First-person shooter (FPS) games, ever since “Doom” sold over 2 million copies in 1996, has dominated the gaming market’s best-seller category. A gamer’s perspective of being the person in control of a gun became the most satisfying video gaming experience, not only for millions but billions of gamers. One sector that has been showing great support for FPS games is the U.S. military as the institution encourages soldiers to engage in such entertainment during their off-duty hours.
Many first person shooters are into this game genre for fun because they are transported to a world where they know they can’t fit in real life. After all, military training is not just about learning how to handle and control firearms. Across different times and cultures, military training regardless of gender or status involves developing physical strength, instilling discipline, forging endurance, and improving readiness and flexibility in all types of stressful situations.
Not all gamers see themselves becoming combatants in real life, but they can at least be the person behind a virtual firearm in simulated combat scenarios.
Does the Military Use Popular Commercially-Sold Video Games for Training ?
Those looking to enlist in the military as future careers, should know that their FPS gaming experience are mere introductions to weapons and warfare.What military groups actually use are game-inspired technology to make the learning process easier for many of today’s games-oriented enlisters. One such example is the Army’s Engagement Skills Trainer (EST), a training tool designed to give new recruits the feel and sound of different firearms before they actually get to handle the real ones.
The Army’s EST provides real-life scenarios as an advanced form of practice firing. The purpose of which is to develop decisions-making skills on when to take shots; where to shoot, who to shoot or when not to shoot at all.
Another example of the military’s game-inspired training technology is the Virtual Convoy Operations Trainer (VCOT). This training tool focuses on training soldiers to work and communicate as a team by placing them in different virtual combat scenarios.
What about Paramilitary Forces?
All 50 states in the U.S. do not recognize private paramilitary activities as legal. Yet some countries in Asia tolerate the existence of paramilitary groups to help the government’s military forces quell insurgency movements and drug-trafficking operations .
In Southern Thailand, the military has been criticized for its increasing support of civilian militias that pose as paramilitary forces. The regional government points out that supporting civilian militias equates to cheaper costs, while having regular combatant forces in place. However, due to lack of military training and loose command structures, civilian militias have been noted as causing tension in many of Southern Thailand’s communities.
A Quick Look at the Most Popular FPS Game in Thailand
While we cannot say for sure that FPS games influence the desire of Thai civilians to join paramilitary forces, there’s a good chance that many of them have inner desires to apply in real life, the combatant actions they play out in video games.
Free Fire is the most popular mobile shooter game in Thailand, featuring civilians from all walks of life, fighting for survival battle royale style. The characters are ordinary citizens dropped by a plane on an island by an organization known as FF, but against their will. Here, they need to buy diamonds with real money, so they can purchase powerful weapons for their chosen character. Yet in Free Fire, the economical way to acquire diamonds is playing successfully via in-games.
However, many Thai players are not so skilled and as a result lose more diamonds via the in-game process. While it’s all part of the game’s monetization aspect, there are โปรเพชรฟีฟาย (pro petchfifi) players who can help weak players acquire all the free diamonds they need to get ahead in the game. Such cases only show that their interest in Free Fire is purely for entertainment.