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Author Topic: Preparing Children for War
KnightEnder
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My youngest called me in to watch him play a level of COD (Call of duty IV) yesterday, and it is like watching the CNN smartbomb feeds from Desert Storm, The Military Channel reenactments, and Blackhawk Down.

The scary thing is; Jake is great at it (he's 14) and they wear these headphones and communicate on missions, use flashbangs and other weaponry, call in air strikes, utilize IR and friendly fire strobe designators, formulate strategy and carry out tactics, and utilize UAV's and recon. It IS a modern day training ground for modern warfare.

Some PT and conditioning the psyche to actually kill "real" people (who are Muslims in the game and thus already being dehumanized) and Jake would be an excellent soldier in no time at all. Not what I or he wants for his life, but the training is there. You should see it. It is really quite amazing.

They are training a whole generation, generations of electronic soldiers; if need be.

KE

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RickyB
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The enemy's gate is down...
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hobsen
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This brings a new level of realism, but chess was also invented as a means of training soldiers for war. And the training in strategy probably does make players better as soldiers, but I am not sure it makes them more warlike. If anything, the opposite seems the case. People do quite well at distinguishing fantasy from reality, and actuality of a soldier's life is far different from a game.

And that is a splendid quote, RickyB.

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kenmeer livermaile
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Likewise, Guitar Hero is training a whole generation of cheesy rock stars...
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Ron Lambert
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KnightEnder, it sounds like Ender's Game is not so far-fetched any more. I wonder what Orson Scott Card's take on these games is.

In my more formative years I was involved in some board wargaming--principally Avalon Hill's classic, The Russian Campaign. You could easily spend a half hour setting up the board for each "impulse." We had a way of using the stock market to calculate our die roll, when gaming with someone by mail. We would divide the sales in hundreds of a stock by six on a specified date, one stock for each battle, and have zero equal six. I got pretty good at it, and at one point was nationally ranked (top 40 or so). But of course. from what I've heard, the modern computerized games are so far beyond board games in terms of realism, there is not much comparison. Remembering what a hold TRC had on me, though, I do not dare try any of the modern computerized games. They'd suck me in, and I'd be a goner.

[ November 24, 2007, 02:52 PM: Message edited by: Ron Lambert ]

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kenmeer livermaile
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"it sounds like Ender's Game is not so far-fetched any more."

Discounting anti-grav, FTL travel, vast hive-mind invading ETs, ansible comm, and full sensoria brainjack recordings of most kids under 10...

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Rallan
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quote:
Originally posted by Ron Lambert:

In my more formative years I was involved in some board wargaming--principally Avalon Hill's classic, The Russian Campaign. You could easily spend a half hour setting up the board for each "impulse." We had a way of using the stock market to calculate our die roll, when gaming with someone by mail. We would divide the sales in hundreds of a stock by six on a specified date, one stock for each battle, and have zero equal six. I got pretty good at it, and at one point was nationally ranked (top 40 or so). But of course. from what I've heard, the modern computerized games are so far beyond board games in terms of realism, there is not much comparison. Remembering what a hold TRC had on me, though, I do not dare try any of the modern computerized games. They'd suck me in, and I'd be a goner.

Yeah tabletop wargaming never could've survived once the personal computer came along. It allows wargames to be vastly more complex and have far more stats and variables, and take care of all the paperwork and rules interpretations by itself so you can do in minutes a turn that would've taken damn near an hour to play out if a real wargame had similarly complex rules.

And of course the real-time strategy genre means that turn-based wargames are getting less popular too. Folks today don't want to use their computer to move hundreds of pieces around on a board when they could play a game that lets them order hundreds of little tanks and battleships and soldiers around in real time with lovingly rendered tiny explosions and teensy tiny little bleeding dead bodies.

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Richard Dey
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The 4th-best-selling book in the 20th century was Baden-Powell's Scouting for Boys, 1st published in 1908.

This was a rewrite of the training manuals Reconnaissance and Scouting (1884), i.e., spying, and Aids to Scouting for NCO's and Men (1899).

At Mafeking, Baden-Powell had recruited and trained boys ae 12-15 as postmen, messengers, and later on to carry the wounded, to free up the men for the actual fighting.

Returning to England after Boer War II, he founded the Boy scouts on these principles with
Sir William Alexander Smith, founder of the Boys' Brigade, and Cyril Arthur Pearson, the media magnate.

Of what imaginable use are boys except as wannabe defenders of Christianity, King, and Country? Whoops! Forgot chivalry -- and the defense of womankind!

From Part VI, please note the position of Religion in Baden-Powell's Scheme:

Play the game: don't look on, The British Empire wants your help, Fall of the Roman Empire was due to bad citizenship, Bad citizenship is becoming apparent in this country to-day, Football, Our future citizens, Peace-scouting, Militarism, How to teach scouting, Authorities who might find the scheme useful, Hints to instructors, Be Prepared, Clubroom, The handbook, Course of instruction, Method of instruction, Imagination, Responsibility to juniors, Discipline, Religion, Continence, Hints to instructors, Forming character, Conclusion, Books on the subject

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kenmeer livermaile
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Baden-Powell. Such a lovely bloke during the Boer War, as I recall. Hee-hee!
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Richard Dey
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War games are a detached sort of business; I told you about the general who stormed into the Red China team room at MIT screaming, "You can't play like that! You can't play like that!" as if China would never blackmail Russia; indeed, as if Israel and Egypt would never blackmail the United States ...!

The problem with the Pentagon, of course, is the problem of the armed forces; they are not designed to allow intelligence to rise to the top. Instead, bootlickers rise to the top -- and when they get all the way to the top, as Eisenhower warned us, they have nobody's boots to lick and start eating billfolds.

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WeAreAllJust LooseChange
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Quote:
"...and when they get all the way to the top, as Eisenhower warned us, they have nobody's boots to lick and start eating billfolds"

You mean - "they have nobody's boots to eat and start licking bullfrogs? [LOL]

(that's the way I read it at least...)

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Richard Dey
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Whichever, Loose Change [Wink] ! It ceases to have much to do with anything military -- and largely to do with billfold budgets and cutting up the bullfrog pie.
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