A recent study from the University of Windsor has highlighted the growing relationship between video games and the United States military, examining the positive and negative aspects of this collaboration. While video games have proven to be effective tools for learning and training in the military, their use in recruitment and the blurred lines between toys and weapons have raised ethical concerns.
The study delves into the impact of video games on individuals, particularly young people exposed to dysfunctional adult relationships, and how violent games can lead to more aggressive behavior.
This, in turn, can make individuals more likely to enlist in the military. The research also reveals how video games’ level-progression model and virtual reality technology have made them invaluable for military training purposes.
- Lockheed Martin uses a modified version of Microsoft Flight Simulator—Prepar3d—to train pilots.
- The military employs modified commercial video games for training soldiers in urban combat, cultural sensitivity, and even PTSD treatment.
- The U.S. Army Esports team faced controversy for using Twitch as a recruitment platform, causing the team to reconsider streaming on the platform.
- Employees of tech giants like Google and Amazon have expressed ethical concerns about the deepening relationship between their companies and the military.
The relationship between the military and the tech or video game industry shows no signs of slowing down. As the military continues to utilize video games for training and recruitment purposes, questions surrounding the ethical implications of this partnership will become increasingly important. The blurred lines between toys and weapons require further examination and public discourse to ensure a responsible and ethical collaboration between these industries.
As the gaming and military worlds become increasingly intertwined, it’s crucial for society to stay informed and engaged in the conversation surrounding the ethical implications of these partnerships. In a rapidly evolving digital landscape, these relationships have the potential to shape not only the future of warfare and defense but also the way we perceive and interact with technology itself.