Very interesting post, Burrito of Peace, and interesting article.
I disagree, purely because complex media, movies, videogames, whatever, always get misunderstood by many, if not most of the audience. This game will be no different. Teenage or younger players will be happily shooting whoever with no association to real world events beyond killing brown people who don't even speak English. Glorifying war is always a mistake, glorifying military service is always a mistake. "But this isn't glorifying", people will say. It is. It always is. Suffering and sacrifice in military service is
a gigantic, glowing, recruitment poster of pride and struggle that will definitely make more fools join the military. It has always been this way. Even worse, they will see that the characters have loyal friends/fellow soldiers willing to die for them, while they are alone in real life at a comptuer. Even if they are afraid of dying, they will be drawn to having potential friendships they don't have in life currently.
Unfortunately I don't have a good answer. Pure recruitment films like Top Gun, vs anti-war novels like All Quiet on the Western Front.... everything still drives people to enlist, becaues they think I won't be the one dying
or I'll be better for having seen combat
or whatever the hell chemical/psychological mishmash occurs in youth to convince people to risk their lives for politicians. It'll be morbidly interesting to see how this particular game plays out, but if the military gets recruiting jumps after shit like Apocalypse Now and Platoon, what do you think will happen here, when the game ties endorphin rushes to playing soldier from the safety of your computer room?
Probably 95% of the people I work with who are Ex-military (maybe 60-70% ex military total, at my job) regret their service, across all branches. What's truly crazy is most of those people STILL want their kids to join the military! How fucked up is that? Is it nostalgia? Promise of a 'steady' job? True, most military personnel don't see active combat. It seems like it's a societal issue in this country, I'm not sure how we as a country get out of it.
Whatever the developer really intended for this game, it will end up as a recruiting tool. I question the marine interviewed in the article's motives, apparently he's all over Facebook, blogs and podcasts, and tried to get movie deals and shit. I don't know if that's morally wrong, in an absolute sense, but I personally am apprehensive of people who seek that sort of publicity. But hey, anything to make a buck these days, right? Side note: Who in the fuck is able to listen to all of these podcasts? Surely every person on the planet can't have multiple hour long podcasts that actually get listened to, it's not physically possible?