America’s Army : “MEDIC!!!”
America’s Army, a free game based on the unreal engine (v2.0, later 2.5 hopefully v3.0 soon), designed and developed by the US Army as a rather (unapologetic) recruiting tool. This statement to one side, I have to admit to being a huge fan of the game and used to play it religiously a couple of years back. Its ‘accurate’ simulation of military situations and tactics was a far cry from FPS games at the time and provided a nice grittier version of war / small unit combat than counter strike and similar games and as a result it sucked me in.
Later patches added specialist units such as medics. Before a player could select this class however, he/she was required to complete a short tutorial which aimed to provide real (if brief) information as to how to provide battlefield aid to wounded soldiers. This was supposedly followed up by a test that the player was required to pass, however rather than question any of the (superfluous) information given to the player, all that was required was for the medic trainee to run to three fallen soldiers and deal with them based on the severity of their condition. This is displayed prominently as a health bar.
Nether-the-less Wired has a story about one Paxton Galvanek, a America’s Army player who used the basic training received in the game to provide emergency aid to a pair of car crash victims.
Galvanek said he learned about controlling bleeding from playing section two of the “medic” class training in America’s Army, a game developed by the Army as a recruitment tool.
“I have received no prior medical training and can honestly say that because of the training and presentations within America’s Army, I was able to help and possibly save the injured men,” Galvanek said.
For years since it’s inception, AA has been plagued by stories / parental and public concerns chiefly surrounding the game making kids ‘better criminals/murders.’ The game developers and community have come out to counter these claims (just read the long FAQs) claiming that a computer game is in-fact, a far cry from reality. Ironic this then is it not 🙂