone just needs to hack the game, start out with a gun, and shoot up the students during the drill so he can get out faster.
    • by geekoid (135745)

      No, it sounds like you are creating a false dichotomy of us and them. There isn't a them that's out to get us.
      There is just people doing what people do. Some are idiots and refuse to look at anything critical(J.T.)
      Other sue the tool too suit their goal.

    • by JeffTL (667728)
      It's using the Source engine. The cake is a lie, so they can't have it or eat it.
  • I wonder (Score:5, Funny)

    by dotar (1400363) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @07:24AM (#26735621)

    does diviant behaviour include looting the corpses of my co-workers in between running up to all the walls looking for the secret doors?

  • 'Tilde'

    Console: Godmode

    [enter]

    'Tilde'

    Console: Allweapons

    [enter]

    Buaahahahaha!

    Sorry. Really. It had to be done. :P

    Strat

    (Yes, I know they aren't really valid commands, but they make the point.)

    • by dotar (1400363)

      Sadly, they ARE the actual commands in most games these days. I'm not sure what happened to IMAGINATION...

      I know what DQD stands for... and I've played SPISPOPD

      • by BlueStrat (756137)

        I'm not sure what happened to IMAGINATION...

        Me either. I can't even conceive of the idea...

        Strat

  • by clickety6 (141178) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @07:33AM (#26735661)

    US Dept. of Naval Research is dumping millions of dollars into "virtual reality-like simulations of small-scale urban conflicts."

    Mainly they've found they can't fit a battleship down small side streets...

    • by furby076 (1461805)
      Marines and Navy seals would be the beneficiaries of this technology. Though sailors may need it if they are on shore leave in a different country and something happens for them to have to fight/flee.
  • Where is (Score:2, Insightful)

    Jack Thompson [slashdot.org]when you really need him!?

    Seriously though, I am certain he is going to point to this as conditioned behavior caused by gaming, cause, you know, gamers will jump through an actual flaming door, despite the heat and all. A message for ya, Jack: Gamers may be conditioned by games, but only when actually playing games.

    Cliffs and ponds are far more common than building fires and we don't see crumpled or floating bodies of gamers beside these natural hazards despite their low danger level in v
    • by LingNoi (1066278)

      Captain Ahab Jack only chases after the Take2 white whale.

    • by furby076 (1461805)
      Chances are, when the gamer is in the position of a fire he will act like any other 8 year old school girl...scratch that, the 8 year old school girl will do what her training in school taught her (walk out calmly in line), while the 35 year old gamer will run around screaming or stay huddled in a corner "oh god my life is flashing before my eyes and I realized I wasted it on computer games". Same thing in a gun situation - who here believes Counter Strike really teaches gamers how to be (counter)terroris
      • who here believes Counter Strike really teaches gamers how to be (counter)terrorists?

        I know that to defuse a bomb, you press the 'e' button on it.

        Also, I know that you want to plant the bomb either in the counter-terrorists home, or some unrelated other country.

        Oops, did I just politicize my joke? ;-)

      • Chances are, when the gamer is in the position of a fire he will act like any other 8 year old school girl...scratch that, the 8 year old school girl will do what her training in school taught her (walk out calmly in line), while the 35 year old gamer will run around screaming or stay huddled in a corner "oh god my life is flashing before my eyes and I realized I wasted it on computer games". Same thing in a gun situation - who here believes Counter Strike really teaches gamers how to be (counter)terrorists?

        It doesn't. BUT, it teaches basic Fire and Manouver,Stealth, field of vision, use of terrain, plus unpredictability. Or at least it does to people whose fragrate is over 1.
        People who are scared will remain so. all the others will learn the basic tenets of all FPS games: staying in one place too long will get you killed, and ears can work concurrently with eyes even in a noisy environment.

    • I am certain he is going to point to this as conditioned behavior caused by gaming, cause, you know, gamers will jump through an actual flaming door, despite the heat and all. A message for ya, Jack: Gamers may be conditioned by games, but only when actually playing games.

      It may not be that simple.

      The small house fire generates and contains an astonishing amounts of slate gray and very toxic smoke.

      I had a sampling of that once - twice - in the real world.

      You are blind.

      You are disoriented.

      You will pr

  • I may as well ask here... I'm looking for a 3D engine to make a game that's not a FPS, more of a creatures game like Nintendogs or The Sims.

