Iraq War Vet Defends Games in NY Times Piece

October 24, 2007 -
A back-from-Iraq Marine talks about his love of gaming in today's New York Times.

Jeffrey Barnett, who was deployed to Fallujah, is also the author of a blog called The Midnight Hour. For the NYT he writes:
In addition to being an engineer, new homeowner, and seasoned curmudgeon, I also moonlight as a gamer. I started gaming almost as soon as I could hold a controller. My father purchased an Atari 2600 in 1981, the year I was born...

Video games get a lot of negative press for supposedly promoting, condoning, and even conditioning violence in gamers...

On one hand, I can see how a player might gradually decrease his human inhibition towards violence and killing through repeating the act in a video game. On the other, I think the vast majority of players understand that what is acceptable in the game world may be unacceptable in the real world...

I think steak knives and swimming pools pose a greater threat to children [than video games], but nobody is trying to restrict adult access to those tools...

GP: The NYT readers provide interesting and lively commentary to Barnett's piece. Worth a read.

Via: Kotaku
52 comments

A Pair of Gamers Give Their All in Iraq

October 4, 2007 -
Another in an occasional series honoring gamers who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country... 

An Associated Press report lists a pair of gamers killed in Iraq in separate incidents:

Army Sgt. 1st Class David A. Cooper Jr. died September 5th following a vehicle accident in Baghdad. From the AP story:
David Cooper Sr. recalled that his son and his grandsons would hole up in the basement "dungeon," laughing and playing with their computers, video games and a wide-screen TV.

"They'd stay there all day long," Cooper said. "They'd come up for a meal, then disappear down there."

Marine Lance Cpl. Jon T. Hicks Jr. (left) was killed in action on September 10th in Anbar province:
Jon Hicks Sr. said his son enjoyed football and followed the Philadelphia Eagles. He "liked playing video games and loved playing paint ball," he said.
30 comments

Destructoid Calls GP...

September 27, 2007 -
...the Daily Kos of the Mushroom Kingdom in a piece written by Nex on GP's Wednesday story about military recruiters using the Halo 3 launch to attract teens.

Hey, GP is a bit left of center, but not Daily Kos left.

Still, a good line and we had a larf over it.
26 comments

Military Recruiters Snag Underage Players at Halo 3 Launch Bash

September 26, 2007 -

It appears that America's Army isn't the only link to the gamer generation being pursued by military recruiters.

The New Hampshire Union-Leader reports on a Halo 3 launch event in Manchester in which under-17's were turned away from a local GameStop's Halo 2 tournament, only to be ushered into a similar event set up by nearby Air Force recruiters:

More than 100 gamers... gathered at the GameStop for a "Halo 3" release party... There was only one glitch... a "Halo 2" tournament was delayed after the chain store's district manager, Suzan Shockley, announced that nobody under 18 could participate.

 

"I'm sorry, but it's a company rule. We take the game ratings seriously," she said. ...Fortunately, the Air Force was on hand to save the day.

 

As co-sponsor of the gaming event, local Air Force recruiters were manning party central outside... where underage gamers who had fled the store in despair flocked for pizza, Mountain Dew and a chance to play "Halo 2" on a split screen from the back of a pimped-out military SUV...


Air Force recruiter Staff Sgt. Christopher Johnson explained the military presence at the Halo 3 launch:

120 comments | Read more

Iraq War Veterans Protest America's Army Game

September 4, 2007 -
Even among some military veterans, support for the war in Iraq is dwindling.

As reported by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, veterans of the war gathered to protest recently at the Missouri Black Expo. The focus of their attention was a display of the America's Army video game:
About 90 Iraq war veterans, dressed in black shirts, stood in formation Saturday afternoon in front of military recruiters at America's Center and shouted their protest message three times: "War is not a game!"

They were referring to the large military simulation game set up by Army recruiters... The group of veterans, known as Iraq Veterans Against the War, were in St. Louis for their annual meeting this weekend when they decided to stage a brief demonstration at the Expo.

