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America's Army - FPS Psych Experiment

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the it-always-feels-like-somebody's-watching-me dept.

First Person Shooters (Games) 75

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

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Advice to 17 and 18 year olds (4, Funny)

g-san (93038) | more than 9 years ago | (#11073597)

Quick, go download this game, play with your real name, and get your ass fragged at least 20 times a day.

Re:Advice to 17 and 18 year olds (1)

coachvince (760294) | more than 9 years ago | (#11073616)

Maybe getting fragged 51-69% of the time? Would keep undesirable, but not necessarily red-flagged for bucking the system.

I really don't think anybody should be surprised by this; it works for WalMart.

Re:Advice to 17 and 18 year olds (1)

Ayaress (662020) | more than 9 years ago | (#11074300)

I get fragged probably 5 times for every kill I get in most FPS games (Haven't played AA in over a year, though). Why should it get red flagged for bucking the system? Maybe they just plain suck at the game?

Re:Advice to 17 and 18 year olds (2)

evilmousse (798341) | more than 9 years ago | (#11073725)


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

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

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

Re:Advice to 17 and 18 year olds (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11088859)

Teamkillers get recruited by U.S. Marines in a heartbeat, cos when they're out of enemies to kill, they like killing each others.

Re:Advice to 17 and 18 year olds (1)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 9 years ago | (#11073956)

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

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

Disclaimer, this was 8 years ago, I feel very different now, and wish I could appologize to the recruiter :)

Re:Advice to 17 and 18 year olds (2, Funny)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 9 years ago | (#11074345)

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

They said I would be perfect for the Air Force.

Re:Advice to 17 and 18 year olds (1)

joFFeman (574971) | more than 9 years ago | (#11074545)

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

still, each phone call takes about 5 minutes on average, because those buggers are getting pretty desperate.

Re:Advice to 17 and 18 year olds (1)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 9 years ago | (#11074598)

Yea, I felt the same way at that stage in my life. Oddly enough now that I'm older with 2 kids, I suddenly have very different views. Though oddly enough I really can't figure out how and why my views have changed, guess I just got old :)

Re:Advice to 17 and 18 year olds (1, Insightful)

norkakn (102380) | more than 9 years ago | (#11074761)

when you are young you want things to change, when you get older you want them to stay the same.

Re:Advice to 17 and 18 year olds (1)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 9 years ago | (#11074903)

Except for that whole tiny paycheck thing :)

Re:Advice to 17 and 18 year olds (1)

Laetor (718839) | more than 9 years ago | (#11075056)

Good one. Pretty damn true. I would qualify it, which will reduce its power and elegance aesthetically speaking: When you are young you want things to change as fast as possible. When you are older, you realize things are generally pretty complicated, and forcing change usually means violence is involved. "Small steps, Ellie, small steps."

Re:Advice to 17 and 18 year olds (1)

norkakn (102380) | more than 9 years ago | (#11075991)

Nope, that's middle age, when you get old you'll be a stuffy little person who refused to acknowledge that the world has moved since 1980 (-:

Re:Advice to 17 and 18 year olds (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11111676)

In Marxist Russia, pacifism leans toward you!

Okay, that was dumb. I'm a dumb AC.

- [Andrew Nagy]

Re:Advice to 17 and 18 year olds (1)

bedessen (411686) | more than 9 years ago | (#11089791)

When they ask you how much you weigh, tell them you are grossly overweight (regardless of if you are or not.) That seemed to stop them from bugging me for a while (~10 years ago.)

Re:Advice to 17 and 18 year olds (1)

hey! (33014) | more than 9 years ago | (#11074053)

Sargeant (looking around): OK, our last armored truck got creamed by an IED. I need somebody to drive these supplies up to the front in this 72 Buick Regal with "US Army Official Use Only" on it. Any volunteers?

*** silence ***

Sargeant (consluting top line of report containing soldiers ranked lowest to highest by combat aptitude): OK, then, it looks like it'll be you.

My friend Ender... (4, Funny)

Pacifix (465793) | more than 9 years ago | (#11073607)

... said this game totally rocks. It's great to be on all of these practice runs... what, they aren't practice??? - J. Bean

Re:My friend Ender... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11073779)

You have it the wrong way around, Ender didn't know they weren't practice, but Bean did.

Anyway, shouldn't this be modded down so that it won't spoil the book for anyone?