    What game engines are the most suitable for that kind of modding, and are there any F/OSS 3d engines that are good? I'm thinking in terms of AI programmability, ease of creating models and levels, etc.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Canazza (1428553)
      If you can code with C, try Cube [cubeengine.com] - otherwise you might want to look into the (now long-in-the-tooth) Adobe Director [adobe.com] - the language (you can use Lingo or a Javascript-esque version of Lingo) is a bit odd sometimes, and your games will most likely come out looking like something from 1999 rather than 2009, but it's good for people who really don't want to code much. With the added bonus that you can run Director apps in Browsers using the Shockwave plugin.
  • Okay, (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ledow (319597) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @07:42AM (#26735713) Homepage

    I'm not a fire expert by any means but several things really annoyed me about the video linked to on the BBC article. Mostly about the realism of the situation and several to do with "training" people to do things correctly.

    First - WHY DON'T THEY SHUT THE DOORS THAT LEAD TO A FIRE... chances are opening those doors where a fire was on the other side would probably have killed you quite quickly anyway, but for God's sake, SHUT THE DOOR, if you're not going that way to reduce the available oxygen. It's an FPS engine so you should be penalising people for not shutting the damn fire-doors after them.

    Second - Why are the doors just "flung" open without checking - what happened to all the training I had as a child to put the back of my hand on the door, open it slowly etc. in case the fire was on the other side of the door I'm opening. You have an FPS engine, this should have been put in as your only "weapon".

    Third - Why were there fires on metal stairs, and why only halfway up the staircase and WHY, when going into a stairwell which is obviously on fire within mere feet of the "down" stairs, do they continue to use the stairwell to go down? Abandon the attempt and back off if you don't want to die.

    Fourth - No smoke. Fill the burning rooms with smoke, so that you can only just see the exit signs or, indeed, the fire. Much more realistic and useful (I can find my out of any building in broad daylight - that's not the problem you're testing here).

    Fifth - That CS department modelled is really crap in terms of signposting the fire exits and I only saw one fire extinguisher on the entire three floors the character went through (though I might have missed one because it only occurred to me halfway through that I didn't rememeber seeing one). Stop making simulations and sort the real situation out if that model is any reflection on the actual physical location.

    • by Sockatume (732728)
      I imagine that if it's like most university buildings, the doors have spring-loaded closers that simply weren't drawn in the map. Certainly I can't walk more than 5 yards before I find I've forgotten my keys and been locked out by the malevolent springy arms.
      • Stair well door can not auto lock in a fire any more after the cook county building fire.

        The fire code says the door must auto unlock.

        ALSO WHERE ARE THE others people trying to push there way out at the same time?

        • by Sockatume (732728)
          Not LOCK, close. In my case, my office door also latches when it closes for security, but the actual exit route doors just self-close as a fire prevention measure. YMMV, this is in the UK.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Fifth - That CS department modelled is really crap in terms of signposting the fire exits and I only saw one fire extinguisher on the entire three floors the character went through (though I might have missed one because it only occurred to me halfway through that I didn't rememeber seeing one).

      I counted 3 Fire Extinguishers... is this part of the game?

      [Video = http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/7867851.stm ]

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by RobBebop (947356)

      What struck me was the the blasted character was BLOODY ALONE! When they make this a multiplayer simulation that supports 500 users in such a way that people die from the bottlenecks of egress and dead ends then I'll believe that it's useful.

      Also, modeling smoke would have been very useful, too.

      Also, once kids pass this "fire drill simulation" they should do what they did on the episode of the Office that aired after the Super Bowl on Sunday. :)

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by dkf (304284)

      Fourth - No smoke. Fill the burning rooms with smoke, so that you can only just see the exit signs or, indeed, the fire. Much more realistic and useful (I can find my out of any building in broad daylight - that's not the problem you're testing here).

      Fire evacuation strategies for large buildings depend on getting people out before the smoke becomes dense enough to see (institutional smoke detectors are typically pretty sensitive and checked regularly). This is wise, because smoke is really dangerous (toxic gases it contains are the big problem) and is why, when that alarm goes off, you should make sure you evacuate yourself safely; you should have plenty of time, and if you do so you (and everyone else) will be safe. If you wait, you greatly increase t

  • Tea time (Score:1, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Does this mean you can frag the others and then tea bag them?
  • by captainpanic (1173915) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @07:57AM (#26735787)

    Somebody once created a complete level of our faculty building for a 1st person shooter, and we got to play it in the computer room (really play the game, not fire drill, with 30+ people). It was awesome...

    But most impressive was that I actually got lost really easily in the game, whereas I never got lost in reality.

