do video games have any real life benefit


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Mrcymstr
March 2, 2012, 11:30 PM
OK I'm gonna go ahead and put on my flame retardant suit. I was wondering if any of the fine people that also frequent this site thought there may be any real life benefits from playing different shooting based games. Don't get me wrong there is No substitute for training, trigger time, and being "t3h 1337" at the latest and greatest Call of Duty does not make you a SEAL but it's an interesting thought.

My personal opinion is (depending on the individual game in question) could make one rethink strategy, risk vs. Reward, and when it's appropriate to do a tactical reload. I liken it to something I've heard of in the martial arts I believe was called "image training ". The idea being if you imagine a situation it will enhance your response in the real world. JUST curious for your opinions

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FIVETWOSEVEN
March 2, 2012, 11:40 PM
I grew up with them and I was able to fully understand my interest in guns. It can have some good effects and some bad effects. The 12 year old "experts" on Youtube are bad but seem to get better as they learn more.

There are some good examples, and there are some absolutely horrible and dangerous examples like this half-wit:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LapoR0q98-w

That *ahem* not so smart person is trying to replicate something that is done in the popular video game, Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 with a real firearm. That is spinning around with a rifle and then stopping to discharge a round without aiming.

That kid should not own guns till he learns to keep his video games and firearms separate.

Orkan
March 2, 2012, 11:43 PM
High end competitive gamers have extremely fast response times. Usually on the order of 5 times faster than a normal person.

FIVETWOSEVEN
March 2, 2012, 11:56 PM
High end competitive gamers have extremely fast response times. Usually on the order of 5 times faster than a normal person.

First time I went through an informal match at the local club, I placed first and held that the entire day and I was just 17 at the time using someone Else's gun that the last time I shot it was exactly a year before at the same event.

tarosean
March 3, 2012, 12:02 AM
NO... Video games are repetitive in nature. offering nothing "new" after playing a though a time or two. Plus the lack of recoil... course no one would want to play the games if they introduced realistic recoil.....
Just so you dont automatically think Im some "old stick in the mud". Ive owned every COD game produced and Im in my 40's.

Orkan
March 3, 2012, 12:06 AM
You may own COD games... but you clearly don't understand how repetitive action affects the mind.

If video games have no bearing on honing skills of all kinds, please explain the military's continued development of high end multi-million dollar simulators and unmanned drone technology?

DeadLiver
March 3, 2012, 12:14 AM
I think that there is some correlation. I play Battlefield 3 online with some friends (I'm almost the youngest player at 29) and I can see where understanding of some concepts can cross over to the real world. I'll try and list them as I put on my flame-retardant suit.

1. Leading targets: While video game physics of course don't parallel with the real world, video games do provide excellent opportunities to practice leading a moving target.

2. "Shoot and scoot"/cover and concealment: Especially for somebody like me whose medical history has prevented careers in the military and law enforcement fields, standing still to shoot like on a range is a habit that has to be broken on the virtual battlefield or else you get turned to swiss cheese almost every time you take a shot. In more recent games, bullets can penetrate fences, walls and the like, emphasizing the difference between concealment and true cover.

3. Clearing corners: I'm constantly given embarrassing (rather than fatal) reminders to clear corners, hallways, alleyways, and rooms as I rush haphazardly around a map.

4. Communication: We play cooperatively, usually in 2 to 4 man squads. In order to operate effectively, communication is key. Spotting target, relaying routes, dividing sectors/responsibilities, it's all helpful.

Naturally, there's no way that hours spent playing Battlefield or Call of Duty will ever replace real trigger time or actual training. I can see however that depending on the game, and how you play it potential for reinforcing lessons for staying alive on a real battlefield. To actually get good training, I'll be attending courses at the Counter-terrorism Institute of America, located in UT. www.combat-terror.com

Positivity
March 3, 2012, 12:15 AM
Realistic video games may offer tactics and reaction time training, but not real experience.

Orkan
March 3, 2012, 12:17 AM
Realistic video games may offer tactics and reaction time training, but not real experience.
I agree to a point. There are other benefits beyond tactics and reaction time as well. Simulators/video games can be used to generate automated instinctual behavior in a much more controlled and less costly environment. The real measure of benefits to be cleaned, is determined by the scope of the game/simulator itself and how "real" it can be made to be.

Yet one can very easily see the benefit of such a system and could also call it "experience" if you ran hundreds of different scenario's on a high end simulator/game such as those offered by lasershot. Just about any scenario you can dream up, can be created and run. If that isn't a form of "experience" I'm not sure what is.

tarosean
March 3, 2012, 12:18 AM
multi-million dollar simulators and unmanned drone technology?

vs. 60.00 buck off the shelve technology?

Orkan
March 3, 2012, 12:21 AM
vs. 60.00 buck off the shelve technology?
I fail to understand your question. Would you have me believe that all video games and all simulators at every price offer the same experience and benefits?

PzGren
March 3, 2012, 12:21 AM
If video games have no bearing on honing skills of all kinds, please explain the military's continued development of high end multi-million dollar simulators and unmanned drone technology?

That's a good point. I have used the shooting simulators (EST 2000) in the military and they are a lot of fun and also a fairly good training aid.

