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In the continued crusade to blame video games for young people being violent (by the way, all worthwhile psychological studies show exactly the opposite is the case) I keep seeing people bring up the fact that a few years back, the military endorsed a few games that they contributed to in order to make people who will be going into the military better at the skills needed to succeed in the military.

People use this to say that the military outright stated that video games teach people to be violent and so they made ones that teach people to be violent the way they want them to be violent.

Anyone who has both played these games and learned to use firearms knows that these games do nothing to teach you how to actually use the weapons in them. They do not teach you how to handle recoil. They do not teach you how to properly re-acquire your target after firing when using a scope. They do not teach you how to hold a gun. They do not teach you the proper method for pulling a trigger. They do not teach you how to mitigate “Scope sway”. These games do not teach you *anything* about the proper use of a firearm, even at the amateur level much less the professional level. In many of the games, the bullet velocity is so far from reality (and thus all physics extrapolated from it is so unrealistic) that these games don’t even really teach you how to aim a gun.

The military was not trying to use video games to teach people how to kill.

The games that the military contributed to and endorsed were squad-based tactics games with hostage situations. This is what they were trying to teach future enlistees.

They were trying to get them accustomed to the kind of teamwork that is necessary for patrolling small villages in combat zones because working together is how our soldiers keep each other alive.

They were trying to teach them to more quickly and easily be able to identify enemies from innocents and friendlies so that we would have fewer friendly fire incidents and far fewer civilian casualties.

They were trying to teach them how to think tactically on the fly so that when they face insurgents, they are better able to handle the situation without losing a squad member.

Teamwork. Tactics. Telling the difference between an enemy and an innocent or a friendly. Life-saving skills every soldier needs. These are the things that the military was trying to teach future soldiers, not how to use firearms, not how to be violent.