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72% of Xbox 360 Gamers Approve of "More Military Drone Strikes" 446

Posted by timothy
from the ok-but-what-about-pepsi-drinkers? dept.
An anonymous reader writes "During the latest presidential debate, Xbox 360 owners were being polled live, as the debate was progressing, on a number of different questions, and asked to answer 'Yes,' 'No,' or 'Don't Know' using their gamepad. Out of these questions, one particular question produced a surprising result: Xbox 360 owners were asked 'Do you support more use of drone aircraft to attack suspected terrorists?' 20% answered this question with 'No'. 8% answered 'Don't know.' And a whopping 72% answered the question 'Yes.' This raises an interesting question in and of itself: Is the average Xbox 360 player at all aware that drone strikes in countries like Pakistan cause a serious number of civilian deaths on a regular basis? Or do Xbox 360 gamers live in a parallel, game-inspired universe, where a real world 'Drone Strike' is something seriously cool, just like it is cool to use it in popular games like Call of Duty? In other words, does playing simulated war games like COD on a game console on a daily basis, and enjoying these games, cause gamers to become blinkered to the at times seriously dire real world consequences of using military tactics like drone strikes for real?"
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72% of Xbox 360 Gamers Approve of "More Military Drone Strikes"

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  • Or... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 25, 2012 @10:56AM (#41764731)

    Or, perhaps they feel using a drone to make an attack, rather than risking American soldiers, is the better choice?

    • Re:Or... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Squiddie (1942230) on Thursday October 25, 2012 @11:02AM (#41764823)
      We should also consider the fact that gamers are not exactly a monolithic group. There's a lot of twelve year olds that scream bitch at you when they beat you. I doubt this has anything to do with the game and more with the baseline of the gamer group. Ask a group of children the same question and you'll get similar answers.
    • Re:Or... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by crazyjj (2598719) * on Thursday October 25, 2012 @11:11AM (#41764979)

      It probably didn't help that that question was more loaded than an Irishman at a wake on St. Patrick's Day. If you ask "Do you support doing X to attack suspected terrorists?" you could pretty much get at least a two-thirds majority no matter WHAT the "X" in question was.

      • Re:Or... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Desler (1608317) on Thursday October 25, 2012 @11:14AM (#41765041)

        Which is why the article mentions, but glosses over during their tirade, that other polls have shown 62% support on a similar question to the general population. That the difference is only 10% from a biased sampling is quite interesting.

        • Re:Or... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by MightyYar (622222) on Thursday October 25, 2012 @11:31AM (#41765349)

          You take something as overwhelmingly popular as drone strikes on terrorists and then filter out the women by conducting the polling with a game machine... I think that pretty much eliminates any mystery. There's a push in the press to show the horror of drone strikes on civilian populations, but I think to the average Joe it is hard to tell how the horror of drone strikes is any worse than the horror of a Seal raid, conventional bomb, or cruise missile.

          Personally, I can understand how it must feel to have this buzzing drone overhead, knowing that it could fire off a missile at any moment. It must be scary as hell, but more importantly, it must make you feel powerless and impotent - I can totally buy that they bring out the inner terrorist in people. That said, I'm not "against" them on principle - I just wonder if they are being overused. It's hard for me to make the call, since I don't have the information that the President does. The fact that Bush and Obama both made the same decisions when given the same facts is both reassuring and unnerving. Clinton didn't have drones, but he loved to fire off Tomahawks.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by fustakrakich (1673220)

        Which makes them fucked up.. The key word is 'suspected', not confirmed or any other hard evidence. These strikes are murder. There is no other way to describe it.

        Remember, these are the same people who think the 1st Amendment goes too far [firstamendmentcenter.org]... We see it in practice with the press's timidity on the issue. Fascism permeates...

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          The only confirmed terrorist is one that already has committed a terrorist act, as a former military who served in Afghanistan I would rather not wait till they took a shot at me or tried to blow me up thank you very much.

