Report: Video games create drone pilot 'naturals'

A column in the Washington Examiner explores the continuing intersection of the military and gaming -- actually, can we call it a long-standing rotary, with concepts and people coming in from all different directions and popping out randomly? Anyway, one of the more interesting parts is the reference to a 2008 MIT study, which apparently found that 30 percent of Americans aged 16 to 24 had a more "positive impression" of the Army due to the America's Army video game. The game also impacted recruitment more than all other forms of Army advertising combined.

Later in the piece, an Air Force colonel is quoted as saying that young recruits are "naturals" when it comes to flying the Predator drones, but that he had concerns about the video game generation "distorting the reality of [war] from the virtual nature." In other words, while video games granted the pilots their skills, it also made it harder for them to weigh the consequences of their actions. But considering it's real life and a job, wouldn't it be the boss's role to tell them "game over" (er, discharged!) if they were inclined to take the drone on a joyride to blast buildings willy-nilly?

[Via GamePolitics]

This article was originally published on Joystiq.