America's Army was created several years ago by the Department of Defense. The PC version, a first-person shooter using simulated military weapons, is given away for free by the Army as a recruitment and public relations tool.

Here's the video of the IVAW protest:

139 comments

Defense Department Kills Plan to Send Left Behind to Troops in Iraq

August 16, 2007 -
Whether you're a fan of the best-selling Left Behind series or not, a plan to ship the PC game version to American troops fighting in a Muslim country was never a good idea.

That's mainly because a key element of the game play in Left Behind: Eternal Forces features Christian troops converting - or killing - non-believers.

The Department of Defense has now put a stop to the shipments, following an inquiry by ABC News. According to the ABC report, Operation Start Up (OSU) Tour, an evangelical Christian entertainment troupe, planned to include copies of Left Behind in care packages destined for U.S. forces.

Rev. Timothy Simpson of the Christians Alliance for Progress told ABC News:
It's a horrible game. You either kill or covert the other side. This is exactly what the Osama bin Ladens of the world have portrayed us [as].

Left Behind Games CEO Troy Lyndon said:
There is no forcible conversion to Christianity, and killing is never an objective in any of the 40 missions in the game.

Researchers at the Military Religious Freedom Foundation learned of the plan to ship Left Behind to Iraq last week. Their discovery was reported by The Nation.
79 comments

In U.S. & Down Under, Military Uses Game Tech to Recruit

July 27, 2007 -
Military recruits are primarily young men, so it should be no surprise that the armed forces are using game tech to reach out to potential enlistees.

Kotaku reports that first-person shooter America's Army, hugely popular as a freebie on PC, is heading to coin-op:
America's Army for arcades will focus less on the shooting of terrorists or insurgents and will instead consist of a series of eight mini-games that emulate real-life Army training exercises... The game is assumed to be built on the PC version of America's Army which also runs on the Unreal Engine.

Console versions of AA also appeared in 2006.

Meanwhile, the Sydney Morning Herald reports Australian Defence Force recruitment has gone the gaming route as well with last week's launch of an online gaming portal and a podcast detailing what it's like to be a trainee:
11 comments | Read more

U.S. Army Gets Ambushed Over Gears of War

July 9, 2007 -
Can the U.S. Army be faulted for including the uber violent Xbox 360 hit Gears of War in a recruitment-oriented video game tournament?

Raw Story takes the Army to task for adding Gears to the roster of titles for the Army Gaming Championships, a ladder event which kicked off on the 4th of July.

The Raw Story feature makes specific mention of GoW's chainsaw bayonet:
61 comments | Read more

Gamer Killed in Iraq Ambush

May 18, 2007 -
....another in an occasional series of reports about gamers who gave their all:

As reported by the Lynchburg News & Advance, Christopher Murphy, 21, was killed in Iraq on Saturday along with three fellow soldiers. Three other soldiers were abducted by insurgents and remain missing. According to his obituary:
Christopher Edward Murphy had a generous spirit... would give away his treasured video games and systems to friends... Even since he was a young boy playing every strategy-based video game he could find, Chris had wanted to join the military.

“You want to talk about our house sounding like a war zone,” Rosemary reminisced of Christopher having a group of friends over to play Halo 2, a warfare video game.

“He was pretty shaken by everything he was witnessing,” she said. “He was on his 13th helmet and his ninth tank when he came back. He didn’t want to go back to Iraq this last time.”

GP: Rest in peace, Christopher.
49 comments

Gamer Generation Pays a Heavy Price in Iraq

March 21, 2007 -
When compiling the daily news for GamePolitics, GP relies in part on an extensive set of automated Google News searches. Based on certain keywords, our Google searches occasionally turn up news of a soldier or Marine killed in Iraq.

That's not really the type of news that fits with GamePolitics' journalistic mission, so it doesn't normally appear here. But in reading such stories, we do note the frequency with which friends and relatives of deceased military personnel mention that their loved one enjoyed video games. Not too surprising, really, given the relatively youthful demographics of soldiers and gamers alike.