        • by alexgieg (948359)

          I wonder what the answer would be if the question was phrased as "Do you support more use of drone aircraft to kill potentially innocent householders suspected of terrorism?"

      • Re:Or... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by SMoynihan (1647997) on Thursday October 25, 2012 @11:32AM (#41765379)

        Or, as so well put in "Yes, Minister":

        I was somewhat naive in those days. I did not understand
        how the voters could be both for it and against it. Dear old
        Humphrey showed me how it's done.

        The secret is that when the Man In The Street is approached
        by a nice attractive young lady with a clipboard, he is
        asked a "series" of questions. Naturally the Man In The
        Street doesn't wants to make a good impression and doesn't
        want to make a fool of himself. So the market researcher
        asks questions designed to elicit "consistent" answers.
        Humphrey demonstrated the system on me. "Mr. Woolley, are
        you worried about the rise in crime among teen-agers?"

        "Yes," I said.

        "Do you think there is a lack of discipline and vigorous
        training in our Comprehensive Schools?"

        "Yes."

        "Do they respond to a challenge?"

        "Yes."

        "Might you be in favor of reintroducing National Service?"

        "Yes."

        Well, naturally I said yes. One could hardly have said
        anything else without looking inconsistent. Then what
        happens is that the Opinion Poll publishes only the last
        question and answer.

        Of course, the reputable polls didn't conduct themselves
        like that. But there weren't too many of those. Humphrey
        suggested that we commission a new survey, not for the Party
        but for the Ministry of Defence. We did so. He invented the
        question there and then:

        "Mr. Woolley, are you worried about the danger of war?"

        "Yes," I said quite honestly.

        "Are you unhappy about the growth of armaments?"

        "Yes."

        "Do you think there's a danger in giving young people guns
        and teaching them how to kill?"

        "Yes."

        "Do you think it is wrong to force people to take up arms
        against their will?"

        "Yes."

        "Would you oppose the reintroduction of National Service?"
        I'd said "Yes" before I'd even realized it, d'you see?

        Humphrey was crowing with delight. "You see, Bernard," he
        said to me," "you're the perfect Balanced Sample."

      • Re:Or... (Score:5, Funny)

        by BakaHoushi (786009) <Goss.Sean@gmaMENCKENil.com minus author> on Thursday October 25, 2012 @01:11PM (#41767233) Homepage

        I'd be kind of interested to see a poll to test this idea that at least 2/3 of Americans would be for anything used on suspected terrorists.

        "Do you support training Olympic athletes to hurl javelins (the spear not the missle) long range at suspected terrorists?"
        "Do you support training an army of suicide bombers to pre-bomb suspected terrorists?"
        "Do you support cutting off parts of countries that harbor suspected terrorists and floating them out to sea?"
        "Do you support opening a transdimensional portal to the Realm of the Dark Ones to place suspected terrorists?"

        I'd like to know just how outlandish you'd need to go before support dropped.

        • Conduct that poll with the XBox 360 and I suspect support will go UP the more outlandish the question, not down. XBox gamers are all in favor of transdimensional portals. :P

    • Re:Or... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by jhoegl (638955) on Thursday October 25, 2012 @11:14AM (#41765039)
      With the constant "civilian shielding" enemies use. I would say that both are difficult, but one in particular does not put American soldiers at risk and in stressful and frustrating situations.
      Drone attacks may cause civilian casualties, but then so do terrorists.
      I dont see one good solution here.
      • Re:Or... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by daem0n1x (748565) on Thursday October 25, 2012 @11:20AM (#41765149)

        I dont see one good solution here.

        How about going home?

      • Re:Or... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by XxtraLarGe (551297) on Thursday October 25, 2012 @11:22AM (#41765191) Journal

        I dont see one good solution here.

        How about not being in Afghanistan or any other Middle East country in the first place?