It is still cheaper to "fire" one thousand rounds at the computer simulation than a thousand rounds of real ammo, it is also easier to practice different scenarios and all can be done from the comfort of a classroom, keeping travel times and expenses down in the long run.

But alone it does not substitute real shooting and does not build the physical skills and weapon handling skills to prevail in a military firefight.

Orkan
March 3, 2012, 12:23 AM
But alone it does not substitute real shooting and does not build the physical skills and weapon handling skills to prevail in a military firefight. Actually it does. It's just that you haven't been exposed to a simulator that replicates all of those things.

I have... and I can tell you they are AMAZING to the degree that they can realistically replicate nearly everything you would encounter in real life situations. Everything from weather, recoil, wind, weapon functionality, etc etc. You name it, they can simulate it on an indoor range with pneumatics, or live fire.

PzGren
March 3, 2012, 12:39 AM
I have used the ones that simulate recoil, bullet drop, etc. The exact name is AGSHP, the German version of the EST 2000 used by the U.S. armed forces. I have also operated the controls to cause the malfunctions for the shooters. I had fiendish fun doing so.

What have you used that it is so different?

Inebriated
March 3, 2012, 12:41 AM
They certainly can help someone in understanding tactics.

Tim the student
March 3, 2012, 02:02 AM
Yeah, there are real life benefits. They reduce my stress, maintain/improve good hand eye coordination and dexterity, may help with PTSD, may help with spatial relationships, get people interested in guns etc etc.

They also have the potential to have negative effects too, for that matter (sometimes grossly inaccurate info, "ammo" for antis, teaching the "X" button reloads etc)

They certainly can help someone in understanding tactics.

Yes, and the can also teach horrendous tactics.

pikid89
March 3, 2012, 02:10 AM
The best use I found from COD was when I was teaching my little cousin to shoot my 10/22 with Tech Sights... I was having trouble explaining the sight picture when I remembered that he plays Call of Duty...So i reminded him of the m16 sight picture and with in minutes he was making solid hits with the .22

Voltia
March 3, 2012, 02:15 AM
They're GAMES. They're not supposed to have "real life benefit." It's a pleasurable time waster, nothing more, nothing less. I think the OP looks to be some staunch conservative Christian and is trying to damn by faint praise.

I was a league level counterstrike player ten years ago. It had nothing to do with my rifle aim, which has been consistently decent since I learned to shoot 25 years ago. Other than being able to say "Damn, even _I_ can shoot an AK better than that!" while in game, they really don't carry over to each other.

Video games are games, combat sims are simulations. They are not the same thing. Plus, there are more video games than just FPS games. The biggest game in the world right now has you play a fantasy character that casts spells and other sundry things, which has nothing to do with real life skills unless I suddenly learn to call hellfire down from the sky.

LJ-MosinFreak-Buck
March 3, 2012, 02:51 AM
There is a fine line between video-games teaching tactics and being a helpful training aide, and some horrid, bad-habit inducing nightmare.

A lot of gamers who play, use an erratic style of play, often called "Run and Gun" where the terms "Quick-Scope" and "No-Scope" were coined. Like the video posted earlier of the next Darwin Award Winner, the players will run around the map, pulling up their scope and shooting fast, or not aiming all. Both of these are colloloquially (spelling?) called "Spray and Pray" when used with a full-auto firearm in-game.

This style of gameplay originated somewhere around the time of Couter Strike, another popular game, and Call of Duty. When the Battlefield series came out, it was intended for "more serious" gameplay. Meaning, the Battlefield games were meant to have your team working together to achieve your mission objective. There would be a number of squads per team, consisting of 2-4 players each squad. Each player in a squad would fill a certain role, such as Assault, Engineer, Support, and Recon.

The Assault class consists of a rifle, typically MBR type rifles like the M16, AK's, G3, etc. this class (though changed, then restored in BF3) was assigned Medic duty, reviving and providing first aid to your downed or hurt squadmates or teammates.

The Engineer class is usually equipped with a carbine type rifle such as the M4, AKS-74u, G36C, etc. The primary role for the Engineer class is "Vehicle Management" as I like to call it. This class is also equipped with a vehicle repair device, along with a vehicle destruction device. As you can tell, this glass is mainly used for taking out vehicles.

The Support Class is usually equipped with an LMG type weapon, such as the M249, the M240B, or PKP Pecheneg, etc. The role this class plays is putting the opposing team under suppression (an effect of gameplay that has a debilitating effect on your player) and providing ammunition for your squad or team.

The Recon class is mainly equipped with marksman rifles, such as the SVD, M40A5, SV-98, etc. The primary role of this class is spotting enemies, them being equipped with aerial surveillance devices and motion sensors to assist your team by allowing them to know where the enemy is at. They are able to pick an enemy off at greater distance accurately.

The negatives that Call of Duty has brought over to this type of gameplay (Battlefield) is the "Run and Gunning." this method of gameplay just ruins the game, in it's entertainment level and meaning. If it weren't for these lousy tactics of "Run and Gun," the possibility of Battlefield as a good training aid gets higher. It does help with your reaction time and tactics if you play the game it is meant to be played.

You know you are on a good team when your teammates are storming separate objectives at once, but in a coordinated manner. You are also in an effective squad if the squad has one of each class, or two members running Assault and the other two running Engineer and Support.

