If Video Games Aren’t Violent…Then Why Does the Army Use Them?

A Humvee Simulation Station

Recently in our computer Ethics Class we had been watching a video about Technology in our nation. It was a documentary from PBS I think, done in 2009 or so, and very well done I might add. Any how, While we were watching it brought up the issue of Recruiting Centers opened in the New England area that used Video games to attract teens to the center. Wait…what? Video games being used by the military? As gamers continually running into information about video games being the cause of violence etc…one can be sure we’ve  heard it all before, but this was compelling news and worth looking into.

Here are a few links about the matter:

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2010/06/10/video-game-heavy-army-recruiting-center-philadelphia-mall-closing-end-july/

http://www.gamepolitics.com/2009/05/03/protesters-arrested-army039s-video-game-recruitment-center

http://www.g4tv.com/thefeed/blog/post/695224/activists-protest-army-video-game-recruitment-center/

The Gaming Stations

Basically this is how the articles can be understood, the army was using the centers to attract gamers who potentially could join the army. What does one say? Good for them (kidding) and free video games for us! But in all seriousness, this is actually an excellent marketing scheme. In ones personal opinion and many interactions with gamers, people who play video games tend to have better hand eye coordination and develop fine motor skills in order to effectively play that games they enjoy. Not only that, but increased video game playing can train your brain to better switch between tasks (note: REFUSE to call it multi tasking because you cannot perform more than one task at a time in the same paralleled stream of thought, however your brain can swap between tasks quickly if trained). Gamers who can do these tasks make excellent soldiers because of these abilities.

As for promoting violence, the statistics about video games and violence have been around for ages, and many people have been trying to prove that it is actually the video games themselves that cause the violence. However, if that were the case, and with the production of more and more violent games, how come our nation’s violent crime rate is at an all time low? Just because statistics show a correlation, it doesn’t necessarily show causation. Perhaps it is not the video games influencing violent behavior, but already violent people who are attracted to such games? Maybe the information is biased (as almost all information is)?

Not being the most avid gamer, one is not defending the use of violent video games. What is being done is stating the facts. There is much error in data samples, and biased information is always out there. What is suggested in matters such as these, is to look into what can be found as undeniable fact. Here is a website that summarizes some myths about video games and a few tips as to how to approach such data.

http://www.pbs.org/kcts/videogamerevolution/impact/myths.html

I wouldn't mind gaming there!

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