      • Re:Or... (Score:4, Interesting)

        by vux984 (928602) on Thursday October 25, 2012 @11:58AM (#41765783)

        With the constant "civilian shielding" enemies use

        You mean, in that the "enemies" are living out their lives in their own country far away from any direct military conflict with us?

        Did you know our very own generals often sleep in the very same house as their families? If the 'enemies' decided to attack them directly for leading the attacks on their countries, why, we're shielding them with civilians: women, even children. -gasp-

        I dont see one good solution here.

        Realizing that the "war on terror" isn't won by killing people indiscriminately who are thousands of miles from our borders would be a good start.

    • by SomePgmr (2021234)

      Or, perhaps they feel using a drone to make an attack, rather than risking American soldiers, is the better choice?

      This. I watched one of the debates through xbl, the questions and available answers are trash.

      People watching the debates through xbl (and voting) were also overwhelmingly liberal, so it's not as though they were just stereotypical right wing warhawks, itching to bomb everything in sight.

      So yes, I expect the result on that very informal survey mirrors my own opinion on the subject. Put as few Americans in harms way as possible. That doesn't mean I want innocent people to die.

    • Maybe. The American disease tends to work out like that. Kill 200 innocent wankers in some third world country to assassinate one evil dictator, or send in 50 US Marines and lose 3 of them in the job? Hmm death toll of 200 versus 4 including the target. Well, 4 American lives are worth way more than 200 foreigners.
    • Or perhaps the cause and effect are backward. Perhaps gleefully uninformed people who enjoy violence for its own sake are drawn to the Xbox (rather than the games transforming people).

      And you can't seriously believe that the average Xbox gamer would have such a nuanced viewpoint. Spend some time chatting on Halo or COD. Their viewpoints aren't more any more informed than, "heh heh only fags get hit by drones. quick somebody teabag these noobs!"

    • by oreaq (817314)

      Right. That are the only options. We can't just stop killing other people. We either have to kill them with drones or have soliders invade random countries and shoot random people in the face. These are our only options.

    • by DragonTHC (208439)

      No, no, they thought the question was about Black Ops 2.

    • I don't really understand this sentiment.
      Soldiers accept the risk of being killed in combat. That is practically the entire definition of being a soldier. They're allowed to kill other soldiers legally in return and also are supposedly guaranteed rights afforded via the Geneva convention and rules of engagement.
      Apparently drones are the new missile strikes. I expect that most suspected terrorists are also only guilty of thought crime. Combine the ability to murder at will from a remote location and this

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 25, 2012 @10:57AM (#41764737)

    The more correct question is "Are civilian deaths lower from drone strikes than from conventional military action?"

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      An even more correct question would be "Do approve of the executions of suspects prior to due course of law and a conviction?"

      Why are we killing SUSPECTS exactly?

      • by SomePgmr (2021234) on Thursday October 25, 2012 @12:01PM (#41765837) Homepage

        It's war, not a courtroom. The burden of proof is a little different and combatants don't get trials.

        There are two questions here, though. Most here would probably say we shouldn't be there at all. But the other question is about the use of drones specifically as a weapon of the military and CIA in the context of fighting wars.

        The GP makes a very valid point. I think we can agree we're not talking about the indiscriminate carpet bombing of Dresden, or dropping an A-bomb. So would everyone be better off if we were using cruise missiles, aerial bombardment by manned aircraft, and marines on the ground? I don't think so, but it's a good question.

        We've spent trillions of dollars trying to take the death out of war, in small increments. And we're better at it than anyone has been since we were fighting with rocks and sticks. Unfortunately, it's something we'll never master and we have to keep asking ourselves if new tech is better or worse within the context of war. That is to say, "always bad".

        And much of it will always have to do with who is pulling the trigger, and why.

        Relevant talk by Malcolm Gladwell on the Norden bombsight (and drone use):
        http://www.ted.com/talks/malcolm_gladwell.html [ted.com]

        It really does cover this issue better than anything we're going to say here.