Re:My friend Ender... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11074437)

Ender has always been weak. He should have known that this was more than practice. I am going to beat him to within inches of his life.

--Peter

More like the other game in the book (3, Interesting)

Chemisor (97276) | more than 9 years ago | (#11074609)

Battle School made use of a "mind game", an adventure game designed to analyze the mind of its players. You remember it for the "Giant's Drink", which put the player in an unresolvable situation to force adoption of unconventional strategies. It is a much more appropriate analogy in this case, which uses a an FPS game for a similar purpose, except that the skills developed are pertinent to the front-line grunts rather than their commanders. "Less brains, more action" is the future slogan of the American Army.

Re:More like the other game in the book (1)

gNukkekAalosj (773447) | more than 9 years ago | (#11076930)

"Less brains, more action" is the future slogan of the American Army.

Didnt you get the memo?

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

Everybody....Repeat after me now:

You go to war with the Army you have, not the Army you might want or wish to have....
You go to war with the Army you have, not the Army you might want or wish to have....

This is awesome! (1)

eyeball (17206) | more than 9 years ago | (#11073626)

One more step to making all war completely virtual!

Re:This is awesome! (1)

fearanddread (836731) | more than 9 years ago | (#11073739)

So when we win it's:

t3rr0r1st5 got p0wnz0r3d!!11!!!!

Wartime Culture (5, Insightful)

Jason Ford (635431) | more than 9 years ago | (#11073734)

From the article:

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

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

Man, was I off! Now I realize that the thing our country needs most is a wartime culture.

Re:Wartime Culture (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11073790)

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

We have those things. Or did you mean "the government pays for them"?

While the government is buying things for us, I want a moon pony.

Re:Wartime Culture (0)

Jason Ford (635431) | more than 9 years ago | (#11073993)

We have those things (healthcare and education), for the time being. I'm happy to hear that you can afford to lose your job, or quit your job so that you may look for another, without worrying about qualifying for an insurance policy because of a condition which was previously disclosed and covered.

Or maybe you pay for your own insurance? Isn't it great knowing that you don't have to work full-time just to make it worthwhile for your employer to subsidize your healthcare?

I'm also glad to hear that your family had enough money to live in a nice neighborhood with good schools, or maybe they had enough money to get you a good education.

While the government is buying things for us, I want a moon pony.

About this moon pony: will it help the many millions of uninsured Americans afford their healthcare? Will it increase the amount of money that our high school graduates earn? Will it help to lower the crime rate as education tends to do?

If so, maybe we should look into getting you that moon pony. Or, if you're wealthy enough, maybe you could lobby the government for one. The poor are not the only ones looking for assistance from the government.

Re:Wartime Culture (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11074195)

So you believe that the appropriate method of securing these things is by government intervention? Prepare to be disappointed.

There is NOTHING that the government does effciently. NOTHING. Take a look at how long it takes for paperwork, or a drivers license. Look at how long a trial takes to complete.

Work hard. Help yourself. I have done it, people I know have done it. I am no better than anyone else, therefore if I could do it, anyone can. There are no excuses.

Re:Wartime Culture (4, Insightful)

Jason Ford (635431) | more than 9 years ago | (#11074579)

So you believe that the appropriate method of securing these things is by government intervention?

No, I don't believe that, although I do see how easy it would be to draw that generalization from my post. My point was that a single-payer system tends to reduce costs.

Work hard. Help yourself. I have done it, people I know have done it. I am no better than anyone else, therefore if I could do it, anyone can. There are no excuses.

I work hard and help myself as well. My parents were not rich, but they had enough money to buy me a used car when I was still in high school. The car more than paid for itself in the money I was able to make working after school hours. I got scholarships, and a subsidized loan from the government. I quintupled my earnings, and paid back the loan with interest.

Now, what if I couldn't get a loan from the government? I had very little money. My parents, through no fault of mine, had declared bankruptcy three times, because they are irresponsible. No one in his right mind would loan them any money, or would allow them to co-sign a loan for me.

Now, what if my parents couldn't afford to buy me a car, or clothing, or food? What if I had to drop out of school so that I could work in order to help my family buy food or rent an apartment?