A poignant story we read yesterday in the Detroit News caught our eye, however. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that the Iraq war just passed its four-year anniversary. More likely it was the fact that Army Pfc. William "Billy" Davis, killed by a roadside bomb last weekend, was simply a hardcore gamer. From the newspaper account:
A video game enthusiast, Davis... met his wife after high school. The couple named their daughter (Aeris) after a character in the videogame "Final Fantasy VII."

"He liked to play a lot of video games," his mother said.

UPDATE 3/23/07: The Connecticut Post reports on the death of PFC Stephen Ron O'Neil Karl Richardson, killed in Iraq by a roadside bomb:
A personal profile attributed to Richardson and posted on the Internet site, myspace.com, states that he "is a proud new daddy to my daughter, Iyana.

"I'm still just a kid at heart. I like to watch cartoons and play video games," he wrote.
54 comments

 
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Mattsworknamealso, in MGR, on higher levels, button mashing will get you reckt, you have to master parry to even have a prayer05/24/2015 - 8:52pm
MattsworknameI kinda would like a bit more variety in the combat, as it feels a bit to stiff and slow for me. Especailly after other games ive played05/24/2015 - 8:39pm
Goth_SkunkThere's... no button mashing in DA:I. However, neither is DA:I's combat perfect. I, for one, detest the active talent max limit of 8.05/24/2015 - 8:21pm
MattsworknameDa I combat is fun, a bit stiff but fun, but I still say the best pure combat engine in any game was Metal gear rising.05/24/2015 - 7:15pm
ZippyDSMleeWhen DA gets a control system like DA:O I'll brother to want to paly it, I frown on button mashing RPGs not made by bethseda...05/24/2015 - 5:59pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://arstechnica.com/science/2015/05/new-neural-implant-reads-a-persons-intentions-to-control-robotic-arm/ our first steps tos a dues ex future lol.05/24/2015 - 1:51pm
Goth_SkunkThe game is 75% sidequests, 25% story. And most of those sidequests are only vaguely related to the main story at all, having very little consequence to the plot at large.05/24/2015 - 1:12pm
Goth_SkunkI'm such a huge BioWare fan that I played through my first playthrough of DA:I without complaint, but on my second time through I certainly took notice of just how much side-quest material there was. It's probably my greatest criticism of the game.05/24/2015 - 1:10pm
ZippyDSMleeI need one of my 70 games to play....mmmmmmmm05/24/2015 - 9:57am
MattsworknameSpent all night playing blood borne, now trapped in the Nightmare frontier and trying to reach the boss so I can maybe warp out again05/24/2015 - 9:21am
MattsworknameYeah, i got started and then made it through t the first few misions anthen blood borne05/23/2015 - 10:13pm
Goth_SkunkWhich one, Dragon Age?05/23/2015 - 8:20pm
Wonderkarpalso waiting patiently for Batman.05/23/2015 - 7:36pm
MattsworknameIn still trying ot beat that game the first time. Freaking game has so much side questing05/23/2015 - 7:34pm
Goth_SkunkPlaying a third and probably final playthrough of Dragon Age: Inquisition. Once that's done, I'll move on to AC: Unity, most likely, then get caught up on A-list games I have yet to play, like Murdered: Soul Suspect and Shadows of Mordor.05/23/2015 - 6:33pm
MattsworknameIf you own a vita and like monster hunter, but dont like the bs filler that goes with it. Try tokiden kiwmai05/23/2015 - 6:11pm
Matthew Wilsonaparently their servers got crushed, but I dont see the game selling well. Nintendo fans tend not to be fans of competitive fps05/23/2015 - 5:48pm
MattsworknameSPlatton looks intersting, Love the are style, gonna give the game a try with the upcoming test fire05/23/2015 - 4:39pm
PHX Corp@Technogeek, I'm returning for one more Run with the Global testfire05/23/2015 - 3:41pm
WonderkarpI'm bouncing all over the place but right now I'd say I'm playing Super Mario 64 trying to max out the stars. 2 worlds and 2 secret stars to go05/23/2015 - 1:12pm
 

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