The Battlefield 3 game is more about your team accumulating a collective score or destroyed object, and your team can really only win with cooperation. Playing by yourself and not working for your team won't help you win at all.

In Call of Duty, there is none of this. You basically just run around and kill the opposing players, using whatever firearm you choose (some of which are poorly represented). This offers nothing. Each player is typically only concerned with his K/D (Kill/Death) ratio. Some of this has followed over to Battlefield 3, which is unfortunate, because it only detracts from the game.

Sorry for my rant on gameplay, the point I'm trying to get across is that certain games, like Battlefield 3, for instance if given a good team, can teach you a lot. Yes, it isn't a substitute for actual trigger time, but gaming can be useful for something.

CSestp
March 3, 2012, 02:56 AM
Yes they can help in many ways. Can they teach you proper form, sight picture, and safety. Hell no. My step son who like all kids plays these games. Started taking him to the range. With iron sights he can't hit anything. First time with a scope he was nailing targets at 300. I think this was because he understood bullet drop from Battlefield 3, and you could see him moving his head all over the place until the scope looked like it does in the game, or until he had proper eye relief.

The marines use a nodded version of an off the shelf game to simulate how to move in squads. This seems like a very redundant question. Almost like is learning to drive on the highway will help you win a NASCAR race. No not really but your going to be better off than the guy that has never driven a car at all.

Sent from my Desire HD using Tapatalk

Dnaltrop
March 3, 2012, 04:37 AM
Better visual acuity
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/03/090329-video-game-vision.html

"Previous research shows that gaming improves other visual skills, such as the ability to track several objects at the same time and paying attention to a series of fast-moving events"

More effective treatment for Lazy eye than Eye-patching.
http://www.plosbiology.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pbio.1001135

" We quantified the limits and the time course of visual plasticity induced by video-game experience. The recovery in visual acuity that we observed is at least 5-fold faster than would be expected from occlusion therapy in childhood amblyopia"

Better Surgical skills, (among other things). Improvements in suturing and laproscopic skills.
http://www.apa.org/pubs/journals/releases/gpr-14-2-113.pdf

"Studies with physicians that have examined the relationship of
video game play to actual surgical skills such as targeting and
grasping objects and suturing have also shown a great deal of
evidence of a positive association. One study that compared the
surgical skills of avid video game players (3 hr/week) with their
less avid counterparts found that the avid players made 37% fewer
errors and were 27% faster in completing a simulated laparoscopic
procedure and suturing"

Would you rather your Surgeon Golf all weekend? :)

PzGren
March 3, 2012, 04:50 AM
Better Surgical skills, (among other things). Improvements in suturing and laproscopic skills.
http://www.apa.org/pubs/journals/rel...r-14-2-113.pdf

"Studies with physicians that have examined the relationship of
video game play to actual surgical skills such as targeting and
grasping objects and suturing have also shown a great deal of
evidence of a positive association. One study that compared the
surgical skills of avid video game players (3 hr/week) with their
less avid counterparts found that the avid players made 37% fewer
errors and were 27% faster in completing a simulated laparoscopic
procedure and suturing"

Would you rather your Surgeon Golf all weekend?

Well,

I don't think someone that is already a surgeon will play a lot of games. While studying in pre-med or med school, there is actually little time for games, it is hard studies. I have two kids in either pre-med or med school, they do not have a lot of time for hobbies.

I prefer a doctor that knows what he is doing and gets the proper diagnosis to an artist with "needle and thread".

BHP FAN
March 3, 2012, 05:01 AM
the main benefit I see is that video games have given us another generation with at least an interest in guns.I had thought that ours might be the last.

baronthered
March 3, 2012, 05:06 AM
...which has nothing to do with real life skills unless I suddenly learn to call hellfire down from the sky.

Technically you could call hellfire from the sky.

It's called close air support. :D :neener:

" I love the smell of napalm in the morning" :evil:

I'll be here all week. :D

Sorry sorry Too many long nights at work and I am very glad the weekend is here.

NoirFan
March 3, 2012, 05:12 AM
the main benefit I see is that video games have given us another generation with at least an interest in guns.I had thought that ours might be the last.

I agree. I grew up in a no-gun environment so Goldeneye 007 on the Super Nintendo was the starting point for my interest. From there it took about 10 years for me to educate myself about the real thing but it wouldn't have happened without video games.

Double Naught Spy
March 3, 2012, 05:21 AM
My personal opinion is (depending on the individual game in question) could make one rethink strategy, risk vs. Reward, and when it's appropriate to do a tactical reload. I liken it to something I've heard of in the martial arts I believe was called "image training ". The idea being if you imagine a situation it will enhance your response in the real world. JUST curious for your opinions.

I am not sure which, if any, video games that offer situations that are situationaly real world enough, situationally enough to count as image training. Most don't take you through enough bootcamp/weapons handling, strategy and tactics, etc, for the player before the player enters the game Most learn the game through trial and error, developing skills along the way that might be great for game play, but not real world. Being as students are primary self taught, they end up learning more about beating the game than beating real life opponents and pick up a considerable number of bad habits long the way that might not be detrimental to the player in the game, but could definitely be in real life.

If video games have no bearing on honing skills of all kinds, please explain the military's continued development of high end multi-million dollar simulators and unmanned drone technology?

Wii, Playstation, etc. games are just that, games. They offer an entertainment experience, not real world.