Or, what about the man I met the other day? He stopped me and asked if he might shine my shoes. I explained that my shoes did not need shining and tried to walk away. He asked again, and before I could say no again, he explained his situation: he was a recent parolee who regretted the mistakes he made in his life and was trying to raise his sister since his mother's recent death. He can't get a job because no one will hire him because he committed a crime. Shining strangers' shoes will only get him so far. How should he help himself?

You may not be better than anyone else, but you were likely better off than a great many people. Did you have at least one parent or relative to care for you? Did you have anyone that cared about you at all? Were you born physically or mentally challenged? Maybe you are a little bit luckier than you thought.

Re:Wartime Culture (1)

2TecTom (311314) | more than 9 years ago | (#11076235)

Maybe you are a little bit luckier than you thought.

I've noticed a lot of affluent first-worlders need to believe they're solely responsible for their own materalistic success.

How does that line in the song go ... oh yeah.

"You know where it ends, yo, it usually depends on where you start"
What It's Like ~ Everlast
http://www.geocities.com/SunsetStrip/Backstage/168 7/wil.html [geocities.com]

Re:Wartime Culture (1)

Iainuki (537456) | more than 9 years ago | (#11076338)

No, I don't believe that, although I do see how easy it would be to draw that generalization from my post. My point was that a single-payer system tends to reduce costs.

I don't believe this. Do you have any evidence for this assertion?

Re:Wartime Culture (1)

Jason Ford (635431) | more than 9 years ago | (#11081141)

Do you have any evidence for this assertion?

Of course!

From: http://cthealth.server101.com/single_payer_solutio n.htm/ [server101.com]

---

How does a single payer system reduce health care costs?

First, and foremost, a single payer system reduces health care costs by reducing administrative costs. Administrative costs vary greatly in our current multi-payer system. The publicly administered sector is by far the most efficient, despite the common misperception that it is least efficient. Medicare spends 3% on administration, and is the most efficient provider of any health care system in the world. The declining not-for-profit sector of our multi-payer system spends about 8% on administration, comparable with most not-for-profit administered systems world-wide. The dramatically increasing for-profit sector of our health care system is the least inefficient. For-profits spend between 20 and 30 cents of the insurance premium dollar on administrative expenses. About the same percentage of the health care dollar they spend on providing payments to all health care givers.

The for-profit sector of our multi-payer system is so expensive for four reasons. First, they have high salaries, at least for their CEO's. The CEO's of the medical insurance industry have the highest average pay of any industry in the world. Second they have extensive marketing expenses and enrollment costs. Third, they have great expenses in enrolling providers, communicating to providers their ever-changing plans, and recertifying that the providers are up to date on their malpractice insurance, state licenses, federal licenses, hospital privileges, and the like. Fourth they are involved in the extremely expensive venture of micro-managing the care of every individual that seeks medical benefits from their insurance.

...

These five basic means of saving money under a single payer system: reducing administrative expenses to the insurer, reducing administrative expenses to hospitals, reducing administrative expenses to physicians, reducing the costs of purchasing medications and durable medical equipment, and the coordination and consolidation of medical services are large enough to "decrease total health care expenditures," despite covering all the uninsured and increasing benefits for the entire population, according to the 1995 report of the State of Connecticut Office of Health Care Access, "Health Care Reform In Connecticut: Analysis of Health Reform Options."

---

In the interest of time, I have employed a subtle 'arguing from the specific to the general' fallacy. In case you picked up on this fallacy, please consider that any single payer is better able to negotiate prices with its clout.

From http://www.wisconsinhealth.org/art5.html/ [wisconsinhealth.org]

---

What are the advantages of such a health care plan?

...

It establishes a group large enough to bargain effectively with pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, and health care providers to control and significantly reduce costs.

---

Re:Wartime Culture (1)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 9 years ago | (#11075237)

There is NOTHING that the government does effciently. NOTHING.

I dunno, a package i sent USPS got there pretty quickly, and it didn't cost that much.

When I moved to VT, I walked into the DMV with a PA driver's license, and walked out with a VT one. Same with the plates (although I kept the PA plates, VT didn't want them).

Look at how long a trial takes to complete.

I thought it took a long time b/c there may or may not be mitigating circumstances, lots of complex evidence and witness testimony. Thanks for pointing out the gov't just sucks!

Work hard. Help yourself. I have done it, people I know have done it. I am no better than anyone else, therefore if I could do it, anyone can. There are no excuses.

