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Army Game Fallout

Simulated Sniping: Army Recruits Teens With Internet Game (thanks Dave Lepore) has signs of what could be considered the expected fallout from America's Army: Operations, the Unreal-engine army recruiting tool, spurred at least in part by recent events in light of the game's inclusion of a "sniper school." The article includes responses from the U.S. Army to criticisms of the game, which are outlined in the following bit, which includes the threat of an injunction against the game:

Jack Thompson, a father and a Miami attorney is fighting the Pentagon. He says it's wrong for the military to unleash this game on America's youth.

"I'm a father of a 10-year-old boy," Thompson says. "And every day I drop him off at school, I know that he's at greater risk because some of his classmates, as well as others in the general population, train obsessively in these shooter games."

Thompson, who has represented the parents of children killed in school shootings, says he will file an injunction in federal court next week, if the Army doesn't pull the plug.

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213 Replies. 11 pages. Viewing page 1.
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213. Violence Nov 8, 2002, 14:00 Metacritic
 
Hmmm. In reference to the off-topic conversation on war, why is it that through all of history, we cannot learn from the innumerable themes in history and any art medium that violence begets violence?

Maybe playing pseudo-violent computer games is a catharsis for our tendencies towards violence, thus possibly making our real-life tendencies for violence diminish. Or perhaps it's the opposite. It doesn't matter because each person is affected differently. For some, it may go one way; for others, perhaps the opposite; and there are even others that it may not affect at all.

One thing is certain: the majority consistently latches onto and wants to believe a one-dimensional, superficial idea that gives tangibility to the cause of violence. Computer games is the latest scapegoat. Warner Brothers and MGM cartoons took the blame once; see what happened to them. Horror/Slasher films took the blame in the early eighties; see how the MPAA writhes from the smallest presence of blood on-screen. Dungeons and Dragons role-playing also carried the blame; spurred mostly by fundamentalists, fantasy role-playing was seen as some drug, or violent act (remember Mazes and Monsters?) that could get out-of-hand. Comic books were also traditionally viewed as violent from their debut in the 1930s and a poor role model. Alcohol... Drugs... And so on. Certainly, some of these may have tendencies that lean toward violent behavior, but they are not the causes of violence.

Jack Thompson's notion that his child is at-risk because classmates "train obsessively in these shooter games" is representative of the weak and shallow logic exemplified above. It never crossed his mind that for centuries children have played a form of tag, hide-and-seek, or "cops-and-robbers"/"cowboys-and-indians," which is not much different from the virtual first-person shooters we play now. The children know the difference between make-believe and reality. Most of us know the difference, too. Why can't he (and others like him) distinguish between the two?

 
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212. Re: No subject Nov 8, 2002, 12:37 RC
 
I had a reply here, then I edited it, and deleted the whole thing.....

I will try to remember my points and re post

This comment was edited on Nov 8, 12:44.
 
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211. Re: No subject Nov 8, 2002, 05:14 FalseTodd
 
Shadow:

No one is saying "Wait til we get attacked". That's ridiculous. What people are saying is: "Maybe we should go in there and have a look before we start killing people." What we have now are vague accusations and FUD from the US government about what weapons Irag does and does not have. They could be 100% correct. I don't know. You don't know. So you think we should find out before we drop bombs into their cities?

>Hitler would have taken everybody out
>one at a time if we hadn't all allied together.

Perhaps, but Hitler had already damaged himself quite badly with the Russian fiasco. Its more likely the war would have lested 10 years instead of 6...

>What about genocide? That's not reason enough to get
>involved? Anybody remember what happened in Bosnia in the
>90s? Anybody remember WW2?

It's never enough! Altruistic reasons for the US (or any government) going to war have *never* been the sole cause. The retaking of Europe in WWII was not caused by the concentration camps, much as we would love to believe. Alliances with France and England had more to do with it, as well as a tremendous list of other things.

>Would you try to save the victim or would you hold on to
>your not getting involved philosophy?

So America is the lone vigilante in the cold dark street of the planet? Do you really think Dubya has no other reasons for wanting war? Not only would he love to distract us from a stumbling economy and a lukewarm success in the War on Terror, I'd bet he's not exactly bummed about the thought of a little wartime economic boost.

>Lets take it a step
>further and get rid of cops and laws.

OK, so you're a proponent of vigilante justice AND "cops and laws"?

We have laws and "cops" in the international sphere. They're collectively called the United Nations, a group that the United States feels no particular need to be governed by. The United States, being the only superpower left (China's coming up quick!), enjoys the enviable position of not having to play by the rules everyone else does. So don't take on Geroge W. and the US government as the flag bearers of law, order, and morality.

 
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210. Re: A couple of things Nov 7, 2002, 23:17 TimothyB
 
A replay of Micheal Reagan's talk radio show is talking about the Army game. Check your local AM newstalk stations to tune in. It's too late to call in and voice your opinion. Although, give him a call tomorrow to make your point to millions of people.

This comment was edited on Nov 8, 00:59.
 
