Worldly Talk

Civil discussion and debate on real world events and issues.


Call of Duty is an 'immature' outlook on war?

   
Quote:
Originally Posted by Solaris View Post
He claims he has PTSD from watching air-strikes through a video screen. He displays no symptoms of it, and I assure you that while I've not gotten a degree in psychology, I am intimately familiar with the symptoms of PTSD. On the job training, as it were.
Did I mention he was approaching ETS when he suddenly manifested this PTSD? And he has all the moral uprightness of a Chicago politician? Sometimes, you just don't need a degree to call 'em.
I have no particular experience or knowledge with the difficulties of mental health diagnosis and compensation in military culture, but I've heard quite enough from those even more ignorant than I in other settings to the tune of '[x] diagnosis isn't real' or '[person x] doesn't really have [diagnosis y]'.

Maybe this guy has PTSD. Maybe he doesn't. I've never met him, and I don't have that piece of paper myself, but one of the biggest problems facing the mental health community is still just convincing the world that it is real. And part of that difficulty stems from untrained and uneducated (in the field) individuals convinced that they 'know better' than the professionals for whom this is a calling.

Simply put, if he has it, let the professionals diagnose him. If he doesn't have it, let the professionals not diagnose him.

I know that at least one group did, in fact, play through the whole game. It took them years to finish.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tedronai View Post
I have no particular experience or knowledge with the difficulties of mental health diagnosis and compensation in military culture, but I've heard quite enough from those even more ignorant than I in other settings to the tune of '[x] diagnosis isn't real' or '[person x] doesn't really have [diagnosis y]'.

Maybe this guy has PTSD. Maybe he doesn't. I've never met him, and I don't have that piece of paper myself, but one of the biggest problems facing the mental health community is still just convincing the world that it is real. And part of that difficulty stems from untrained and uneducated (in the field) individuals convinced that they 'know better' than the professionals for whom this is a calling.

Simply put, if he has it, let the professionals diagnose him. If he doesn't have it, let the professionals not diagnose him.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not one of those asshats who tries to deny that anyone has any problems, and I certainly don't stand in the way of someone getting help. If someone has PTSD and you know what to look for (and I have had training, of the 'these are things you should look out for to send the Joe up to higher treatment' variety, and an education that combined my own research on the subject and my own real-world experiences), you can tell if they might. Like Powderhorn says, the military is overly cautious about the possibility of denying someone care.
This guy demonstrated no signs of PTSD whatsoever. He didn't even demonstrate depressive tendencies, and those are easy for even a layman to pick up. He could speak freely about the incidents he claimed gave him PTSD and demonstrated absolutely no stress while doing so... unless he was talking with an officer, senior NCO, or the doctors, in which case it suddenly became very traumatic for him to talk about. It irritates me, you see, because this guy is stealing from people who genuinely do suffer. I've met plenty who have real symptoms of PTSD that exist even when they're not talking to doctors, and they can't manage to get treatment.
After my experiences with the military medical care (the word "Nightmarish" leaps to mind to describe many of these stories), I have very, very little faith in their ability to diagnose and treat anything, much less something so complex as a neurological disorder.

Simply put, while I'm not an expert in psychiatric medicine, I'm damn good with post-traumatic stress and battlefield psychology. It's part of my job as an NCO - I have to be in order to take troops into and out of combat.

Oi, I'm derailing something once again. If you're interested, care to take this up in PM?

I feel that every game is an "immature" out look on war. I mean the point of game is to be fun. What could POSSIBLY be fun about a realistic game. Standing around for hours in 100 degree heat wearing pounds of equipment. Trying to stay alert while being board out of your damn mind. Crawling through mud and slop trying not to get shot. I'll take a pass.

The point everyone is missing is that none of these games are "war" games. They are "battle" games. You're playing a representation of a skirmish that takes place during a war.

Think of it in perspective of Counter Strike. You're not playing an FBI counter-terror squad, because you don't do any of the other stuff associated with it. You're playing "the swat team just showed up to a job" and you do the job.

So, the question shouldn't be if these games are an immature outlook on war, because it's not a depiction of war. It should be asking if they're an immature outlook of a battle during a war.

Okay, so it's still an immature example of battle. Everything in CoD is very clear cut. You enter the battle zone and everyone that isn't wearing your uniform is the enemy. There's no holding your shots in impotent rage because the gunmen you face are in the middle of a crowd of people. There's no worry that you might be shooting an innocent man that just happens to have a suspicious face. There's no risk, you just move forward in a more or less straight line shooting everything coming down the bad guy tube.

