Once a Warrior…. Always a Warrior…
“There is so many things that can be gestured to the subconscious mind to better condition ones conscious self for better awareness and skill to handle all different kinds of situations. “
By Jose Antonio Vargas Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
One blistering afternoon in Iraq, while fighting insurgents in the northern town of Mosul, Sgt. Sinque Swales opened fire with his .50-cal. That was only the second time, he says, that he ever shot an enemy. A human enemy.
"It felt like I was in a big video game. It didn't even faze me, shooting back. It was just natural instinct. Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom! " remembers Swales, a fast-talking, deep-voiced, barrel-chested 29-year-old from Chesterfield, Va. He was a combat engineer in Iraq for nearly a year.
Like many soldiers in the 276th Engineer Battalion, whose PlayStations and Xboxes crowded the trailers that served as their barracks, he played games during his downtime. "Halo 2," the sequel to the best-selling first-person shooter game, was a favorite. So was "Full Spectrum Warrior," a military-themed title developed with help from the U.S. Army.
"The insurgents were firing from the other side of the bridge. . . . We called in a helicopter for an airstrike. . . . I couldn't believe I was seeing this. It was like 'Halo.' It didn't even seem real, but it was real."
This is the video game generation of soldiers. " 'Ctrl+Alt+Del,' " the U.S. Army noted in a recent study, "is as basic as 'ABC.' " And computer simulations -- as military officials prefer to call them -- have transformed the way the United States military fights wars, as well as soldiers' ways of killing.
"There's been a huge change in the way we prepare for war, and the soldiers we're training now are the children of the digital age who grew up with GameBoys," says retired Rear Adm. Fred Lewis, a 33-year U.S. Navy veteran who now heads the National Training Systems Association, a trade group that every year puts on the Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference, the military counterpart of the glitzy Electronic Entertainment Expo. "Live training on the field is still done, of course," but, he adds, "using simulations to train them is not only natural, it's necessary."
War is no game, of course, but games, in a big way, have updated war. The weapons Swales uses when he plays "SOCOM 3: U.S. Navy SEALS," for example, are virtual replicas of the weapons he used as a soldier in Iraq.
"The technology in games has facilitated a revolution in the art of warfare," says David Bartlett, the former chief of operations at the Defense Modeling and Simulation Office, a high-level office within the Defense Department and the focal point for computer-generated training at the Pentagon. "When the time came for him" -- meaning Swales -- "to fire his weapon, he was ready to do that. And capable of doing that. His experience leading up to that time, through on-the-ground training and playing 'Halo' and whatever else, enabled him to execute. His situation awareness was up. He knew what he had to do. He had done it before -- or something like it up to that point."
Though the very essence of concept is deeply imbedded in our communities beliefs it would be the duty of the PMW NATION FPS VR branch and its administration to organize our members as a community in exercises relevant to the training of the mind with the use of FPS experiences as these forums of subconscious training only takes place in a social platform. PMW NATION c2d Branch is under the processes of foundation as a Branch in PMW will eventually consume any PMW Branches that would of up to that point revolved around our association in a 1st person game multiplayer platform.
“It is much more then just raising ones self awareness. It is actually the ability to potentially teach a solider what to do in any situation, the subconscious mind can obtain much information, and with its own set of tools for doing so it can invoke ones conscious mind to make the correct physical or tactical choice of action at a split moments.”
At the moment mainstream VR experiences lack the ability to train users in fire team support, protection of the automatic rifleman, proper sequencing of an attack, in some cases discipline and even succession of command. After all video games have a restart button.