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The Military Entertainment Complex

Friday, September 20, 2013

Drawing on his research into literacy, Corey Mead, an assistant professor of English at Baruch College, City University of New York, and author of War Play: Video Games and the Future of Armed Conflict, explores the links between the video game industry and the US military and how this plays out in public schools.


Excerpt: War Play: Video Games and the Future of Armed Conflict

From the book War Play: Video Games and the Future of Armed Conflict. Copyright (c) 2013 by Corey Mead. Reprinted by permission of Eamon Dolan/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.

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Guests:

Corey Mead
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Comments [11]

Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

> John A

> Edweard: Nothing says "chicken" like having to duck into a shed 12 thousand miles from the field of battle.

Sour grapes comrade?

I hope Osama bin Ladens head is in a jar on a shelf in New Haven.

Sep. 21 2013 12:59 AM
John A

Edweard: Nothing says "chicken" like having to duck into a shed 12 thousand miles from the field of battle.

Sep. 20 2013 04:55 PM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

John A

> The US Drone program anonymises our side, preventing All possibility of contact - them to us. Not humane.

The bow and arrow anonymises the side which fired it.

Would you prefer sword and shield?

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I think FPS (First Person Shooter) video games are a BAD influence on society. Such video games normalize shooting people.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First-person_shooter

And movies depicting characters doing dangerous stunts have been know to influence people to do the same - with disastrous consequences.

Sep. 20 2013 12:02 PM
Soldier's Father from Pelham, NY

Separation from the damage in war is not new -- Chuck Hagel famously pointed out the difference between his vivid experience as a ground grunt in Vietnam and John McCain's view dropping bombs from 20,000 feet.

Sep. 20 2013 11:39 AM

There is little wonder that simulations of a weapon or weapon system in a computer environment BEFORE they are deployed is no biggie. The DoD probably PAID for the original programming that put the XM-25 in Call of Duty! Wish they could recoup some of that development dough!

It kind of becomes like the plot of "The Last Starfighter" in which a video game on Earth is used to find the one pilot that could save the galaxy. Now, the Air Force can get drone pilots with 500-1,000 hours of flying already under their belt.

Same way that Madden has changed the style of QB play....

Sep. 20 2013 11:39 AM
John A

The US Drone program anonymises our side, preventing All possibility of contact - them to us. Not humane.

Sep. 20 2013 11:38 AM
John A

Lets hope the Navy base shooter doesn't turn up to be another gaming freak. There is probably a 10% subgroup of users that are fully addicted. More?

Sep. 20 2013 11:33 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

I see that your guest is really another video game BASHER, and not to be taken seriously. How many video games has he actually played? I'd be curious to learn. I think he hasn't played any.
The truth is, most people over 35 are clueless about this powerful new medium. I was an early adopter of PCs back in the late 1970s and bought my first Apple II in 1981, and was a relatively early adopter of video games. I am 67 years old and I love video games (not all of them, of course) and only wish more people my age would learn.

Yes there is a learning curve but I never got the hang of football either. I had no interest in learning how to play football, but was willing to put in the time and effort to learn how to play video games with no regrets.

Sep. 20 2013 11:32 AM

The philospher, Jeremy Bentham, used to refer to a game called 'pushpin' as an example of an activity totally devoid of fecundity. Back in my Intro Phil class we had no idea what pushpin was but the prof. likened it to pinball. Something fun to do but doesn't build a skill that is in any way sale-able.

Today's video games - windows to controlling a virtual space - have been adopted by various industries for training and simulation - and many of the control mechanisms in the actual world are now used the military. Making the job of killing people closer to gaming. Good and bad.

Sep. 20 2013 11:26 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

The military recruited Hollywood during WWII to make training and propaganda films, so this is hardly new. Only the medium is relatively new.

Sep. 20 2013 11:25 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

I consider the creation and development of video games to be the fourth major entertainment revolution. First came cave paintings, art and dance. Then came writing, plays and books. Then came motion pictures. And finally, in the last 40 years came virtual reality and video games.

What is "entertainment?" Anything that is not directly related to work and survival. Anything that diverts our minds away from our troubles and individual struggles is essentially entertainment. Entertainment is a diversion from harsh reality. Getting "lost" in a play, a book, a work of art, a movie or a video game is a diversion from the harshness of reality, and hence "entertainment." Entertainment has been increasing exponentially in the last century, and video games are the epitome of immersive, virtual reality entertainment. It is to me, the highest form. Today's video games incorporate writing, art, music and much more. Those who don't play, are clueless as to what is going on in this new medium.

Sep. 20 2013 10:05 AM

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