The US Army is getting ready to release it’s latest video training game. If I remember correctly, the working name of the game is “ Killing Arabs for Oil” or something like that. I’ve always thought that military video games were a great idea.. I mean, if war isn’t fun, what fun is it? The game is a semi-realistic depiction of Special Forces operations in an unnamed Arab country (Iraq) and allows game players blow in doors, shoot terrorist thugs, losers and dead enders.
I’m not completely sure about this, but the point system seems to be that for each al Qaida killed players receive a point in the form of a free gallon of gasoline; wounded terrorists are also good for a gallon of gas, but players are charged at the going Haliburton rate of $2.60 per gallon. I’ve heard that winners of the game, those who get through it alive and with all their arms and legs intact, get an autographed picture of President Bush in his flight suit telling them “Mission Accomplished”.
Losers of the game, those who get killed, get a video tongue lashing from Secretary of State Donald Rumsfeld who calls them the worst thing he can possibly think of, in other words, Democrats. Those who survive but can’t afford to pay Haliburton for the gasoline they’ve accumulated get a video message from Dick Chaney warning them that the Department of Homeland Security is now watching them and their families as suspected terrorist sympathizers.
Of course, there’s no video game that can truly recreate the actual conditions of combat, the desert heat, the feel of the eighty pounds of equipment you have to lug around, the tension of looking out for improvised explosive devices ( or bombs as I like to call them) along the roadside as you head towards the killing field, but that’s ok. If it were entirely accurate then the Army might begin to have recruitment problems and that would be counter-productive.
Given the state of our foreign policy games like this will become increasingly important and that’s a good thing. We’ve got to learn to kill people who don’t like us, otherwise we’d have to think about the reasons why they don’t like us; in other words, could it be the way we’ve been treating them all these years and, god forbid, if that was the case use things like diplomacy instead of combat to achieve our political goals. After all, diplomacy makes for a lousy game. And really, what fun is that?