    • by Andy Prough (2730467) on Thursday October 25, 2012 @11:16AM (#41765091)

      The more correct question is "Are civilian deaths lower from drone strikes than from conventional military action?"

      No - the more correct question is - why are 12-year-old boys being polled about American military policy? I think you would have gotten a similar 72% positive response to the question: "Should America's President be a 9th degree Ninja warrior with high-power rifle and demolition skills instead of a businessman or lawyer?"

    • My mind isn't made up about the whole drone issue, but similar to your question, I'd wonder what the alternatives are to the drone strikes, and comparing the likelihood of success, the risk to American soldiers, and the likely civilian deaths of each.

      I would guess that drones are more targeted than conventional bombing, and therefore causing fewer civilian deaths, but I don't know. I'd admit that there are a few disconcerting things about drones, but if the alternative is carpet bombing, a drone strike mi

  • WTF?? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 25, 2012 @10:57AM (#41764741)
    What a horrible summary for one, and two, how the fuck is this news????
  • Perhaps (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ukab the Great (87152) on Thursday October 25, 2012 @10:58AM (#41764757)

    The gamers understand it's unrealistic to expect civilians not to get killed, and the best that you can really do in any war is to not go out of your way to kill them like the Nazi's did.

    • A fact that they learned after getting a 5 kill streak...
    • Re:Perhaps (Score:5, Informative)

      by royallthefourth (1564389) <royallthefourth@gmail.com> on Thursday October 25, 2012 @11:10AM (#41764951)

      That's your stupid fucking opinion, but here's the facts:

      "The study by Stanford Law School and New York University's School of Law calls for a re-evaluation of the practice, saying the number of "high-level" targets killed as a percentage of total casualties is extremely low -- about 2%."

      http://www.cnn.com/2012/09/25/world/asia/pakistan-us-drone-strikes/index.html [cnn.com]

      • Interesting. Although I consider myself to be well read, I was not aware of those figures. That article you linked to also has a couple different studies in it. One says 2% of those killed are high value targets, another says 11% of those killed are civilians or not known to be terrorists. Which one of those you believe would highly influence your opnion on these strikes.

        • by bkr1_2k (237627)

          "High level target" and "civilian" are the two extreme cases. There's a lot of room in the middle for valid targets that aren't "high level", assuming you consider any of them valid targets to begin with in this case. By definition, though, not all targets can be "high level" in a hierarchy of control that has 1 leader at the top of a pyramid of other players.

      • From the article that you just quoted:

        TBIJ reports that from June 2004 through mid-September 2012, available data indicate that drone strikes killed 2,562 - 3,325 people in Pakistan, of whom 474 - 881 were civilians, including 176 children.

        So between 474/3325= 14% 881/2562 = 34% of those killed in drone strikes are civilians. That 2% statistic is (intentionally?) misleading, because it only counts "high-level" targets, without stating what counts as a high value target, or making the case that drone should only be used on high value targets.

        So at worst there is 1 civilian killed for every 3 militants, so 1:3 at worst. For comparison I give you the average [wikipedia.org]:

        According to a 2001 study by the International Committee of the Red Cross, the civilian-to-soldier death ratio in wars fought since the mid-20th century has been 10:1, meaning ten civilian deaths for every soldier death.

        Also the drones are bombing Pakistan from a P [wikipedia.org]

    • by Inoen (590519)

      The gamers understand it's unrealistic to expect civilians not to get killed, and the best that you can really do in any war is to not go out of your way to kill them like the Nazi's did.

      Last i checked, US was not at war with Pakistan, which is where (according to the summary) there are civilian casualties.

  • I watched all four debates on XBox Live.

    Every single time a question came up like

    Have you already decided who you want to vote for?
    Definitely [ 80% ] No [ 15% ] Not Really [ 5% ]

    Will you vote for Obama or Romney?
    Obama [ 72% ] Romney [ 23%] Not Sure [ 5%]

    It was like that on every question, every debate. SO that's the audience we're talking about.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Given his record, a vote for Obama is a vote for more drone strikes. And I'm guessing a vote for Romney is also a vote for more drone strikes.