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209. Re: No subject Nov 7, 2002, 19:08 anon@24.76
 
"Saddam Hussein has used weapons of mass destruction. He used them in the Iranian War and on the Kurds of his own country"

You do know that the USA actually supplied those chemical weapons TO Saddam, for the specific purpose of using them on Iran...

 
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208. Re: UN Nov 7, 2002, 08:01 Anvil
 
Sometimes the best strategey is go just go in there and kick their ass, cuz that's just what has to be done. If we don't, no one will, and not doing so sends the message that any shithead in the world with anti-western aspirations can proceed freely to make any and all attempts to destroy the United States.

So does the same apply to say China, or the Russian Federation? How about North Korea which probably would say it was threatened by South Korea. One rule for the US and one for everyone else will not lead to fewer attacks on the States.

Anvil
 
Anvil - from the land of warm beer and mad cattle.
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207. Re: No subject Nov 7, 2002, 07:59 Anvil
 
The UN has passed resolution after resolution in regards to Iraq, none of them have seemed to have done any good

There is also a big problem with using resolutions passed at the UN as a basis for deciding action against States which are in breach. That is fairness and equity. Israel is also in material breach of many UN resolutions. No one is arguing for military action against Israel, because it is a friend of the west, and by and large her enemies aren't.

That said the UN is very definitely the best we have. We already see the Russian Federation following the US lead and stating that it will take action against other sovereign states without necessarily going the the UN first. It wouldn't entirely surprise me if China didn't consider similar action for some of its 'problems'.



Anvil
 
Anvil - from the land of warm beer and mad cattle.
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206. Re: No subject Nov 7, 2002, 03:17 Inexorable
 
The UN has passed resolution after resolution in regards to Iraq, none of them have seemed to have done any good.

 
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205. UN Nov 7, 2002, 02:47 [Snake]
 
Does anyone besides me seem to think that the UN is one of the most indecisive organizations in the world? They work far too much on faith, like being content to leave iraq alone save having weapons inspectors. Im sure Saddam is clever enough to build whatever he wants and not have one inspector ever be the wiser. To allow the UN to "handle" this problem is to sit back and allow saddam to do whatever he wants for the next 10 years while the United Nations haggles it over. Sometimes the best strategey is go just go in there and kick their ass, cuz that's just what has to be done. If we don't, no one will, and not doing so sends the message that any shithead in the world with anti-western aspirations can proceed freely to make any and all attempts to destroy the United States.

 
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204. Re: No subject Nov 7, 2002, 00:48 Sharpei Diem
 
Alas Sharpei, Saddam Hussein has used weapons of mass destruction. He used them in the Iranian War and on the Kurds of his own country. We went after Milosevic for war crimes, and what Saddam has done runs up the same alley.

Yes, but recall the US also used chemical and nuclear weapons to wage war. I think the matter should be one for the UN to decide; and the US should strongly pursue the members of the UN to do something to make Saddam accountable for his crimes.

edit: for clarity


This comment was edited on Nov 7, 00:55.
 
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203. Re: Saddam and Bush Nov 7, 2002, 00:44 Sharpei Diem
 
I have no doubts about Saddam. Anyone recalling his demeanor with that (british?) child on tv during the gulf conflict saw a scary individual. I personally think the UN coalition should have removed him from power in 92.

I just don't think the US should 'go it alone'; that any involvement in the region be under the auspices of the United Nations.

AgentD, I agree that most of what you said is true, and given that, here's a question for you to ponder: Why all this interest in Iraq and Saddam now? It apparently has nothing to do with Al-queda, as (apparently) Saddam and them aren't exactly friends.....so i'm very suspicious about the motives of our government.

It'll be very interesting to see if Bush's stance on Iraq softens now that the election is over. The only article I read that made any sense of this was one that suggested this was all a political ploy to distract Americans from economic issues during the election...


 
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202. Re: No subject Nov 7, 2002, 00:42 Inexorable
 
Alas Sharpei, Saddam Hussein has used weapons of mass destruction. He used them in the Iranian War and on the Kurds of his own country. We went after Milosevic for war crimes, and what Saddam has done runs up the same alley.

 
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201. Re: No subject Nov 7, 2002, 00:30 Sharpei Diem
 
We might all be speaking German if the west hadn't gotten involved in WW2. Hitler would have taken everybody out one at a time if we hadn't all allied together.

Um, we got involved because we WERE attacked.

What about genocide? That's not reason enough to get involved? Anybody remember what happened in Bosnia in the 90s? Anybody remember WW2?

Yes, that's very good reason for the UN to step in, which it did.

If you saw someone being stabbed to death in the street and you had a gun...

Again, you would be reacting to a situation; saving the victim would be an appropriate response.

I've answered yours, and now, please answer mine:

Would you kill someone on the street who possessed a weapon and hadn't used it, just for the sole reason that they had the weapon?

 
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200. Re: Saddam and Bush Nov 6, 2002, 22:56 Quaternion
 
(or simple troll behavior, which is probably the case)

It is.

 
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199. Re: No subject Nov 6, 2002, 22:52 Quaternion
 
I hear all this talk about not getting involved unless being attacked first.

