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War Play: Video Games and the Future of Armed Conflict
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War Play: Video Games and the Future of Armed Conflict

3.41 of 5 stars 3.41  ·  rating details  ·  22 ratings  ·  12 reviews
A behind-the-scenes look at how the military uses video game technology to train soldiers, treat veterans, and entice new recruits

How does the U.S. military train its soldiers for new forms of armed conflict, all within the constraints of diminished defense budgets? Increasingly, the answer is cutting-edge video game technology. Corey Mead shows us training sessions where
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published September 17th 2013 by Eamon Dolan/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (first published January 1st 2013)
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Tim Johnson
Mead outlines the military's history of troop education and contributions to modern technology. Is it really any surprise that the military would turn to simulations, video games, and virtual reality as a means of attracting and training recruits? I don't believe it is. This is the next logical step in the Information Age. The Army's ability to build virtual environments based on actual locations, program in native populations complete with their own languages and customs, and immediately incorp ...more
Margaret Sankey
The computer industry benefited from huge government investment, the military was deeply involved in educational testing and innovation, the military introduced games like Mech War as an instructional tool, the need arose for teaching both content and critical thinking....and so emerged what has been called the "military-entertainment" complex, in which game companies profit from military themed products, and the actual military uses games to train recruits already familiar with and motivated by ...more
This brief book provides a good introduction on the American military's efforts in using various kinds of immersive video games to provide training and treatment, especially post-9/11. The first third of the book is largely setting the table by recapping the history of the military's involvement in entertainment and education. This has generally come in the form of developing technology that can be easily adapted to the former, and inserting itself in the latter. None of this is particularly new ...more
Dan Needles
This book provides a 20K level survey of the history of the slow adoption and use of gaming in warfare. War Play does a great job at that high level. However, I was hoping the author would delve a bit more into the details and nits of things. Given the number of pages dedicated to the book, they was more than ample real-estate to do so. Still, all-in-all, a worthwhile read as there are few books on this subject.
I imagine this book was mostly interesting to me because I worked on "serious games" for 6 years. So the best thing I got from this book was some companies that create "serious games" for the military and other industries. While it was useful in that regard, the book didn't really provide much insight otherwise. A lot of pages are taken up detailing America's Army since it is the most widely known and mainstream popular military video game. I guess the book was preaching to the choir a bit for m ...more
I received my copy from in exchange for an honest review.
I can honestly say that I found this book fascinating. I am a baby boomer, certainly not a gamer, so this was really an eye-opener for me. It's a really well researched account of the American Military's attempt to utilize the most effective technology available in their training efforts. The book starts out with the history of the military's involvement in the entertainment industry and adapting to advancements in technology
It seems as though the US military is getting a good bang for its buck out of using video games and capitalizing on video game culture for training. One of the more interesting items was about the PRC (Chinese) video game where the only enemy is the USA.
I learned a lot from this book, mainly about the military's role in educational technology and techniques. As the author notes in the intro, this book is not about military or war video games. It is about the military's use of their own games to train their own people. The only disappointment for me was the seeming gloss-over of the army's infiltration of public schools. This is a very controversial topic, and I think that the author (for obvious reasons) avoided any deep exploration of the mora ...more
decent book, it does give a nice history of models and simulations and how that Army has adopted them over the years. It does detail the success of such games as "America's Army" on recruiting, but does not go into detail on failures of games and why, rather he offers one small footnote.
Jared Della Rocca
Interesting to see the conjunction of video games and the army, as well as the intersection of education and the military. The book goes beyond video game warfare, as I found the most interesting chapter to be on how video games are being used to treat PTSD as well as handling "HR"-style issues both on and off the battlefield.
Interesting history of video games and simulation in American military history. Discusses some additional steps being taken with the focus on cyber warfare in the future.
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