You mean like bill gates right? Oh wait, he just got where he was b/c he suckered some people and used harse contracts. As a programmer, he was 3rd rate at best. Surely you mean like our president? Oh wait no, he was given some oil companies to run, and quickly bankrupted them. He then got elected by using his daddy's and republican money.

You mean possibly like CEO's and managers? Oh wait, they don't actually produce anything, its the people under them, who usually could do a better job without so much oversight.

Seems to me that its not working hard, but who you are and who you know that matter.

Re:Wartime Culture (0, Troll)

EnronHaliburton2004 (815366) | more than 9 years ago | (#11073876)

"create the wartime culture that is so desperately needed now"

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

Re:Wartime Culture (2, Interesting)

Jason Ford (635431) | more than 9 years ago | (#11074100)

Wartime Culture is another way of saying "Clueless sheep who believe that a video game is like real war"

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

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

If I were making a game to recruit young boys into the Army, God-mode would be the default, and there'd be plenty of nudity and sex. At least then the 'clueless sheep' would join the Army in the hopes of meeting the beautiful topless nymphomaniacs that roam the battlefields.

Re:Wartime Culture (2)

joFFeman (574971) | more than 9 years ago | (#11074595)

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

you know what they say: war is heaven.

Re:Wartime Culture (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11074636)

Actually, chances are good that if you get into the army, you'll get a hot chick. WOmen like boys in the army for the same reason they like firemen. They love being parasites and latching on to your benefits.

Seriously - why else do you think there are SO MANY 18 year olds in the army with a wife and often even a child already?

Re:Wartime Culture (2, Funny)

Jason Ford (635431) | more than 9 years ago | (#11074786)

Actually, chances are good that if you get into the army, you'll get a hot chick

Hello there, Mr. Rumsfeld. Welcome to the Internets.

When they add the 'Dear John letter' to the game, you'll have the ability to lose your wife to your best friend who stayed home. You can enjoy having part of your paltry wages garnished to support the child you hardly get to see anymore, if you make it home. Sign me up!!

Re:Wartime Culture (1)

jgardn (539054) | more than 9 years ago | (#11074861)

I've played the game several times. It is very difficult. It is fast-paced. The game is constantly in flux.

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

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

it is rather realistic. For instance, if you try to shoot while running, you won't hit the broad side of a barn. If you drop to the ground, take a breath, and aim, you will do quite well. If you throw a grenade in your friend's lap, he dies. It's pretty cool.

And you don't respawn in the games. If you die, you get to spend the rest of the game watching your teammates as a third-person. There is a big incentive not to die early on.

As far as a war-time culture, yes it is important. War is not all about killing. It is about working together and losing yourself in the team. It is about putting someone else's priorities before your own. Yes, people die. Yes, you will kill people. But even the Spartans knew that war was about teamwork and how teamwork meant you would survive when the enemy would not.

Re:Wartime Culture (1)

Jason Ford (635431) | more than 9 years ago | (#11075402)

There is a big incentive not to die early on.

Wow! It's more realistic than I thought!

I must admit, though, that the physics you describe do sound rather cool.

Re:Wartime Culture (0, Troll)

EnronHaliburton2004 (815366) | more than 9 years ago | (#11077364)

it is rather realistic.

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

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

Re:Wartime Culture (1)

chriso11 (254041) | more than 9 years ago | (#11078450)

You ask some very good questions.

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

The goal is to improve your honor. If you are a team leader and the team is successful in its mission, you get a nice positive score, which helps your honor increase. If your team fails, then you lose points. If you violate the Rules of Engagement, you lose a lot of points. Lose too many points, you lose honor, and can even be booted from the game. Some games have a minimum honor to join.

BUT - it does not handle your question on civilians and innocents. It does at least divide the world into people you kill and people you don't kill, so it does help with quickly identifying do you shoot or not...

As for post-tramautic syndrome, no, not a problem. We will have conditioned killing machines without any difficulty in pulling the trigger. They won't evaluate the damage and disruption that they caused. But hey - I play these games too...

Re:Wartime Culture (1)

Elwood P Dowd (16933) | more than 9 years ago | (#11075606)

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

No one is allowed to die.

Yes, these are absolutely designed to recruit.