We might all be speaking German if the west hadn't gotten involved in WW2. Hitler would have taken everybody out one at a time if we hadn't all allied together.

What about genocide? That's not reason enough to get involved? Anybody remember what happened in Bosnia in the 90s? Anybody remember WW2?

If you saw someone being stabbed to death in the street and you had a gun... Would you try to save the victim or would you hold on to your not getting involved philosophy? Lets take it a step further and get rid of cops and laws. Who the hell are we to decide what people should be allowed to do?

 
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198. Saddam and Bush Nov 6, 2002, 22:51 AgentD
 
Dr. Del, I don't mean to offend you, but your odd sense of moral righteousness and lack of information (or simple troll behavior, which is probably the case) creates some seriously flawed positions. Anyone can make the arguement that Bush is just as evil as Saddam... how iraq feels about the US, blah blah blah... and pretend that they're presenting some new idea or unique philosophical position. Well, no, it's not. The simple truth is that if Saddam and Bush were in opposite positions of power, the entire surface of the middle east, along with most of europe, would have been converted to glass long ago. Besides, the people of Iraq are far from supportive of Saddam. Eliminating Saddam would save thousands of Iraqi civilians over the next few years. He has the full (read non-dead) population of Iraq in a stranglehold. People are murdered every day, and he commonly uses rape and torture to control his underlings and their families. As people have noted in his previous posts he has killed many members of his own family, as well as everyone who remotely threatens his power. Even if you ignore his greed and brutal behavior to his nation, he is still a great threat to the world. He has weapons of mass destruction, biological and otherwise, and has already used them on his own people. He will, given sufficient motive, sell or give these weapons to groups targeting the United States, and other allied countries. The list goes on, and anyone seriously questioning the U.S. opposition to Iraq should read up on Saddam's life and dictatorship. If you don't trust any U.S. sources, just read something from people who have escaped Iraq and saught asylum. I regret typing all this, as Del is just going to skip over it and reply with a stupid post, but it's nice to see other people's posts and know that not everyone is like him.

 
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197. Re: No subject Nov 6, 2002, 21:46 Inexorable
 
Von, what happens when Saddam gives nuclear, biological or chemical weapons to Al Qaeda? He has used chemical weapons on both the Iranians and the Kurds. What makes you think he wouldn't directly or indirectly use them on the US, apparently one of his least favortite countries?

 
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196. Re: A couple of things Nov 6, 2002, 18:20 Bronco
 
I have nothing to do with the stats on the page, nor did i make any generalizations.

I know you don't. Didn't mean to imply that you do.

Just presenting stats in the absence of any (mostly, though, to dispute the unsupported statement that guns prevent crimes)

The point I was trying to make was that the stats you presented only represent a couple of variables in an issue that has a minimum of thousands of them.

: perhaps these stats are from a government statistical body, with well defined categories(which nullifies your statements)

I took quite a few stat courses in college, it may sound sick to some of the crew here but I enjoy/dig stats (how much does that up my geek/nerd level?). I've found that statistics for such a complex issue such as this can't really be all that accurate. Statistics are an amazing idea (I hesitate to call them math or science). Anyone that has the opportunity to take a course in them should. A real eye opener to say the least.


-TPFKAS2S
 
Avatar 10139
 
-TPFKAS2S
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195. Re: No subject Nov 6, 2002, 17:22 Von Helmet
 
Saddam isn't actually a threat to anyone in the US *until* the US goes marching onto his turf and threatening him. If the US kept out of his business then he'd have no reason to feel threated or to have to make threats in return.

It is, however, difficult to say how much you let someone get away with before you go marching in to sort it out. Is it the business of the US or UN or whoever? Tough call.

 
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194. Re: No subject Nov 6, 2002, 16:51 Sharpei Diem
 
I think the real question here is, IS Saddam a threat to 1 person in this nation?

The issue of pre-emptive striking is treading on dangerous grounds for democracies. Democracatic nations in the 20th century have tended to shun conflict and to only get involved once attacked. Remember some of the concepts we try to uphold: innocent until proven guilty, equality, justice. Attacking someone who hasn't attacked us is like arresting a citizen because we think they're going to break the law.

I think the course the US is setting is very dangerous for future stability. Some examples:

it's ok to go into a foreign nation and kill people you suspect of terrorism, and anyone else that's in their car, with your secret service (What if China blew up a CIA director's car in Washington?)

it's ok to lock up citizens suspected of terrorist connections or activities and deny them any access to the outside world, including access to lawyers, media and family

it's ok to wage war without consent of the rest of the government(though it would be preferable to have it)

Yes, i know what i'm suggesting: that in order to act, we have to be hit first(which includes nuclear, chemical and biological weapons). That is exceptionally scary. Millions could die. But the alternative is even more scary: killing arbitrarily anyone that might pose a threat to you....and if we do that, how different are we than Hitler or Stalin.

sorry, didn't mean to get on the soapbox...





 
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213 Replies. 11 pages. Viewing page 1.
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