During the 2004 election cycle, Lefty bloggers of varying stripes took to labeling Rightwing pundits (such as myself) “chickenhawks” and, less-commonly, the “101st Fightin’ Keyboardists”. Their claim was that, if we supporters of the WoT were to be non-hypocritical, we should head immediately for the nearest recruiting station and request to be shipped off to Iraq or Afghanistan forthwith, reasoning that, in order to avoid charges of hypocrisy, we should be willing to lose our lives in the fight. My 4-F status aside, this has always struck me as a specious argument whose strawmanship is nearly unequaled, but that’s beside the point and outside the scope of this piece.
Instead, let’s focus on the fact that I, through my countless hours of playing Half-Life, Quake 1/2/3, Unreal Tournament 1/2003/2004, and most especially America’s Army and Counter-Strike may have inadvertently been training our men and women in uniform in the art of game fu.
From the linked article:
American troops appear to have a considerable advantage because most of them grew up playing video games and using PCs. More and more military equipment uses computers, or are basically electronic gadgets. American troops require a lot less time to learn how to use this stuff, and tend to be very good with it. This extends from fire control systems in armored vehicles, to new radios, electronic rifle sights and training systems (which are very similar to those video games.) Many other countries have to spend a lot more time training their troops to use this stuff, and the proficiency of the troops is never particularly good. This effect is often seen when this high tech American equipment is provided to foreign troops who didnâ€™t have such an electronic childhood.
(Glenn Reynolds has written on this very subject elsewhere. Go ye and read, for it is good.)
See, Mom? You said I wasted all those hours in Contra, Life Force, and 1943, when in reality I was saving your very life by proxy. Bet you wish you had let us get that NES (with Light Gun, of course) a couple of years earlier, huh?