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The Military United States Games

Military Personnel Weigh In On Being Taliban In Medal of Honor 171

Posted by Soulskill
from the identity-conflict dept.
SSDNINJA writes "This is a feature from gamrFeed that interviews nine US service members about playing as the Taliban in the upcoming Medal of Honor. One soldier states that games like MoH and Call of Duty are 'profiteering from war.' Another says, 'Honestly, I don't really see what the whole fuss is about. It's a game, and just like in Call of Duty, you don't really care about what side you're taking, just as long as you win. I don't think anyone cares if you're part of the Rangers or Spetznaz, as long as you win.' An excellent and interesting read."
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Military Personnel Weigh In On Being Taliban In Medal of Honor

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  • Re:Ha! (Score:5, Informative)

    by _Sprocket_ (42527) on Friday August 20, 2010 @05:50PM (#33319396)

    One soldier states that games like MoH and Call of Duty are 'profiteering from war

    Oh boy, if that soldier only knew who was REALLY profiteering from war.

    Maybe you two should have a conversation. From the article (the quote from the soldier in question):

    More importantly, the creation of games like these is war profiteering; the same profiteering that Blackwater, civilian contractors, and companies that produce ACU backpacks for school children participate in. War profiteering of any form is unjust and constitutes a true insult to those who have served overseas.

    It seems that he might have a better handle on this than you'd give credit for.

    I don't agree with him - but that's a different conversation.

  • Re:Interesting (Score:5, Informative)

    by rasper99 (247555) on Friday August 20, 2010 @05:52PM (#33319422)

    During the Vietnam war one of the protest slogans was "War is good business. Invest your son".

  • Re:Ha! (Score:5, Informative)

    by eln (21727) on Friday August 20, 2010 @06:16PM (#33319680) Homepage
    You, the soldier, and most of the other posters seem to be confused by the difference between profiting and profiteering. Profiteering is specifically the act of exacting exorbitant or excessive profits, usually on essential goods that are in short supply during a crisis. Companies like Halliburton or Blackwater could be considered profiteers because they charge the government huge amounts of money, and rake in enormous profits, for providing essential goods and services during a crisis (even though in this case it's a crisis of the government's own making). If we were under any kind of rationing for this war, someone who had access to rationed goods and sold them back to the public at exorbitant prices would be profiteering as well. The black market for essential goods in the war zones of Iraq (assuming there is such a thing) is profiteering if the amounts charged are excessive.

    On the other hand, a game manufacturer who charges the same amount of money for a war game (a decidedly nonessential good) that they charge for any other game, and makes their standard profit from it, is not profiteering. They make a profit, but it's not profiteering because the good they're selling is not essential and the profits are not exorbitant. The only part of the definition of profiteering that applies to them is the fact that they're taking advantage of a crisis to increase sales by making the game based on the current war. Likewise, the soldier is not profiteering by accepting his meager paycheck for his services. Profiting (barely), but not profiteering.

    Clearly there's room for hand waving when you start talking about what exactly constitutes an excessive profit or an essential good, but I can't see how the game developer or the soldier could be considered profiteers (or Senator McCain for that matter).
  • Re:Profit (Score:2, Informative)

    by Wyatt Earp (1029) on Friday August 20, 2010 @06:50PM (#33319936)

    No they are not.

    "A war profiteer is any person or organization that improperly profits from warfare or by selling weapons and other goods to parties at war."

  • Re:Ha! (Score:3, Informative)

    by dkleinsc (563838) on Friday August 20, 2010 @06:50PM (#33319938) Homepage

    The winner always profits from war.

    Not necessarily. If I spend, say, $10 billion and win control over Sealand or another relatively worthless chunk of territory, I'm probably not going to win out in the end.

    Winners can profit, but neutral parties who trade with both sides can often profit more. For instance, the Dutch made a significant profit as a major supplier of weapons for the Continental Army.in the American Revolution, without experiencing the violence and devastation that go with fighting a war. Most major corporations are effectively neutral traders in wars, which is part of why IBM could make a bunch of cash selling punch card systems to the Third Reich.

    Or, you know, let Maj General Smedley Butler explain it back in the 1930's:
    http://www.lexrex.com/enlightened/articles/warisaracket.htm [lexrex.com]

  • Re:Interesting (Score:3, Informative)

    by Dahamma (304068) on Friday August 20, 2010 @08:05PM (#33320436)

    Here is the thing I don't understand. Why did they even put boots on the ground? They should have just air dropped a million mines across the middle of the country and called it a day. Then invade Camboia and Laos to make sure the VC didn't do an end run around the minefield.

    They did. Didn't work. And now Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia are still clearing them (and farmers losing limbs) today.

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