High end multi-million dollar simulators aren't games. Video games are not written with proper real world parameters, capabilities, etc. Proper firearm training simulators do try to offer real world parameters at least in some regards.

Simulators/video games can be used to generate automated instinctual behavior in a much more controlled and less costly environment. The real measure of benefits to be cleaned, is determined by the scope of the game/simulator itself and how "real" it can be made to be.

Just because something can be done with a product does not mean it is being done with a product. How many truly instructional games with proper real world parameters do you see being made today? I always like it that when my soldier suffers injuries, if not killed, he can actually recover to full strength and capabilities with a first aid kit, food, and water, all during the course of a fire fight.

But alone it does not substitute real shooting and does not build the physical skills and weapon handling skills to prevail in a military firefight.

Actually it does. It's just that you haven't been exposed to a simulator that replicates all of those things.

I have... and I can tell you they are AMAZING to the degree that they can realistically replicate nearly everything you would encounter in real life situations. Everything from weather, recoil, wind, weapon functionality, etc etc. You name it, they can simulate it on an indoor range with pneumatics, or live fire.

I have used the ones that simulate recoil, bullet drop, etc. The exact name is AGSHP, the German version of the EST 2000 used by the U.S. armed forces. I have also operated the controls to cause the malfunctions for the shooters. I had fiendish fun doing so.

Simulators can do a lot more than games, but still have considerable shortcomings. They can simulate just about any parameters you might encounter? No. The can simulate some parameters on a limited scale.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0dgDVoNpH2o - I liked the belt change or malfunction clear here. He seems to be missing some real world steps.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T1-unzvARDE&feature=related
http://cubic.com/Solutions/Defense-Systems/Training-Systems/Virtual-and-Immersive-Training-Systems/System-Applications/EST-2000
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7tgcAiHI42U&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cEu3jx0AisU&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1uphnzEDGSo

Most of what the training drills on these simulators do is to train they soldiers about handling various types of scenarios from a shooter's perspective of a singular forward field of view with threats never coming from either side or from up much higher than a standing soldier. Soldiers are not running to the location even if the screeen shows a pedestrian change of location. Most of the simulations look like they are teaching the soldiers to engage the enemies primarly from locations without cover and students conduct their fights and never give a second thought to engage from cover. Heck, the students can even be too much on the move either and so most shoot the drills while remaining stationary.

Fight like you train? Then it looks like these soldiers are going to be engaging the moving around and cover-using opposition while they themselves remain upright out in the open and stationary and without bothering to scan the area, forward, sides, and back after they think the fight is over, but at least they will be acoomplished in doing so while enjoying the temperature controlled, dry, dust free, windless air.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kJcfAbKqZ4I&feature=related

JRH6856
March 3, 2012, 07:14 AM
Yes they have a real life benefit. Its the closest I'll get to shooting a lot of neat guns I can't afford. Like a Walther WA 2000 with thermal sights. ($75,000+)

And if nothing else they make you at least think some about strategy and tactics and what might work and what might not. Between COD, Battlefield and Rainbow Six, I get a pretty good mental workout. I'm 64 and just a bit past doing all that in real life.

303tom
March 3, 2012, 09:03 AM
NO.............

JohnM
March 3, 2012, 09:08 AM
I played Pong, does that count?

FIVETWOSEVEN
March 3, 2012, 11:36 AM
Yes they have a real life benefit. Its the closest I'll get to shooting a lot of neat guns I can't afford. Like a Walther WA 2000 with thermal sights. ($75,000+)

You never get to use that rifle for what it was intended to be used for, precision shooting at long range (1,000 yards) so it kind of does a disservice to the rifle.

jim243
March 3, 2012, 01:14 PM
I doubt that I will ever get a chance to buy or even shoot a XM-25 in real life, or a Javlin or Stinger. But it is sure fun to use the XM-25 as a sniper rifle. Will that help my in real life shooting, no but it does save me a lot of cash on real ammo.

Jim

The Lone Haranguer
March 3, 2012, 01:29 PM
Jan Libourel, former editor of Petersen's Handguns and Gun World, once wrote that the video games played by his stepson and friends did not translate to actual handling and shooting of real firearms; they had to be taught just like anyone else. I tend to believe this. And it is my guess (I don't play games) that there are a lot of Four Rules violations in these games, especially Three.

Redlg155
March 3, 2012, 01:33 PM
Can you use video games to learn tactics? Yes. Are they realistic otherwise? No.

I believe that many of our younger soldiers that grew up playing video games have an even greater shock when confronted with the reality real combat. Enemies do not fall dead after a single shot. The stress and heat of combat cannot be recreated, nor can the smell of warm blood.

The Lone Haranguer
March 3, 2012, 01:42 PM
I can see full size video simulations with realistic scenarios for training, but not a depiction of fantasy on a TV screen with a controller that may not even bear any resemblance to a real firearm.

luc4158
March 3, 2012, 01:51 PM
The only useful thing I've ever gotten out of shooting games other than a way to burn time was that when I fired an AR-15 for the first time I found the magazine release and bolt catch myself.

NG VI
March 3, 2012, 01:55 PM
While video game physics of course don't parallel with the real world,


Ever since Half-Life, or maybe even earlier, designers have been striving to create engines that deliver as realistic physics as possible.

