Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Fun and Games

     I tend to feel that the rigors of war are a bit unseemly.  Maybe you agree and maybe you dont but lets face it, its not such a big party for those involved.  Shocking, I know.  But its not all bad, there are clean, cool, and fun for those that know how to enjoy it.  Why just the other day, I was strapped into a glorified video game, shooting away at targets in the name of efficient military training.  Thats right, I was training in a digital setting.  Ill tell you all about it, I swear.
     Essentially the premise is simple.  Some people can shoot and some cant.  Anyone with any talent behind the trigger will tell you that its more than just aiming down a barrel and flexing that index finger of yours.  There are mechanics involved, breathing to consider, you need to be stable, ready and clear minded.  Ok, it also involves a bit of an index finger squeeze but even that has to be modified for that perfect shot.  Lucky for me, somebody smarter than I am, descovered that teaching these methods in a practical setting was getting a little expensive.
     I dont know if you watch the news, but bullets are not cheap and war requires a few of them, so what about the soldiers that need to train?  Well, its time we got 21st century about all this business and played some video games.  I was at a driving range once that was located inside a shopping center.  It involved a large screen that would calculate the speed and angle of your hit and show you where your shot landed.  Picture this with an M4 Carbine.  A laser attached to the front would spit out a little light when your, artificially gas powered, shots would go off.  This way you could learn a few things about your shot in a safe, effective, and cheap manner.
     A few trigger pulls later and a computer, which is also smarter than I am, spits out a list of data telling you whether you are fit to serve or in need of some tweaking.  Its all very low stress, just mentally make a list of corrections and be conscious of your shot.  The results are awesome.  I wont say that this training will make a sniper out of your average joe, so dont think this makes you a marksman, instead it enforces the fundamentals.  After about 20 min, any soldier with basic rifle training will be able to put three shots into a space the size of a silver dollar.  Not too shabby for a video game.
     As a new generation is born having never known life without internet, it is fitting that we all make the digital jump.  I really dont want to compare this "amazing" technology to other branches or time periods, but I can think of worse training Ive done with less improvement.  In a world where it seems that war is just a push of a button, dont forget that a bullet can push alot harder than a hand and the army is making sure its soldiers are able to perform the task.  I wouldnt expect to see this next to your local driving range, but its a fun thing to think about.  Video games, anyone?

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