      • Given his record, a vote for Obama is a vote for more drone strikes. And I'm guessing a vote for Romney is also a vote for more drone strikes.

        According to the news, Obama already took care of the Romney issue at the last debate [theonion.com].

    • by Sir_Sri (199544)

      Right, people who don't think electricity and technology are magic spawned by the (literal) devil lean obama, and they're the xbox crowd. But even then, when both major parties agree that drone strike are in some form or another are the way to go, it's hard to see how anyone would expect the american public to be wildly out of step with that.

      Drones are relatively new, and their spillover effects aren't apparent, the nonsense of how 'Civilian' vs 'combatant' deaths are counted with drone strikes (anyone nea

    • by mcmonkey (96054)

      I watched all four debates on XBox Live.

      Why watch on XBox Live? I'm assuming in addition to the XBox, a television is required to do this. And once you have the television, the XBox is unnecessary. Is your XBox connected to a monitor that doesn't receive OTA signals? Do you do it for the interactive aspect (polls)? Just curious.

      And while I'm here...wow, that article was awful. I generally agree the USA shouldn't be regularly bombing countries without a declaration of war and the president shouldn't be keeping a "kill list," but the article

    • Re:72% For Obama (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Quiet_Desperation (858215) on Thursday October 25, 2012 @11:23AM (#41765197)

      Will you vote for Obama or Romney?
                          Obama [ 72% ] Romney [ 23%] Not Sure [ 5%]

      Where's the "Neither Of Those Assholes" option?

  • by concealment (2447304) on Thursday October 25, 2012 @11:00AM (#41764789) Homepage Journal

    Regarding drone strikes on terrorists, we need to know what our other options are:

    1. Let the terrorists live.
    2. Send in a SEAL team to kidnap them.
    3. Assassinate them by some other means.

    Would these create more civilian deaths?

    Is it worth taking civilian deaths on our side, through terrorism, to avoid civilians deaths on the other side?

    Despite all the pretense of morality, voters are going to side with sending screaming death down upon these people if there's a chance that some of our people are going to get killed.

    • Is it worth taking civilian deaths on our side, through terrorism, to avoid civilians deaths on the other side?

      Civilians, by nature should be valued as equally as possible. Obviously, a state's military has a duty to their own citizens, but I think we should find a way to avoid civilian deaths on each side. It is not their fight. Their children didn't ask for this. As decent human beings, it is our duty to prevent harm to civilians on either side.

    • by omfgnosis (963606) on Thursday October 25, 2012 @11:14AM (#41765053)

      4. Determine the conditions that inspire people to become—or, more importantly, support—violent extremists who threaten us and our values, and mitigate or eliminate those conditions.

      Most people have the good sense to support that option, especially in recognizing that those conditions themselves fundamentally threaten our values as well, if it's presented as an option. It's so far from the dominant discourse that we end up facing the false choice you've presented.

      • Determine the conditions that inspire people to become—or, more importantly, support—violent extremists who threaten us and our values, and mitigate or eliminate those conditions.

        You're missing some vital data.

        1. Not everyone becomes an extremist, because there are other ways of expressing discontent or changing policy.
        2. You assume they have no choice in the matter, and that our acts manipulate them directly.

        This seems to be the type of permissiveness that rewards bad behavior and ignores good.

        • by omfgnosis (963606)

          1. Not everyone becomes an extremist, because there are other ways of expressing discontent or changing policy.

          But the violent extremists are the problem in the context of the discussion, and the context of your comment which I responded to. All of your options were for "the terrorists", not for people taking other directions with their discontent. And those people, I think we'd agree, are not who we want to stifle.

          2. You assume they have no choice in the matter, and that our acts manipulate them directly.

          How do you figure? I assume they exist, and that we want to solve the problem rather than not.