Many of them do an excellent job at it, and bullet's aren't a particularly difficult thing to model until you start getting hundreds of yards out from the target.

Sam Cade
March 3, 2012, 01:57 PM
I can see full size video simulations with realistic scenarios for training

..and that is what they are used for.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VBS2

This is from the commercial version of the product, ARMA2

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=krLtYiChXS8

Listen to the player chatter.

gp911
March 3, 2012, 02:04 PM
They can have a benefit in some areas, may hinder others, and are no substitute for real training/experience. There is a similar commentary regarding driving games. One can learn the layout of the Nurburgring by playing the latest games and pick up some time because the blind curves are no longer a surprise, but it won't make them a world class driver. Still, I won't knock em, they have their place.

HOOfan_1
March 3, 2012, 02:07 PM
vs. 60.00 buck off the shelve technology?

Not that main stream video games compare at all to purpose built combat simulators, but, the military is the sole consumer for the later. Millions of people buy the former.

Main Stream video games cost millions of dollars to develop. Most likely main stream video games cost a good deal more to develop than purpose built simulators.

Justin
March 3, 2012, 02:11 PM
I've spent more hours than I care to admit playing Modern Warfare II & III, Black OPS, and Battlefield 3.

While the games are fun, and may impart some theoretical understanding of basic gun handling skills (reloading is important, if you want to hit a target, you have to aim through the sights, some guns have more recoil than others), it's foolish to think that playing video games will prepare one to actually go to the range and fire real guns at real targets.

Even assuming that you can learn tactics from a game, there's a world of difference between sitting on a couch, holding a light, plastic controller, and passively controlling a character, vs. moving through an actual environment with a rifle that weighs several pounds and quickly getting into and out of shooting positions.

Those physical skills can only be learned by actually doing them, or by engaging in other physical activities like sports or crossfit, and then adapting those learned physical skills to shooting.

If there's one tangible benefit to video games, it's that FPS games, especially the modern military ones, have helped to generate interest in shooting and guns for a lot of Gen X and Gen Y people who otherwise never would have been prompted to learn about them. In that regard, it's been a boon for the 2nd Amendment in general, and military-style guns in particular.

rugerdude
March 3, 2012, 04:00 PM
How about someone learning where a weapon's controls are and how they operate without needing to have the gun in hand?

Not every game shows all of the operating controls of every gun, and many do not allow you to operate the fire selection switch or safety but they are normally still present on the gun in the game.

This could add an element of familiarization that might potentially aid first time operators of whatever firearms. They could perhaps learn advanced techniques more quickly if the weapon is already somewhat intuitive for them to operate having seen it be operated virtually over and over again. It won't be muscle memory, but the key concept of operation is there.

GCMkc
March 3, 2012, 04:08 PM
I found that when I was younger I found a lot of interest in learning more about the guns that are used in the games. I think that it got me into shooting the real deal. Things like Boy Scouts, my father, and my uncles are who really got me into shooting and this is where you gain the REAL knowledge. Plus, shooting at the range is a hell of a lot more fun than playing a video game.:D

Double Naught Spy
March 3, 2012, 09:00 PM
Civilian entertainment first person shooter gun games will teach you about firearms, strategies, tactics recoil, terminal ballistics, and environmental factors like Monopoly will teach you about business.

Just about any game can be analyzed and benefits found that are applicable to real life, but I have my doubts that any video game is going to impart enough real world information that should you just happen to pick up a heat seeking shoulder launched missile one day that you will automatically know how to use it like the kid did who was able to tell Michael Douglas' character what to do with it in Falling Down.

Being a Barrett owner, I am pretty certain that firing a Barrett 82A1 or M107 in a video game isn't even going to remotely prepare you for what it is like to heft one around and fire one in real life or to be near one when it fires in real life without hearing protection and what not. The Barrett isn't the worst of the various firearms out there, but there is a huge world of difference between seeing it on video and then actually firing one.

hso
March 3, 2012, 09:26 PM
I was wondering if any of the fine people that also frequent this site thought there may be any real life benefits from playing different shooting based games.

Not much.

B!ngo
March 3, 2012, 09:34 PM
The great relevant and transferrable value of video games (flight sims, FPS's and the like) are their positive impact on hand/eye coordination and associated reaction speed. If you'll check the ranks of military flight school grads, they are all (well most) video game jocks who likely had excellent hand/eye to start with, but further honed them on these 'games'. And for the less gifted, these games significantly improve their skills.
Separately, and harder to quantify, the widespread use of military/urban simulators bring more brains to analyze and understand strategy and techniques in these situations that likely will bring to breakthroughs in these disciplines. Just as open source has spurred innovation by bringing more brains to computer innovation, and social networking has improved communication and invention with people of like interests, it's sure to do the same in these disciplines as well.
Not going to help with manual of arms or physically handling a weapon other than freeing up brain cycles via other improvements (cited above) to focus on new skills.

exavid
March 3, 2012, 11:38 PM
Sure they do, the make money for the producers and sellers.

raz-0
March 4, 2012, 12:17 AM
vs. 60.00 buck off the shelve technology?

You do realize that $60 video game likely had a budget between $10 and $100 million, right?