Likewise, death is marginalized. There's rarely any coming across some poor Arab irregular trying to shove his guts back into his chest. And with the exception of the main characters, everyone on the battlefield is a more or less faceless construct that's lucky to have a randomly generated name. All main characters that die do so in a manner that's dramatically important, and you always get revenge on their killers. You never see your best friend get plugged in the back of the head by some sniper you never see hear or catch. You never lose half your squad to an IED you never saw until it was too late.

That's not to say that it's a bad game. But it is just a game, basically the equivilant of a Michael Bay movie. All sound and fury with no substance. That being said it has the proud company of pretty much every shooter ever. The genre has yet to have it's All Quiet on the Western Front.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Savayan View Post
Okay, so it's still an immature example of battle. Everything in CoD is very clear cut. You enter the battle zone and everyone that isn't wearing your uniform is the enemy. There's no holding your shots in impotent rage because the gunmen you face are in the middle of a crowd of people. There's no worry that you might be shooting an innocent man that just happens to have a suspicious face. There's no risk, you just move forward in a more or less straight line shooting everything coming down the bad guy tube.

Likewise, death is marginalized. There's rarely any coming across some poor Arab irregular trying to shove his guts back into his chest. And with the exception of the main characters, everyone on the battlefield is a more or less faceless construct that's lucky to have a randomly generated name. All main characters that die do so in a manner that's dramatically important, and you always get revenge on their killers. You never see your best friend get plugged in the back of the head by some sniper you never see hear or catch. You never lose half your squad to an IED you never saw until it was too late.
Again, all of this also applies to Chess, to Stratego, heck, even to 90% of all roleplaying games - when have you last encountered a description of some poor Orc irregular trying yo shove his guts in back into his chest. If you do lose half your squad (well, 'party') or die due to an enemy you hadn't seen, you just shrug and roll up a new character, without roleplaying out the funeral, and the loss their families experiences, and the father- or motherless upbringing of their children. If you happen to kill an unimportant NPC, you will at worst shake your head, but two encounters later, it will all be water under the bridge.
Why haven't you similarly been saying chess is an 'immature example of battle' since you became aware of it, or protesting most of us are treating war too immaturely by slaying monsters or shooting them from our mechs or whatever floats your RPG boat?
In a broader sense, Colonists of Catan never shows the horrors of famine or drought, Monopoly is remarkably light-hearted about fraud and crime, and so on and so forth. Cluedo has been an equally immature example of criminology for 63 years, and nobody has ever complained. Why can't we similarly leave CoD do what it's intended to do, that is to say, to simply entertain?

Yes, you could make a game that represents all of this.
Such a game would be more accurate, but, considering all of the things you've described aren't pleasant to be part of, it would be considerably less fun. Fun is the purpose of a game, so a game that would sacrifice fun for reality would simply be failing in its purpose.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Savayan View Post
That's not to say that it's a bad game. But it is just a game, basically the equivilant of a Michael Bay movie. All sound and fury with no substance. That being said it has the proud company of pretty much every shooter ever. The genre has yet to have it's All Quiet on the Western Front.
Not quite. It's not so much that the genre has yet to have its All Quiet on the Western Front as that it's a genre entirely different from All Quiet on the Western Front. It's sort of like saying the genre of romantic comedies has yet to write its The Republic.

The bottom line is this:
A game is not a documentary. If you're going to demand games give accurate depictions of war, then it's just as reasonable to ask war documentaries provide half an hour of fun and chuckles - until then, the genre of war documentaries has yet to have its
replace with comedy of your choice.
Ghostbusters.

You got my Point exactly Ikul. Because its a game, it is almost inherently not a mature look at it's subject matter. Pointing that out is not in and of itself an attack on those that enjoy it. Just like you're not less of a person for watching, say, Commando. But you have to acknowledge that it is an immature view of what occurs in war. And all those other games cited? Also immature looks at their chosen subject matter. Nothing inherently wrong with that.

And there's nothing stopping someone from making a shooter with a proper mature look at war, though it might not sell well. The fact that it doesn't sell doesn't mean that someone can't do it. Just look at any given student film. I'm not demanding that all games have to do so, just like I'm not asking all war movies to be All Quiet. It's possible to have different extremes in a genre, it's just that most shooters are clustered at one particular extreme, including the topic of this thread, Call of Duty.

The thing I disagree with is the use of the word 'immature', because it means that either the games' look on combat is not fully developed (or otherwise 'Having or showing emotional or intellectual development appropriate to someone younger', but we're not talking about people here), which would imply that the game will further develop into a more 'mature' outlook.
It won't. Other genres may appear which have a more serious and more factual look, but that would simply be a different genre.





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