          This seems to be the type of permissiveness that rewards bad behavior and ignores good. If you're worried about bad things happening in politics, find the people who are doing good and get them into power.

          Insofar as I agree that that kind of meddling is even appropriate, it's worth noting that those people who rep

        • by Arker (91948)

          This debate is a perfect case for application of the golden rule.

          Imagine that it was the Chinese sending drones over and firing missiles at terrorists hiding out here in the US. Sometimes they kill genuine terrorists, of course, they certainly wouldnt waste a missile if they didnt expect to hit one with it, but they are killing innocent US citizens that just happen to be in the area as well. I presume you area US citizen, how would you feel about this? Do you suppose you might develop some 'extremists' vie

    • Is it worth taking civilian deaths on our side, through terrorism, to avoid civilians deaths on the other side?

      These civilian deaths are not 'on the other side'. They're innocent bystanders. Further, killing them is extremely unlikely to diminish terrorism; it's far more likely to encourage terrorism. It's not just immoral, it's also stupid.

    • by Sqr(twg) (2126054)

      Is it worth taking civilian deaths on our side, through terrorism, to avoid civilians deaths on the other side?

      The question that needs to be answer first is: Does killing people with drones reduce terrorism at all?

      Let's assume that 10 % of people killed by drones are terrorists. (This is probably generous. The estimate from stanford is 2 %) Let's further assume that each person that is killed has 10 close relatives/friends.

      Now if more than 1 % of those whose close relatives/friends are killed by done strikes are turned against the U.S. by that event, then drone attacks actually increase terrorism. This makes them a

  • by singingjim1 (1070652) on Thursday October 25, 2012 @11:01AM (#41764797)
    Geezuz....no agenda in this "news" story. How about it's because gamers know the efficacy vs. collateral damage of drone strikes and accept the numbers? Genuis whoever approved this as a /. story. It's going to be the hottest topic of the day probably.
  • The whole "Video games make you violent" debate was squashed in the 90s. Lets leave it dead. I suggest that people who play xbox 360 are in general more pro military than most. I don't want to make a stereotype here, but we all know what the xbox stereotype is: a 16-24 year old "bro" who is libertarian, holds slightly sexist views, and is pro military. Maybe there is some truth in that stereotype.
  • Then it must be the popular opinion is wrong.

    Drone attacks are not perfect. However it is better than having our soldiers in harms ways doing the attacks. Or would you prefer these terrorist organizations to flourish and grow and get better organized again?

    The biggest question is the fear of the US dones creating more terrorist then we are killing? That is a tough call.

    • Then it must be the popular opinion is wrong.

      Drone attacks are not perfect. However it is better than having our soldiers in harms ways doing the attacks. Or would you prefer these terrorist organizations to flourish and grow and get better organized again?

      The biggest question is the fear of the US dones creating more terrorist then we are killing? That is a tough call.

      Soldiers are not perfect. However, it's better to put the lives of our beloved young soldiers in harms way doing the attacks. Or would you prefer having even less of an incentive to maintain peace by reducing the price of war? To me it's far better to see the news broadcast about one of our local "heroes" who died in the war vs a footnote about the on going remote controlled attacks on far away lands. To me the cost of war should be felt as powerful as possible on both sides -- It should be nothing les

    • if you level a building with a drone or with an A-10 it does not matter if the building in question has "civilians" in it.

      drones at least can be lost without needing rather long term (and expensive) build processes.

      the ideal drone should be able to "redact" a single building and leave the surrounding buildings intact.

  • The question about "ignoring dire real world consequences" is a gross oversimplification.

    I think if you talked to most of those who support drone strikes they probably see this as an alternative to sending flesh and blood troops to try and deal with the situation. Even sending a traditional plane puts a soldier in potential harm's way. To most people "Use drones instead, they are expendable" is an easy answer.

