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War Games, Good? Bad?

  1. Dec 13, 2004 #1
    It seems this has been a timeless debate. I'm sorry if this has been posted already, but i've searched the forums to no avail.

    Recently I saw a commercial for a first person shooter video game. When I learned it was a game, I was astonished, because it looked so real, I thought for a moment it was real. Which led me to wonder;

    War games, video game, paintball/First person shooter games (real) ect. Are these good or bad? Do they affect people's attitudes towards violence? Desensitization?

    Also, in the city which I call home, Winnipeg, a new 'game' spot opened up. It's called 'airsoft' or something like that. Turns out the name is more than a tad iroic. It's like paintball, only instead of paintballs, the participants use *working* replica's of real guns that shoot plastic pellets. Now i've been told by people that have experienced this that there is nothing 'soft' about these bullets. Supposedly this 'game' is huge in Germany.

    Oh, and another score for irony's sake, the complex this game is played in is located on our international airport property.

    I saw this poster and I couldn't believe it. I'm 19, so i'm not used to the 'world of yesterday' if you will, where things like this were unthinkable, but I do think this is too much.


    Jordan Veale
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 13, 2004 #2
    If I had my way, war would be replaced by wargames. I guess it is better that symbolic figures that are really nothing more than code "die" rather than real people. But that is not how the world works.

    My personal experience with wargames makes me not want to go to war in any sort. The sudden thought of dying and losing everything that I ever knew and loved in an instant is too difficult for me to imagine. Whenever I do play online first-person shooter computer games, I think not of getting "frags" and killing people, but rather to survive for as long as possible. This is especially true for some of those games where you can be easily killed. I play it almost like I would a strategy game, evading and moving from cover to cover so that I can survive.

    Im not sure I can speak for the majority of computer gamers, but wargames have actually increased my desire for peace in the world.
  4. Dec 13, 2004 #3
    Well, war games and violent video games are different. A violent video game are usually first-person shooters where one sees a whole lot of war. In essence, you see EVERYONE you kill. War games, are tactics and strategy exersizes (at least I view them as such). They are not as bad, as you do not see the people you kill they are just aribtrarily represented by "units." So, it depends. Violent video games COULD be bad, as they could make the person more violent; however, they can also show that violence is a bad thing. War game per se are not as bad, because they teach tactical and strategical thinking... though they might de-sensitize people to the horrors of war.
  5. Dec 15, 2004 #4


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    Done well, I don't think they do. Realistically speaking, war is a part of the minds of the human race. We can't make it go away by pretending that it does not exist. The video games in general are only effects, not causes, and there is little evidence that it leads to violence. Mostly, conflict games are more a matter of catharsis. A sensitive game could help people have a better sense of what war is like, and so be actually positive.

    Which makes it something a shame that really no sensitive games exist. More or less all games deal with violence with all the emotional maturity of a 12 year old. Fortunately, this attitude is just ridiculous enough to stop people taking these games seriously, and hence ensure violent computer games have really no effect at all.
  6. Jan 20, 2005 #5
    first off! it is NOT on the airport property. before you yap get your facts straight. it is NEAR the airport in a warehouse that was purchased by the operator. no sense in causing protest against false information now is there. Just because this NEW game is NEW to you doesnt mean its new. it is'nt just big in germany. It is HUGE in hong kong, taiwan, japan, USA, Canada, UK, all of europe, Brazil.. everywhere. It has been in the province of Manitoba for years. if you think its too much then move along. thats your opinion and to be honest that all im taking it as. leave us who like it alone, grow some balls, and open your eyes to the REAL world. its much more frightening than some people blowing off steam in a physically/emotionally challenging simulation of war. war is a fun game of strategy. its unfortunate that people are killed in real ones. these games allow you to play the strategy and have a beer with your friends after its all over. no lost limbs. no deaths. maybe we are just junkies who need a fix? :smile: perhaps. let us get our fix. you can do whatever it is that you enjoy.

    moving on...

    no they are not "SOFT" but hit with less joules than paintball. this IS a physics forum I noticed, so do an experiment.

    Owner Operator "THE RANCH" airsoft field, Manitoba, Canada
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 21, 2017
  7. Jan 20, 2005 #6
    Ok, first off, in typical Canadian fasion, i'm sorry to have offended you, since it appears that I have. I'd just like to state that this is a discussion, and I was looking for other peoples' opinion on the matter, not 'yapping' as you claim. As a matter of fact I asked for others' "thoughts?" in the first place.

    I don't believe i've caused any protest, and if there is any, it's possible but highly improbable that it's due to me.

    Yes, I Do think it is too much, and yes, I know that's just my opinion and yes, that's just how you should treat it.

    Ok, fine, that was a bit of a broad-sweeping generalization. Sorry again. I'm more than happy to address any constructive questions. Other than that it has been pointed out that I simply do not know enough about the subject to be able to offer credible info.

    On a side note, once again, i'm sorry CharlieTango, I know what it's like to be discriminated against for my hobbies because of steriotypes associated with them. I am a big NASCAR fan and no, I do not run rum or marry cousins ect. Perhaps I need to try this out and see for myself. Uhm, wanna be on my team?

    Jordan Veale
  8. Jan 21, 2005 #7
    Most of the original FPS games that came out didn't appeal to me simply becasue it looked like nothing more than running around and killing everything you see with no higher objective than a body count and points. THese newer ones seem to actually put war from the single soldier view into better perspective, they seem closer to a simulation. You don't necessarily have to kill everyone to complete the mission and there are consequenses for not playing tactically smart which (IMHO) if you're mature enough (not casting aspersions here just saying that I think there has to be a certain maturity level to understand and make the jump to how the game would translate into real life consequenses) starts you thinking about wars brutality and the lesser of two evils choises people have to make in those situations about exactly how little killing they can do to get the job done vs. how much killing can be done. I think taken with the right attitude this applies to all the above mentioned games/activities. WHen I play any of these games I've always tried to translate it into the human cost. It gives me a better appreciation of peace.
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