Saturday, December 22, 2012

First Person Shooters - Mass Murder Training

In the debate coming in the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre, people are looking for answers.  While the easiest appears to be just banning guns, there is at least some talk about mental health and pop culture that is entering into the discussion.

Personally, as one that has played first person shooter video games, I'm amazed there isn't a lot more discussion going on about them.  These realistic games put the player in the role of a character behind a gun, and are designed to as closely resemble "being there" as possible.  And they do a damn good job.  

However, beyond the visual realism of the "first person" type engagement, there are multiple layers add to the realistic engagement.  Some examples of things players must master to gain proficiency in these games:

  • Targeting and shooting while on the move
  • The value of cover
  • Which types of shots inflict what kind of damage/death, and where to taget victims
  • Which types of weapons are effective in different shooting scenarios
  • How to reload on the move
  • The importance of reloading at every break 
  • The importance of knowing exactly how many rounds are left in the magazine
  • The importance of getting the gun back on target as quickly as possible after the recoil of the shot
  • Muzzle control
  • Sniping techniques
The list goes on and on.  But I left out the big one: body count.  In every game, the goal is to rack up as many kills as is possible.

This ain't Pac-Man, folks.  This is training ground for an "active shooter" scenario.  Short of actual range time and/or training, there is no better way for our kids to learn how to efficiently kill mass numbers of people. 

Don't believe me?  Ask your nearest teen to show you.  

Given how realistic these games are, the training they provide, and their popularity, it is frankly a miracle that we have not had more issues. 

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