Practically speaking, video games can be wickedly efficient learning tools. I don't find them to be much use for improving at shooting because they don't simulate most of the relevant skills. I'm an a class uspsa shooter and a gamer. The one place I have found games to help is with visual processing. There have been points working in improving where I've started overrunning my ability to keep vision one step ahead of everything else. Video games are like a dry fire equivalent for working on that.

leadcounsel
March 4, 2012, 01:38 AM
Absolutely:

Reaction, strategy, timing, tactical reloads, keeping mental track of "shots fired," etc.

Not as good as real life, but when you die you can restart the game/level...

Voltia
March 4, 2012, 02:16 AM
A couple more thoughts.

Most of the people on here are older than the video game generation, and, as such, won't see much use for them. Open-mindedness is not really prevalent here; people are pretty set in their ways, so I'm not surprised.

Secondly, it's interesting that someone pointed out how "running and gunning" "ruined" "serious" games like BF3. I encourage those who only want to play FPS games in a "serious" manner look up an article called "Playing to Win." The upshot of it is that people who play to win play with an adaptive style to best utilize the game. People who don't play to win limit themselves by adding restrictions on how they play, like only in certain groups, with certain tactics. In short "running and gunning" is successful because it works. If something is stupid, and it works; it's not stupid.

cheesebigot
March 4, 2012, 02:36 AM
I bought my very first rifle (Russian capture K98) because I loved the way a video game simulated its workings. I'll admit I was shocked when I picked up the real thing for the first time and nearly dropped it (the weight surprised me), but when I held it up to my cheek, the sights were all too familiar and comforting. After that, my collection sprouted into a full-blown hobby shared by the rest of the enthusiasts in the same boat.

I tend to think that video games are for mindless, easy pleasure while marksmanship and safe firearm handling are mentally challenging in a way I enjoy just as much, if not more.

TurtlePhish
March 4, 2012, 02:09 PM
One of my friends is REALLY into Call of Duty (he has a couple weeks total in-game time).

I took him out shooting for the first time a few weeks ago and from playing the game, he was able to more easily understand:

-What the proper sight picture for iron sights looked like
-Operation of some guns
-Loading of some guns
-A VERY basic idea of noise and recoil

However, he did need some help with the more realistic aspects of guns, such as safety mechanisms, the Four Rules, learning that the charging handle actually did something on a semi-auto, etc.
Video games are what got him interested in guns, though I will admit that Call of Duty made him LOVE tacticool.

Autolycus
March 4, 2012, 05:17 PM
I would argue teamwork and tactics. But teamwork can be learned from a team sport. As far as tactics that can be learned from playing the game in my opinion.

AK_Maine_iac
March 4, 2012, 05:35 PM
Even at 60 years old i have fun with my PS3. Being up here in Alaska, so far from the real world. One night a week i go on line and play Call of duty, or game of choice. It is a great way to have fun with friend and family. My kids are spread all over the U.S.A. and even around the globe. A family reunion once a week.
Also i do believe it has helped in my eye hand coordination. If the lack of sleep does not kill me. Damn time difference. :evil:

happygeek
March 4, 2012, 05:35 PM
I'll admit it, the first gun I ever bought was a 1911 and I bought it because I played Call of Duty World at War way too much. I later picked up a M1 Garand as well.

My other WWII weapon, a M1895 Nagant, hasn't been in any video game that I've seen. Probably because the reloading procedure is far too slow for games. As I understand it though, the Russians were still using millions of Nagants in WWII. The revolver is surprisingly fun to shoot at the range too, and you can get affordable 32S&W for it.

Video games are for fun, not for training value. Simulators are a different ball game.

Ragnar Danneskjold
March 4, 2012, 07:00 PM
If you take it seriously, it can. If not, not really.

A couple Army buddies and I used to play Rainbow Six: Vegas as a team. We would use our real life training to move and communicate in the game as we would in real life. It made us awesome on multiplayer against normal players, and it actually helped our real training. When we did simulations together for the Army, we were far more consistent with clearing corners, communicating with each other properly, being aware of our weapons and ammo, etc. Calling out that you're reloading over an X-Box microphone is no different than letting your battle buddies know you're reloading in real life. And telling your team mate to watch a corner in a game is just the same as pulling security in a real building. Doing it over an over in the game makes you remember to do it in real life.

If we were just running around shooting, than it wouldn't have helped. But playing a game like Rainbow Six that was designed to be used in a truly tactical manner, and taking advantage of that, really did help.

allaroundhunter
March 4, 2012, 08:00 PM
Video games are repetitive in nature

As is my training, does that mean it isn't effective? I always thought that practice makes perfect?

DannySeesUSMC
March 4, 2012, 08:30 PM
They definitely do have some benefit - depends on game, person, how they treat it, etc.

Zoogster
March 4, 2012, 08:44 PM
If you want a good game for strategy in a fun first person shooter try Arma 2 Combined Operations. If you buy it get the Arma 2 Combined Operations of the original and expansion bundled, under $30 for the game and expansion.

Here is a tutorial for taking a long range shot on the game:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u2hI9Dvorz8

It has a decent learning curve but is far better than the more popular well known games.
It is a sandbox style game there is no stages or loading between areas, the entire world is open at a time. For example one area is 225km squared in size, all in use at the same time. It has various vehicles that add to the strategy from aircraft to armor and light vehicles. Vehicles are not done as simulators, but that also means your average gamer can transport a team in a chopper, not just someone that plays flight simulators.
There is a built in editor and it is highly customizable, and various mods that adjust the game can add to realism, as can some settings.
Servers or groups that play together can dumb it down or make it more realistic.

