From drones to Tomahawk missiles to Navy SEALs, it’s no exaggeration to say that the U.S. military has a range of incredibly effective weapons at its disposal. But it’s at most only a minor exaggeration to suggest that the military’s most effective weapon might not be found in an arms depot, but in fact might be down the hall in your teenager’s bedroom. I’m talking about video games.
From single shooter games to specially-customized, near-real-life military scenarios, video games have become an incredibly important tool in how we recruit, train and even heal U.S. soldiers – important to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars a year.
How did video games take on such an outsized role? How, exactly, do they make us safer?
Corey Mead is an Asst. Professor of English at Baruch College. He’s also the author of the new book “War Play: Video Games and the Future of Armed Conflict.”