Ignorant culture vs. wartime culture? (1)

MMaestro (585010) | more than 9 years ago | (#11074069)

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

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

Considering the U.S.'s past you'd think we would be a wee bit vigilant considering how many heads we've kicked since the 18th century. Yeah, I'd say we were pretty ignorant up until 9/11.

Re:Ignorant culture vs. wartime culture? (1)

servognome (738846) | more than 9 years ago | (#11074419)

There's a huge difference between disagreement/displeasure and enough anger to go to war.
Africa - Displeasure about the US not doing enough to fight disease/hunger/internal wars
Middle East - Righteous anger about the US alignment with Israel and US foreign policies in the middle east, which has continued to increase and spiral into religious hatred towards the US itself
Cuba/Russia/China/N.Korea/Vietnam - hostilitiy of Communism vs Capitalism
Europe/Canada - displeasure with the current US administration, and differences in culture.
South America - displeasure with economic aid & drug war
Mexico - squabbles about the border and economics
Native Americans - this is an internal socio-economic/racial issue
Right now most of the world is displeased with the US because of the isolationist policies of the current administration. But I wouldn't expect Canada or Europe to declare war on the US, in fact their hatred is directed more at Bush himself than at the US citizens. For things to reach the level of war it takes many years of animosity. Currently that level exists in the Middle East and communist countries.

Re:Ignorant culture vs. wartime culture? (1)

MMaestro (585010) | more than 9 years ago | (#11075618)

True, but I was talking about historically. If you go back into the past, the U.S. has been one of the most annoying countries in history for third world countries. As for present day, well. Theres always parts of Africa who blaim the U.S. for the U.N.'s lack of activity, the Middle East has always hated us for some reason, the Cold War is still burning treasury coffers across the world, Europe hasn't liked us since the end of WWII, somethings always going on in South America with the U.S. getting blaimed for, Mexico just has economic issues with the U.S., and Native Americans haven't liked us since we first came here.

Re:Ignorant culture vs. wartime culture? (1)

servognome (738846) | more than 9 years ago | (#11077318)

If you go back into the past, the U.S. has been one of the most annoying countries in history for third world countries
I would argue historically European countries had far more impact on third world countries. Between the 16th-19th centuries colonization basically tried to divide the world between the European powers. The impact of that time has lasted through even recent times, apartheid in S. Africa, French involvement in Vietnam(French Indochina War), Falkland islands, are all examples.
The anger towards the US from the 3rd world in general isn't directed just to the US but more towards western society overall. Though the US being considered a leader is the main target
Theres always parts of Africa who blaim the U.S. for the U.N.'s lack of activity
And other parts who want the US to stay out of their business, its a damned if you do, damned if you don't situation.
the Middle East has always hated us for some reason
Primarily the difference comes from the US policies supporting Israel (politically and supplying weapons). Therefore there is the appearance of a Judeo-Christian alliance against Islam (embodied by Palestine).
the Cold War is still burning treasury coffers across the world
Once again this is a difference between Communist countries and Western society, though the US takes the brunt because it is viewed as the leader
Europe hasn't liked us since the end of WWII
The squabbles are more differences in cultural views. The US laughs at europe's tastes (Germany loves Hasselhoff, France loves Jerry Lewis) and Europe scoffs at the US arrogance as an example. Not really deep rooted hatred, more along the lines of how "country folk" hate the "city folk" in the US.
somethings always going on in South America with the U.S. getting blaimed for
This is more along the lines of economic differences, and impact of the drug war.
Mexico just has economic issues with the U.S
And the US has immigration and drug trafficing issues with Mexico. Once again these are minor squabbles that happen between countries with differences.
Native Americans haven't liked us since we first came here.
It's much more complicated than that. Native americans have not so completely assimilated into US society as other cultures, as well as socio-economic issues. To say that Native Americans haven't liked us, you might as well say latinos or african americans haven't liked us.
Remember in all societies there are vocal groups that hate the US, WTO, Nato, the members of the G7, or any group they see that has power. This doesn't necessarily represent an overwhelming hatred or distrust throughout the society. Even in Puerto Rico there are those who hate the ties to the US as a commonwealth (some small groups advocating revolution), though most of the population supports status quo.

Re:Ignorant culture vs. wartime culture? (1)

BlueFashoo (463325) | more than 9 years ago | (#11077955)

Right now most of the world is displeased with the US because of the isolationist policies of the current administration.