    Most people are not going to weigh "are we hitting the right targets, have we caused collateral dam

    • by slim (1652)

      The question about "ignoring dire real world consequences" is a gross oversimplification.

      I think if you talked to most of those who support drone strikes they probably see this as an alternative to sending flesh and blood troops to try and deal with the situation. Even sending a traditional plane puts a soldier in potential harm's way. To most people "Use drones instead, they are expendable" is an easy answer.

      Speaking of oversimplification... Is it the case that the potential danger to "our" people is something that puts the brakes on our instinct to blow up more of "them"?

  • by puddingebola (2036796) on Thursday October 25, 2012 @11:04AM (#41764849) Journal
    XBOX Live is pleased to offer a new real time, real world game, "Drone Strike." In an innovative and wonderful new partnership with the Pentagon and US Military, gamers will now be able to pilot real drones on real actual strikes, killing real actual people. The first game of its kind, now you can help your country by helping the Pentagon cut costs through outsourcing, and experience the thrill of remote controlled combat at the same time. Only $9.99 on XBOX Live.
    • Yeah, I'm getting a real creepy Ender's Game vibe here. Of course, you could never tell the children that they are using real drones - they would start to ask questions, and maybe even attack friendly targets. Just have the game give the most consistently skilled pilots a small chance to pilot a real drone (presented in a manner as to not break the fourth wall), and nobody will ever know. Ugh, it's creepy because it's not that far-fetched...
    • by SirGarlon (845873)
      I see your point that drones make attacks seem somehow sanitary and much more acceptable than they should be. At the same time, I think your tone is a little insensitive to the real-world remote pilots who fly these missions, and have to deal with the moral and emotional consequences of pulling the trigger on real people. From what I've heard in an NPR story, it's a stressful job and it definitely counts as combat even if the remote pilots are in no physical danger.
  • Jack Thompson was right!

    /ducks
  • They don't expect people to give insightful answers while sitting on a couch and holding a gamepad which was used to shoot people's heads off probably just an hour ago, do they? This, and probably just a dash of the good ol' American ignorance.

  • Needs more context (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mooingyak (720677) on Thursday October 25, 2012 @11:05AM (#41764867)

    Do most of the Xbox poll questions come anywhere near other polling on each topic? If not, is their an observable leaning? Is that lean towards liberal views, conservative views, just plain 'Yes', or something else? Are they just way off in all sorts of random directions?

    And once you've got all that covered, how does that 72% compare to polling on the same topic done by other polling methods?

  • by phorm (591458) on Thursday October 25, 2012 @11:06AM (#41764879) Journal

    How many military-esque games have civilians (particularly in multi-player mode)?
    In any of the games I've played where drones etc were an option, it's just "your team" (good guys) and the "other team" (bad guys).
    A drone strike/airstrike/satellite bombardment/etc only hurt military characters. Heck, on many settings you don't even get friendly-fire.

    Is your average gamer going to know what a real drone strike is like? Probably not. Accompany the poll with some documentation + pictures of mangled civilians and see if what approval rate you get.

    • Like you said, it's all about "good guys" and "bad guys". It's so pathetically clear who is good and bad that it doesn't generate any cognitive dissonance in the player when they're killing bad guys.

      That's one of the reasons why I liked playing The Witcher so much. In that game, the two fighting factions (Scoia'tael and Order of the Flaming Rose) are not clearly good or bad. Most players can identify a little bit with both of them, and most players can see that both of them do some good and some bad. Th

  • We will have an entire generation where all of their knowledge of the military comes from playing video games, and so their opinion of war, fighting, etc. is going to reflect that.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 25, 2012 @11:08AM (#41764919)

    I bet close to 72% hit whatever button they normally use to acknowledge some popup in order to get to their game/netflix. I'm betting it was either A or X. Put "yes" on left button and you'll have vastly different results.