  • by SystematicPsycho (456042) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @08:13AM (#26735869)

    Is someone with lots of spare time, and I'm sure there's many, planning on modding the fire escape game with a realistic simulation of S11 where you have to escape the building? Or how about the Titanic disaster or other disasters for that matter? Coz you know how sick people are, they're play it just to see if they would make it and probably pay money for it too. If it worked for Leisure suit Larry this one's a winner.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by ultraexactzz (546422)
      A 9/11 simulator might be useful in mapping out how the impact and subsequent fires changed how people could (and did) escape the catastrophe. For example, if the plane hit just so, would all of the exit stairwells have been on fire, or was there one in a corner of the building that was still usable? How long would it have been useable? I can see architects looking at such simulations to better design means of escape for tall buildings - perhaps if this wall had been reinforced, the stairwell would have bee
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by GameMaster (148118)

        Architects and disaster investigators already have far more realistic simulators that they use for this purpose. In the case of major disasters like 9/11, I'm sure they write custom simulators. I've seen documentaries showing the simulators for 9/11 that do exactly the two things you just described (plane impact angle and fire escape sizes). Of course, in the real world of forensic science these simulations are far more scientific and far less flashy looking than games. There is no reason for the specia

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by GameMaster (148118)

      If it were realistic, that would be one boring game. Real life is rarely as "exciting" as the movies tell us. If there were something "dynamic" that those people could have done to save themselves, don't you think they would have? A realistic simulator of either event would probably involve your character trapped, unable to move, in a crush of people until the building falls down or the ship fills with water. Anything more exciting would be pure fantasy built, disrespectfully, in the trappings of a real

  • by VShael (62735) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @08:41AM (#26736105) Journal

    does the FPS trained soldier just run into middle screaming LEEEEEEROY JENKINSSSSSS!!!!!!! ?

  • IMAGINE Lab (Score:2, Informative)

    by spydabyte (1032538)
    Georgia Tech's Department of Architecture IMAGINE lab [gatech.edu] has been doing similar simulations for awhile.
  • by antdude (79039) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @09:54AM (#26737111) Homepage Journal

    See here [clearspring.com]. :D

  • by msormune (808119) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @10:43AM (#26738021)
    I would swing the fire with my crowbar until it went out. Either that or some annoying person.
  • Is that most games don't allow for real-world techniques. Case in point, Call of Duty 4. The first problem I have with this is it doesn't let you lean out from behind cover so you only expose your head and weapon. No properly trained person would expose his whole body. Second, you can't climb stuff you would normally be able to. Third, there is an exponential component to racking up kills. Once you get to call in air-strikes and helicopters, you usually rack up enough kills to get more air-strikes and

    • Hrm, if I really stretch my imagination I can see how things like leaning out of cover and climbing might be usefull in real life. What I don't understand is why you'd need to simulate air-strikes and the body armor penetrating power of .223 rounds in a fire evacuation simulator. What college do you attend that makes those things common enough occurences to require routine drills? University of Baghdad? University of Kabul? Seriously though, everything you mentioned would be easy to implement in the So

    • Is that most games don't allow for real-world techniques. Case in point, Call of Duty 4. The first problem I have with this is it doesn't let you lean out from behind cover so you only expose your head and weapon. No properly trained person would expose his whole body. Second, you can't climb stuff you would normally be able to. Third, there is an exponential component to racking up kills. Once you get to call in air-strikes and helicopters, you usually rack up enough kills to get more air-strikes and helicopters. And since when to .223 rounds not blow through body armor at close range? And finally, a simulation only would be effective if you can't play it anymore once you're dead.

      both can be included in the game. In many servers, you can't call more than one airstrike, or helo, and in "search and destroy" mode, once killed, you stay killed. the side with more survivors wins.

  • Arrested for this? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by SharpFang (651121) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @12:08PM (#26739689) Homepage Journal

    Remember the story of the kid arrested for "terrorism" for making a game of his school for Counter-Strike?
    I bet porting these maps to CS-Source would be trivial...
    INSTA-TERRORISM!!!

  • In a fire, the best way to evacuate the building is simply to quickload from when you were about to enter the building, and not enter at all. Duh.... Oh, and if anyone gets critically wounded, just run up to them and hit them with your shock paddles. They can instantly heal bullet wounds, shrapnel, burns and broken limbs (at least, that's what it does in battlefield. That's accurate, right?). Just go around reviving ppl and you'll definitely get the gold star that round!

Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig. -- Lazarus Long, "Time Enough for Love"

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