WTF Mate? Isolationist policies? How the hell does that reconcile with "spreading democracy?" We do not have "isolationist policies." We have unilateral, interventionist policies, not isolationist policies. The war in Iraq is an interventionist policy, and a multinationalist one at that. Granted we supply most (~90%) of the funding and troops, but there are other nations that supported the war, including but not limited to: England, Australia, Japan, Spain (till they pulled out), Holland, and Denmark.

Lets look at the rest of your post.

Africa - Displeasure about the US not doing enough to fight disease/hunger/internal wars.

Okay, not doing anything about Africa is isolationist. Intervening would be stepping into a quagmire, we should know, we've tried it before. If anybody (non-African) has a responsibilty to do anything about Africa, it is Europe. Maybe they should clean up their mess on their own.

Middle East - Righteous anger about the US alignment with Israel and US foreign policies in the middle east, which has continued to increase and spiral into religious hatred towards the US itself

The hatred exist because we have an interventionist policy towards the Middle East, probably because they have a lot of oil. We like oil. We also had troops (foreign invaders; infidels) stationed in Saudi Arabi for 10 or so years. Saudi Arabi is the home to two of the holiest cities in Islam, and the presence of foreign troops was a great offence to many Muslims. We also support brutal dictators, i.e. Saddam Hussein in the '80s, and corrupt royals, i.e. the house of Saud. How did Shrub know Hussein had chemical weapons? He checked Daddy's reciepts.

As for Israel, the Israelis are more like us than the Arabs. The Israelis are also very pro America. Makes sense that we would support them. The Arab opposition to Israel, is partly due to Israeli treatment of the Palestinians and partly due to Arab racism. After all we don't do anything about the African problem, perhaps because they have no oil.

Cuba/Russia/China/N.Korea/Vietnam - hostilitiy of Communism vs Capitalism.

The only country in that list that is likely to go to war with the US is North Korea, because they have a paranoid lunatic for a leader. We have an embargo with Cuba (why?) and that will probably change within the next ten years. Castro's getting pretty old and frail, he can't last too much longer. After Castro, I would expect massive political change in Cuba and a lessening, if not removal of, the embargo against Cuba. The influx of money and tourists would have a significant impact on the political oppinions of Cubans. It will probably end up socialistic.

Europe/Canada - displeasure with the current US administration, and differences in culture.

It's been said that North America was divided wrong. It should have been divided vertically into three nations, rather than horizontally. West coast Americans and West coast Canadians have more in common than West coast Americans and midwest Americans or Easterners
.
South America - displeasure with economic aid & drug war.

The drug war is an interventionist policy. We are sending them money and telling what to do with it, hardly isolationist. We also have the School of the Americas (it has new name now, but it has the same mission), which trained Latin Americans in guerilla warfare. Essentially, it is a terrorist training camp. Look into it. This has been the policy under Democrat and Republican administrations.

Re:Ignorant culture vs. wartime culture? (1)

servognome (738846) | more than 9 years ago | (#11078331)

We do not have "isolationist policies." We have unilateral, interventionist policies, not isolationist policies
You are correct I couldn't think of the exact term. I was thinking more along the lines of isolating us from our allies (though the goverments support us there is a vocal minority against the US that has gained influence, see Spain) because we didn't get the rubber stamp from the ineffective UN.
I don't think we differ through the rest, as I said in another post [slashdot.org] , most of the world doesn't truly hate us, most of the percieved "hate" in traditionally friendly countries is just typical squabbling and disagreements that have gone on for years, which is now magnified by the current war situation.

Re:Ignorant culture vs. wartime culture? (1)

BlueFashoo (463325) | more than 9 years ago | (#11095483)

I was thinking more along the lines of isolating us from our allies...

We do seem to be accomplishing that.

This was the plot of... (5, Funny)

-dsr- (6188) | more than 9 years ago | (#11073841)

The Last Starfighter, right? Video games scattered across the nation as secret military training, and the high-scorers being recruited.

Does the DoD now get *all* of their ideas from Hollywood?

Re:This was the plot of... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11073922)

You've never read Ender's Game, have you.

Re:This was the plot of... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11079238)

To be fair in Ender's Game they weren't used on the general populace.

Re:This was the plot of... (2, Funny)

kk49 (829669) | more than 9 years ago | (#11073934)

It's only fair, since the DoD is spreading Hollywood's crappy copyright laws around the world.