    • I was wondering the same thing, although I gather these questions were asked of those who were actively watching the debate via Xbox Live. If they were wise, they would randomise which answer was on which button. But still, the question is one that could be asked in a number of ways and is wide open to inference. It's not like "Will you vote for Obama or Romney?"
    • by Quiet_Desperation (858215) on Thursday October 25, 2012 @11:28AM (#41765291)

      Use the left and right triggers and put the answers on the far left and right sides of the screen.

      At the end of the debate, you get a Paragon or Renegade score, and Tali'Zorah vas Normandy does a strip tease for Paragons.

      The Renegades get Grunt. Unless you saved Wrex.

      Nah, just shittin' ya. You choices don't matter in this election!

  • So a bunch of people who play near-photorealistic games of combat simulation, wherein rewards are meted out based on one's ability to kill brutally and/or efficiently, hold favorable views of their pastime's real-world analog?

    Goodness me. I think I need to sit down.

  • The only people in that poll are 360 users who choose to watch the debate on their XBox and not just over the regular broadcast. People who didn't want to be bothered by random questions during the debate ether didn't answer, or watched it on broadcast. The given response isn't that far out of line with the US Population ether, or at least the Republican population of the US like in this [talkingpointsmemo.com] talking points memo poll where 74% approve of drone strikes. The summery is clearly written by an anti-military nut job w
  • by koan (80826)

    Modify the game to show photos of actual war casualties, so every time you shoot someone in COD or BF you get a photo of a bullet mangled corpse, or if you use a UAV or other weapon you get real photos of blood and guts.

    I'm amazed at how powerful television and video games can be as teaching tools, it's just a shame what we are teaching most of the time.

  • 72% of Xbox 360 Gamers are about 12 years old, full of raging hormones, and love yelling "YEAH MOTHERFUCKER I PWNZ J00" at their fellow gamers. What the heck would anyone expect from such a poll?

  • Is the average Xbox 360 player at all aware that drone strikes in countries like Pakistan cause a serious number of civilian deaths on a regular basis? Or do Xbox 360 gamers live in a parallel, game-inspired universe, where a real world 'Drone Strike' is something seriously cool, just like it is cool to use it in popular games like Call of Duty?

    Or a bunch of people, a lot of them kids, gave some bullshit answer? Awesomely scientific survey there. Did they massage the numbers with four year out of date voting patterns like the big boy polling outfits?

  • Last poll I heard had a pretty significant majority of people (Gamer or not) in favor of drone strikes. The submitter is making a big deal out of the fact it's gamers, but in reality it's probably not that statistically different than what the majority of Americans think.
  • by lxs (131946) on Thursday October 25, 2012 @11:17AM (#41765101)

    I remember an online discussion I had about the Collateral Murder video. This guy took the stance that the civilians killed shouldn't be in a war zone. When I tried to convey the idea that the war zone came to their homes by asking my counterpart to imagine Chinese helicopters circling his neighborhood shooting American civilians (in precisely these terms), he accused me of distorting the argument by bringing emotion into it.

    Apparently empathy for people from a different part of the world is in short supply with some people. Especially online.

    Truth be told, I'm as guilty of this as the next person. When I read about shooting sprees in the US, I don't really care beyond the sensational aspects. I should, but I don't.

  • Polls like this are a waste of time. They are more a measure of media's impact than actual informed intent over issues.

    This is where all attempts at direct democracies and most democracies fail. Democracy requires an educated and informed population. And media campaigns are usually have negative impacts on proper and balanced information.

  • Than all other forms of combat. If we're going to kill terrrorists, there's no less civilian killing way to do it (currently).

  • All air strikes can cause civilian deaths. Doesn't matter if it is a pilot in jet, helicopter, or drone.
  • "20% answered this question with 'No'. 8% answered 'Don't know.' And a whopping 72% answered the question 'Yes.' "

    I dunno about anyone else, but I wonder how big the sample size is. I'm suspecting it should read like this...

    "4 people answered this question with 'No'. 2 answered 'Don't know.' And a whopping 18 answered the question 'Yes.' "

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