War without tears

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The basic appeal of all warfare, is the desire to assert one’s will on another. Video games show us only the most fun parts of war, the parts where a soldier is asserting themselves.

The most boring video ga me imaginable, would depict life in a VA hospital after the battles are done, where it’s a bunch of stuff being done unto the player.

Bottom line, to go to war, you have to accept that someone needs killing, without knowing anything about them other than someone with metal on their collar told you so. It should be a mortal sin to kill some one without knowing their name. It wouldn’t make war impossible, but it would change the dynamic quite a bit.

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A kid enlisting in a military is probably not thinking about asserting will as much as ‘wanting to have an adventure’, to do something worthwhile, to make something of themselves.

The people who start the wars definitely have their own agendas. In many ways it would be better if the king was still expected to lead the charge.


Rule of thumb: Don’t risk your life in any war where your kingequivalent is not leading the charge.

If the big cheese doesn’t consider the conflict good enough to risk his life, it’s not worth risking mine.


Actually, lately I think most people who join the military are thinking “have a job with some security” since for many working class people, it’s that or Wal-Mart… But sure, I’m sure some people do it out of a patriotic sense of duty. Just lots of those end up as officers via military colleges, etc.


Simone Weil was of the same opinion

That’s the basic appeal of comment boards as well.


Dulce et decorum est…


Veterans being actively treated at a VA facility would make for great fantasy game.


I love the concept of paid soldiers fighting pixel-wise in off hours.

It gives me hope that someday, the fighters might defy orders to kill IRL because it would destroy their favorite team to play against. This could spawn a new (and perhaps not all good) paradigm of war.

EDIT: words

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Great article, hope to hear more from you! I love the insight that the main contribution video games make to decreasing violence may be simply as a time sucking vortex!

I feel compelled to post this song now…

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Thank god for the Onion


VA Tycoon? I think you could have hit on something there. Trying to juggle limited resources to enhance the lives of your patients; that screams “game” to me.

@ robulus Looking at the still for the video, I thought that was Richard Nixon rather than Peter Gabriel

Who among us would not aspire to be the CEO of Trevor Phillips Industries? Living the American Dream.

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I see what you did there.

“Waiting for the t-shirt your mom sent three months ago.”

Awesome and true. Also, waiting for the box of microwaveable popcorn that friends/parents sent which actually contains mini-bottles of alcohol, and hoping to hell the alcohol is still there when it arrives at the base PO.


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