Re:This was the plot of... (1)

Spunk (83964) | more than 9 years ago | (#11075068)

I sure hope so. As a Sharks With Frikkin Laser Beams (SWFLB) contractor, I depend on such sources to earn a living.

I can see it now... (2, Funny)

Khuffie (818093) | more than 9 years ago | (#11073924)

"5t0p 5n1p1ng j00 f4g T4lib4N c4mP3r 4nd f1ght l1k3 4 m4n!"

Re:I can see it now... (1)

talaphid (702911) | more than 9 years ago | (#11076988)

I blame my squad's wipeout on high ping, sarge. I had a lag spurt.

How does this translate to the real battlefield? (5, Insightful)

Caesar_X (575997) | more than 9 years ago | (#11073996)

I know several people who worked on America's Army, and I found the article very thought-provoking. But when I see the overweight, Frito-eating guys at the local online-game center playing AA or HL2, I don't see how the Army is going to make these...men...into soldiers. There is a big difference between pressing a mouse button to kill a virtual terrorist and humping an 80-pound pack for two weeks only to get a fleeting shot at the enemy now and then. Let's be honest here, most of the soldiers of tomorrow are playing on the football fields when they are 14 and 15.

Re:How does this translate to the real battlefield (1)

coachvince (760294) | more than 9 years ago | (#11074086)

The soldiers of today may have been on a football field at 14 or 15, but that doesn't mean that's what the soldiers of tomorrow are doing. The Army would probably love to completely remove the physical aspect from war; it's easier to sell at home, and (in THEORY) it's easier to store and maintain equipment than it is to house and care for troops.

Re:How does this translate to the real battlefield (1)

hey! (33014) | more than 9 years ago | (#11074125)

But when I see the overweight, Frito-eating guys at the local online-game center playing AA or HL2, I don't see how the Army is going to make these...men...into soldiers.

By the time honored method of military training: having a DI scream in their face.

Re:How does this translate to the real battlefield (1, Funny)

WormholeFiend (674934) | more than 9 years ago | (#11074144)

HARTMAN: Quickly! Get your fat ass over there, Private Pyle! Oh, that's right, Private Pyle ... don't make any fucking effort to get to the top of the fucking obstacle! If God wanted you up there He would have miracled your ass up there by now, wouldn't He?

PYLE: Sir, yes, sir!

HARTMAN: Get your fat ass up there, Pyle!

PYLE: Sir, yes, sir!

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

PYLE: Sir, yes, sir!

[PYLE drops heavily to the ground.]

HARTMAN: Your ass looks like about a hundred and fifty pounds of chewed bubble gum, Pyle. Do you know that?

PYLE: Sir, yes, sir!

Re:How does this translate to the real battlefield (1)

dbc001 (541033) | more than 9 years ago | (#11074521)

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

And if someone is over the threshold (100 pounds overweight? 200 pound overweight? who knows?) maybe they can use gastric-bypass surgery and make it cost-effective. Actually, what if the military could offer to turn a fat gamer into a lean, mean, chick-getting machine? The game is only the first part of a screening & marketing procedure.

You made it to level 50 in the game? Guess what? You qualify for a $5,000 signing bonus *and* gastric bypass surgery. You may also qualify for cosmetic surgery by skilled military technicians!

Re:How does this translate to the real battlefield (2, Interesting)

pnutjam (523990) | more than 9 years ago | (#11075541)

You thought you were kidding about the plastic surgerysd. [msn.com]

Re:How does this translate to the real battlefield (2, Funny)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 9 years ago | (#11074810)

In the army of the future, Frito-eating guys from the local online-game center will be remotely controlling cyborgs made from football players.

Re:How does this translate to the real battlefield (1)

Slider451 (514881) | more than 9 years ago | (#11076608)

Agreed. Well said. However, the body can be conditioned much easier than the mind. It's the attitude that usually accompanies the Frito eating that worries me. Does Joe Carbo-cruncher care enough about anything besides his personal gratification to be a good soldier?

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

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

Re:How does this translate to the real battlefield (1)

rpillala (583965) | more than 9 years ago | (#11081502)

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

Now that would be a great game, and is the kind of thing that games should aim for. I think it would be a tremendous achievement if a game required a commitment to a set of values. Because computer games indicate what you "should" do by rewarding you though it's hard to get away from motivating people to gratify themselves. I think the form itself is at odds with selflessness. OTOH I've never designed a game so I'm not qualified to say what's impossible.

