Violent Video Games and 21st Century Mind Control

I saw a game that was about North Korea for kids released by the military.  This is the endless war in my view.  The brain doesn’t know the difference between imagination and real life.  Mind control is the aim of the game.  This is how they embed violent intent rather than peaceful conflict resolution. I immediately think of 21st century education and the global IT industry mainlining children through modules rather than education.  Education when in alignment with the highest good of a child opens a child to problem solving, creativity and wisdom.  In its optimum expression it is to know thyself and be true. Games are proscribed embedding competitiveness and desensitisation to destructive intent.  There are unforeseen consequences with this infiltration of childhood by the military.

I am a peace educator and I know that children need to learn how to resolve conflict, how to question their thinking, through experiential games to learn values which will guide them to working positively with others and develop inner sight to enable them to see holistically.  What we see all war scenarios is identifying enemies, risks, threats, terrorists not looking at what has created the problem, what are the grievances? How to get to the root cause of conflict?  Who is funding groups or military’s?  What are their objectives?  How to de-escalate the violence?  How to foster a Culture of Peace?

I did create a program that dealt with diversity, problem solving, conflict resolution and self awareness amongst many other techniques. It was an excellent program and I did see breakthroughs.  I helped children see how they treat others differently on the basis of a perceived difference.  How we include/exclude others.  How we bullying through unkind words, behaviours and attitudes and how that impacts others lives.  The work I did I know would have changed millions of children but I couldn’t find the support in schools or the Department of Education and today I am unable to share my work to benefit children.  Refer (anti-bullying for REAL HOPE program)

Unfortunately peace is seen as an ideal when it is not, it is a state of being that is more powerful than violence.  We keep believing safety comes through violent defence, it doesn’t it comes from changing beliefs and learning inner empowerment and fearlessness.  We don’t understand what we focus on we attract, if we keep living in fear, believing the world is a violent video game then we look for enemies.  If we believe the world is a good place (which it is in my experience) then we can relax and know we can sort problems out when they come to us.  Educators do not understand the importance of developing universal values in children so that through this prism they can see the world and life more clearly.  We do not teach peace in schools to give a philosophical/values based perspective on the world.  Peace enables a person to see the world with clarity as there are no fears being projected.  If you are viewing the world as an enemy and you want to constantly protect yourself you will project attack strategies, project enemies, look for ways to get rid of the threat and the enemies never stop as you will find more given your focus.   In a fear based mindset it is not possible to see the bigger picture from a neutral platform and then work on how to deal with challenges, fears and misunderstandings in a way that is nonviolent and ensuring civilians are safe. What most people don’t know is that life is intelligent and interestingly things turn up that challenge us, it is how we choose to respond to those challenges that changes outcomes.  The more we resist the more we put negative realities in place. In truth we are our own worst enemies.

Violent games program competition, fear, attack, control, pathological mindsets, aggressive behaviour, no consequences, no regard for human life and on it goes.  I can assure you it is a real phenomenon and the brain does re-wire.  Empathy definitely is lost and we will find anxiety and bullyingbheaviours increasing.  The military is designed on bullying (force, control, torture etc.) but very few will admit that, it will be called defence and terms like ‘democracy’ and ‘freedom’ will be used to justify that it is necessary and for a higher good.

Bullying is a repeated negative behaviour that is designed to hurt. It actually comes from powerlessness.  The reason men engage in this in respect of violence and war is because they carry a deeper level of fear, they have modelled off fathers who reinforce that violence is strength, they are not skilled in resolving conflicts as this deny’s the hero and the sense of conquest or winning which is at the heart of the desire to fight another.  War is about training young people in behaviours that control, dominate and create fear in the ‘other’ it is to learn to be completely accepting of violence as necessary.  IN my view it is not when we become skilled in knowing ourselves, personal inquiry of negativity, seeing others as ourselves, highly developed empathy (what it feels like to be the other), a sense of fairness and democracy in respect of sharing power and working out a win/win outcome rather than total defeat.  Powerlessness shows up in fear, insecurity, an inability to create change, disadvantage, less knowledge, less capability etc. It will not be acknowledged but felt on a deeper level but it is what drives the desire to project power over others and win.  For women we do not have this instilled as we are wired for relating, relationships, caring for others and looking for solutions to create a win/win, bring the family together. This is a mindset of collaboration and unity.  The world needs this right now.

This links to another blog that raises awareness about military infiltrating schools. Refer

The illusion is summed up in this statement  “in the digital world there are no legal and ethical considerations…”

… another powerful theme “military-entertainment complex.”

There needs to be a conversation ‘in the public interest’ about the digital environment and how it molds minds.  It is important to separate this conversation from ‘national interest’.

Today is Gandhi’s birthday, when will love be seen as the real power.  I love the quote “We look forward to the time when the Power of Love will replace the Love of Power. Then will our world know the blessings of peace.”  Until men can question why they need war games, the war goes on for them and so many suffer as a consequence.

How the US military is using ‘violent, chaotic, beautiful’ video games to train soldiers

‘Counter-Strike’ has sold over 25 million units, making it one of the most popular first-person shooters of all time. Miyaoka Hitchcock/flickrCC BY-NC

These games – in which players are positioned behind a gun – have turned a generation of kids into digital warriors who fight terrorists and battle alien invaders. Many play first-person shooters for pure, innocent enjoyment. Some like achieving objectives and being a part of a team. And, for others, it simply feels good to eliminate an enemy – especially someone who’s trying to harm them.

