Re: Operation Phoenix & some thoughts on computer games

Schilmoeller Lane C (lcs926s@NIC.SMSU.EDU)
Tue, 31 Jan 1995 16:05:34 -0600

On Mon, 30 Jan 1995, Rob Prince wrote:

> Among the wonders of what was called the war in Viet Nam, there were
> two programs that had their special strangeness in particular to me. The
> first was the fact that people - of sorts - could kiss their wives and
> kids good bye in the morning in Guam, get into a B-52 or some such dinosaur
> fly over Vietnam, bomb the living shit out it, napalm, phosphorus, cluster
> bombs, smart bombs that can smell your b.o. in caves, do an unspeakable
> amount of destruction, cause unspeakable pain to people they had never
> seen or would see and whose pain they would never know, then turn around
> fly home, kiss the wive and kids hello, go out and play a round of golf
> or have a beer with friends. Not bad for starters.

nothing really rigorous to answer you with, but a friend's father was a
pilot in Nam. the reasoning i waas told for the ease of killing and
returning home was the detached nature of the killing--you guessed that
one i am sure. he described a 'convoy' of pack animals and civilians
that had weapons attached to the underbellies of the animals--at least
that was what intelligence said, true or not is unknown. he flew in and
strifed them and describes the experience as one of the few when he had
to even think about what he was killing because of the proximity in which he
flew to the targets and the size of the animals. he seemed more sad
about the animals actually.
what really scares me about this thinking is that computer gameplayers
and military designers can come together and make war into so little as a
game. remote control warfare and such things make me a little edgy, even
though i do not fear the outbreak of a war soon....
is there any kind of research on the effects of the combination of
violent games and candidates for fighter 'pilots' and such other
combinations? i must admit that i like to play Tie Fighter and other
shoot'em up games, but what kind of behavior am i being 'trained' for?

just curious,
Lane Schilmoeller