Great defense. (1)

Mr.Dippy (613292) | more than 9 years ago | (#11074113)

I'm going to log in tonight and shoot everything that moves (friendly soldiers, women, children). If they send me off to Iraq I'll be sure to have the database data at my court martial.

Hypothetical (1)

Adrilla (830520) | more than 9 years ago | (#11074630)

Let's say I was playing in another country? Will they send me citizenship papers along with my recruit forms. If not, I'm moving to canada before I download and play this game (or at least that's what I'll be putting as my address)

Completely unrelated question (1)

Adrilla (830520) | more than 9 years ago | (#11074925)

How do I fake my IP address to say I'm in Canada

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

PS: Hahhahahahahahahahahahah...I mean (HAHAHAHAHAHHAH.....HAHA...............heh heh heheheheh...Heh ha)

Re:Completely unrelated question (2, Insightful)

hambonewilkins (739531) | more than 9 years ago | (#11075288)

I like how no one considers the option of just NOT playing the game, which is one big commercial for the Army anyway.

Re:Completely unrelated question (1)

Adrilla (830520) | more than 9 years ago | (#11076713)

(in best drill sargent voice)
SON! Have you ever heard of the concept we call HUMOR!
Seriously. While I may not have been funny, I was anything but serious. Don't you think if I were that anxious to play a free game that's been out for months, I would've already done so? Maybe next time I'll add a disclaimer.

Attention: Canada SHOULD NEVER be the answer to avoiding US Army recruiting.
(use Mexico, they have a warmer climate, cheaper cost of living and donkey shows)

Obligatory Simpsons Quote... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11075387)

"The wars of tomorrow will be fought by tiny robots on the tops of very high mountains.
Your job will be to build and maintain these robots."

I wonder ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11082225)

will the "persistent" online alter-ego also be able to get sent home after going loco, suffer from post traumatic stress syndrome and become unable to function in a normal day to day life. Lose its wife and children and become a sad alcoholic.

Always make FPS gamers look like psychopaths (1)

snuf23 (182335) | more than 9 years ago | (#11083496)

"who hasn't seen one of these games--known as first-person shooters--here's the gist of them. You're placed in a combat zone, armed with a weapon of your choice, and sent out to find and kill other players. Knife them, club them, blow them apart with a shotgun, set them afire, vaporize them with a shoulder-launched missile, drill them through the head with a sniper rifle--the choice is yours. Depending on the game, blood will spray, mist or spout. Sometimes your kills collapse in crumpled heaps, clutching their throats and twitching convincingly. Sometimes they cry in pain with human voices. Their bodies lay there for a while so you can feed off them if necessary, restoring your own health. Then you can grab their weapons and set off to find another victim, assuming you don't get killed first."

Wheeee! Never mind that maybe its the SPORT of the GAME that keeps us playing rather than the screaming human voices, blood and ragdoll physics bah-blasting people to ba-bits.

But what I would really like to know is what soldiers in Iraq would think of this caption:

"Budda-budda-zing. The Army's combat game is so lifelike that the Defense Department is using it to test new weapons systems."

I don't think you can call it lifelike unless the person in the seat next to you has his head explode when he gets fragged.

Re:Always make FPS gamers look like psychopaths (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11088966)

I agree, nothing lifelike in dying 72 times in one night. And most geeks who think they're brave just cos they spent hours playing a video game wouldn't find it as much glamourous about losing the usage of his left arm from bomb shrapnels, he would cry for his mom and swear his life became useless.

Re:Always make FPS gamers look like psychopaths (1)

Gewis (717661) | more than 9 years ago | (#11090731)

Ah, but if you've used the weapons and know the typcial tactics, requirements, and so forth (I'm enlisted in an SF unit), you know the difference between a realistic simulation and Unreal II. I have a hard time with most FPS's because they have you running in, standing up, guns blazing, as if you're Rambo or something.

Sure, that's /fun/, but compare that to a situation where it makes sense to set up a reverse slope defense, to recon an area before returning to your rally point and moving out, or to run a fast-paced but measured assault against a target. To have that all with visibility and weapons behavior you find with real-world equipment, I'd be willing to call it "life-like."
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