For the U.S. military, the rise of first-person shooters has been a welcome development. In recent years, the military has encouraged many of its soldiers to partake in the thrill of violent video games as a way to continue combat training, even when not on active duty. (In fact, using games to teach military tactics has been a longstanding practice in the U.S. military: Before video games, troops were encouraged to play military-themed board games.)

The games allow soldiers to take their combat roles home with them and blur their on-duty responsibilities with their off-duty, noncombat routines and lives.

But what effect have these video games had on U.S. soldiers? How accurately do they depict military life? And do they actually help recruit, train and retain troops?

From battle screen to battlefield

As part of a study, we interviewed 15 current and former members of the U.S. military who were between 24 and 35 years old to understand the role violent first-person shooter games played in their recruitment and training.

The majority of interviewees told us it was important to stay in the mindset of a soldier even when not on duty. To them, first-person shooters were the perfect vehicle for doing this.

Game preferences varied among the soldiers we interviewed, but popular titles included “Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2” and “ARMA 2,” which a current member of the Army said was “one of the most hardcore assault experiences in gaming.”

Meanwhile, an Iraq War veteran described “Call of Duty: Black Ops 2” and “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare” as “the ultimate first-person shooter experiences ever” and “intensive and highly realistic approaches to tactical combat. The choice of attacking with stealth or unleashing an all-out frontal assault full of mayhem is yours. It’s violent, it’s chaotic, it’s beautiful.”

In this, the Iraq War veteran seems to say that video games can reflect real-life combat situationsan attitude that others share.

Altered realities

But it’s tough to make the case that games accurately simulate what a soldier’s life is really like. First, military tours of duty are not solely made up of hard-charging, chaotic battles, like those in first-person shooters. The majority of soldiers won’t participate in any full-frontal combat operations.

Second – and, most importantly – in the digital world there are no legal and ethical considerations. When things go wrong, when innocent people are killed, there are no ramifications. If anything, the games warp these real-world consequences in the minds of players; in 2012, psychologists Brock Bastian, Jolanda Jetten and Helena R.M. Radke were able to use brain scans to show that playing violent video games had the potential to desensitize players to real-life violence and the suffering of others.

In a 2010 article for the Brookings Institution, political scientist Peter Singer quoted a Special Forces soldier who was involved in the production of “America’s Army 360,” a video game developed to recruit and train enlistees.

“You lose an avatar; just reboot the game,” the soldier said. “In real life, you lose your guy; you’ve lost your guy. And then you’ve got to bury him, and then you’ve got to call his wife.”

Indeed, journalist Evan Wright wrote in his book “Generation Kill” that solders were on “intimate terms with the culture of video games, reality TV shows and internet porn.”

Real-life combat, however, was something entirely different.

“What I saw was a lot of them discovered levels of innocence that they probably didn’t think they had,” Wright wrote. “When they actually shot people, especially innocent people, and were confronted with this, I saw guys break down. The violence in games hadn’t prepared them for this.”

Video games are unable to mimic what a soldier’s life is really like. Muhammad Hamed/Reuters

Thus video games might suck soldiers in – offering a tantalizing taste of the glory and excitement of battle. But they do little to prepare them for the types of threats that actually exist on the battlefield.

“When I really think of the government seeing that as training, I laugh,” one of our interviewees told us. “But I also feel a bit uneasy.”

Militarizing legions of gamers

Regardless of their effectiveness as training tools, violent video games can certainly act as a valuable tool for connecting the military with potential recruits. In addition to influencing the decisions of gamers to pursue military service, they can also be used to promote the geopolitical goals of the military.

Journalist Hamza Shaban, in a 2013 article for The Atlantic, described just how deep the Army’s relationship had become with the commercial gaming industry, creating what he dubbed a “military-entertainment complex.” According to Shaban, the games that emerged from this relationship – an exciting, simplified, easy-to-play version of warfare – encouraged gamers to consider a career in the military.

Meanwhile, games such as “UrbanSim,” “Tactical Iraqi” and “Frontlines: Fuel of War” teach players and potential recruits about the discourse of modern-day warfare. Missions include battling Islamic militants, winning over potentially hostile populations and establishing pro-Western, pro-democratic societies. They engage with the fundamentals of insurgency and counterinsurgency, present the dangers of improvised explosive devices and highlight the military usefulness of weaponized drones.

First-person shooter games can recruit civilians. RebeccaPollard/FlickrCC BY

However, to some of the soldiers and ex-soldiers we spoke to, the value of playing first-person shooters amounted to little more than propaganda.

“The idea of us training using these games is a bit of a [disaster],” one said. “What the U.S. seeks to achieve through the use of these games is not entirely within their control. It might be a cheap way of getting us involved … but it’s hardly ‘training.’”

Another called first-person shooters “more like brainwashing than anything.”

“But you have to be pretty stupid to buy into all this,” he added.

(Note:  it is not about being stupid to buy into it, it is operant conditioning that repeats the scenarios again and again and this is where the neural networks re-wire, so it is not about stupidity it is about programming in truth).  Early childhood is extremely open to programming which is why the games were created.  They will have those visions for life.

Mohandas Gandhi

“Nonviolence is a weapon of the strong”