It is really well done, and includes elements most won't even notice like vehicles with the engine off cooling down and becoming less visible through thermal optics.
Some servers turn off crosshairs, third person, and hud.
Variables can be adjusted making death everything from permanent, to even a wound disabling and disorienting someone and requiring treatment, to more common and popular but unrealistic medics able to revive. One mod requires medivac and treatment back at base to ever 'respawn', though such things are less likely to be popular because players won't wait that long to start playing again.
There is many mods to adjust the realism in different areas.
Here is an example of some manual use of mortars, from a mod that adds that feature:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uJCD8kOK3WM

Many similar things are created by community made mods, which the game is designed to readily incorporate. This allows people to make it as realistic as they wish, and some servers and groups require certain mods. http://wiki.ace-mod.net/ is pretty standard as one of the mods everyone uses as a start.
In addition to many other things this mod adds wind, better elevation, and adjustments for windage.
Certain groups of people play together or belong to clans or 'squads' that they mostly play with, allowing them to control the maturity level and limit who they play with.



Pace can be slow but some people play it well as a team, this server has third person and hud etc enabled:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=krLtYiChXS8

Every element of the basic game can be modified and adjusted with various mods. If someone has a problem with something, a mod exists or can be made to address the problem.
Missions can also be designed from the ground up in the editor.


The only complaint is that the AI can be bad sometimes.

Arma 3 coming out towards the end of the year looks like it will be even better.





As for the OP, games are entertainment. There is no muzzle blast that really hits you, recoil, required full body coordination, developed muscle memory, or varied equipment malfunctions and similar things one must attempt to resolve.
In a game you can talk during and after firing a .50 caliber machinegun in a normal voice and understand what is being said.
Aiming with a mouse or controller has little in common with aiming and operating a firearm. The steadiness of your hand, breathing, etc are very different. You don't actually support a firearm, or have tons of gear on.
Shooting in games as a result is either too easy, or build in some element to make them harder to compensate that is generally unrealistic and you may actually shoot better in real life most of the time.
Most games don't even aim for even a percentage of realism, and instead adjust firearm mechanics for arcade balance.
For example an m249 may lay down a lot of fire, but do less 'damage' than an M4 which takes more aiming to score hits with. All to add balance, when in reality they are both using the same round and the m249 has a longer barrel giving higher velocity and so is actually more lethal per round.
There is also no fear or lasting consequences. People don't die, get maimed for life, and most games don't even punish people with a respawn more than a few seconds long because the average player won't approve.
This creates very unrealistic willingness of everyone to jump into harm's way and be less cautious or strategic.
All elements are know and expected confined to only the limits of the game mechanics, real life is full of the unexpected and those who adapt to it better can succeed even when those better at doing the expected do not.

Games also don't teach proper firearm discipline. Your typical FPS for example has your view locked to your weapon. Muzzling sweeping and even aiming at everyone is normal. The opposite of what you teach someone to do.
Most games also require no target identification, the enemy is easily identified, and one can engage as quickly as physically possible. Most also lack downtime so someone can stay in high alert for the next engagement a few seconds away. The individual is not thinking and working on something else before the unexpected happens after hours or days without a problem.
This creates a situation where the person that thinks less and reacts fast prevails in a game.
In real life that is often not the case, most time even in a war zone is spent doing something mundane and the high intense moments are far apart and often unanticipated, but brief and deadly.

Games also place you on an equal footing or an at advantage. They are designed so a regular consumer can clear out a level or area with dozens or hundreds of enemies directly engaging them in close quarters, and survive if they play right. Then repeat it again. Nobody is actually that good or lucky. In real life some of the best, the most skilled, or the bravest, die. While some with half the skill survive. There is a lot of randomness.



Finally acting like games equate to the real thing belittles those who actually are risking and sacrificing. Even an interactive simulator as realistic as possible for say a military based experience does not require sacrifice.
They don't require one to really put themselves in a situation where even if they do everything right they and others they are with may die, suffer lifelong injuries, or have their actions second guessed by people safe and comfortably sitting down thousands of miles away.
You don't die or suffer injuries due to following certain rules of engagement, or get court-martialed for disobeying them. You don't have to make decisions and act after days of limited rest, long periods of extreme stress from risk of death if you miss a sign of an IED, ambush, or other risk while performing what is normally dull boring menial tasks.
They are also cleaned up, and real horrors and morality questions common in war for example are not raised.

Games remove huge numbers of elements that add to the mindset of people in situations, and make it a fun experience of constant action and skill. Rather than what it really is.
When a child plays a game based on a historic event and thinks they know what it was like, a brief action paced game of skill, it does a disservice to the experience, while at the same time highlighting just some of the innocence that child has not lost through what the actual experience would have involved.


While in civilian firearm use there is also moral and legal issues, and use of a gun is not detached from these things like a game allows one to become used to it being.
Life is not a game, you get one try.

Il Duca
March 4, 2012, 10:12 PM
I have played most of the COD games and a few others but my main game is Gears of War. Not a realistic game per se but it does teach good behaviors/habits. The importance of using cover for example. Teamwork, communication. I find myself constantly thinking how I would play a particular area. Where is the cover, where would I retreat to, etc.

Double Naught Spy
March 4, 2012, 10:23 PM
Absolutely:

Reaction, strategy, timing, tactical reloads, keeping mental track of "shots fired," etc.

Not as good as real life, but when you die you can restart the game/level...

So gamers are learning that if they get killed in a real battle, they can restart the game/level? I wonder how well that is working for them.

Ragnar Danneskjold
March 4, 2012, 10:29 PM
So gamers are learning that if they get killed in a real battle, they can restart the game/level? I wonder how well that is working for them.
__________________

As a recent combat vet and a gamer. it sounds to me like you're focusing on the few things that are unrealistic and completely ignoring that which can be used for training value.

pockets
March 5, 2012, 07:54 AM
do video games have any real life benefit
Of course they do. They generate a lot of revenue for game and gaming system companies.

.

qwert65
March 5, 2012, 09:19 AM
When I was little I played a world war 2 submarine game on my pc that if on 100% realism would take hours to maneuver(you could compress time if you wanted), had realistic reload times and you actually had to do the trigonometry for firing a torpedo.
I remember as a kid I gained a huge respect after being depth charged and trying to do math without a calculator. While I usually toned down the realism for fun's sake. It did help me learn to do multiple somewhat complex tasks in a hurry at the same time.

It did not turn me into a naval officer

qwert65
March 5, 2012, 09:25 AM
Double post

Fiv3r
March 5, 2012, 09:52 AM
I think they do bring a lot of people into the gun fold. Now, I'm sure there is a decent turnover rate. Some of these people who fire a gun for the first time after years of online play may get discouraged that their bullet does not strike the target like a laser beam, the recoil may be very jarring to their shoulder, and the noise produced is incredible.

However, modern shooters have never been more immerse and "accurate" as they are today...if you know what games to play. I'm 31, and my friends and I have been playing online shooters since we were teenagers. It's actually the one hobby I have kept over the years simply because as my friends and I carved out our own lives, online shooters have offered us a "boy's night out" to get together and catch up over a couple drinks.

We generally play Battlefield of Call of Duty due to the fact that it is a little more realistic (i.e. no one is running around flipping two 1887 lever action shotguns on Battlefield:rolleyes:), and the developer, Dice, did an incredible job rendering accurate gun noises, recoil, bullet drop, ambient sound (you can actually hear the bullet whiz past your head on a near miss), and destructible environments (buildings can be brought down on your head at times). It offers the average person a safe way to get some real excitement. There are plenty of times I have been pinned down lying prone behind a piece of concrete, watching as it chips away with enemy bullets rattling into it. It's a very "real" feeling if you let yourself get caught up in the game.

However, beyond sharpening hand/eye and exposing people to basic mechanics of firearms, I don't see them offering much in the way of training.

Lee D
March 5, 2012, 10:07 AM
the only "benefit" ive noticed is every kid wants "tacticool" guns.:rolleyes:

my nephew tried to convince me that my Socom would be a much better gun if it was an EBR. he "blah blah blahed" for probably 10 minutes, so i loaded a 20 rd mag and took him out in the yard....he shot it twice, couldnt hit a pumpkin at 60 yds and then handed it back to me. i must have a faulty gun LOL

mgmorden
March 5, 2012, 10:41 AM
Video games in my mind don't directly translate into any firearms knowledge or experience.

That said, its been shown several times that playing video games does tend to develop both general hand-eye coordination and problem solving skills.

There can be other things learned too (for example, some flight simulators will help in some aspects of flying a plane - though being a licensed private pilot myself I can say that its pretty far from the real thing).

So its not a useless exercise at all, but I wouldn't hold up any video game as really training of any sort. Still, its fun, and can contribute to an overall sharper mind.

JRH6856
March 5, 2012, 10:53 AM
So its not a useless exercise at all, but I wouldn't hold up any video game as really training of any sort. Still, its fun, and can contribute to an overall sharper mind.

Good summation

Lee D
March 5, 2012, 10:54 AM
reading a book can keep the mind sharp as well, but with many folks that seems to be a lost cause

Nushif
March 5, 2012, 11:03 AM
I tend to agree with the notion that a good videogame can keep the mind sharp just as a good book can.

The key point here is quality.

Reading a romance novel of the two dollar variety does not keep your mind sharp anymore than watching Jersey Shore.

Reading a well written narrative that captures the imagination of the reader can. Much like playing through a well written narrative that captures the imagination of the player.

The notion that videogames can do no possible good to shooting is a bit silly, since they are actually classified as literature. My wife just recently got accepted to her graduate degree based on this very notion and "media literacy" as well as videogame litacy is a hugely growing field in academia right now.
I'm not going to say books have gone the way of the Dodo, being an avid reader myself, but limiting "personal betterment" to only books is mildly ignorant.
And if we can't trust literature to keep a mind sharp, well, we'd better stop reading Mr Cooper's books, because since it's not actually doing it, they can produce no good.

Lee D
March 5, 2012, 11:27 AM
im not saying books are the only way, but its definitely exercise for the ol brain. anyone play chess? im an avid player and that is truly a thinking mans game...strategy is the key. im not anti-gaming, but imo to say it is gonna give you real life benefit is like saying playing with little green army men will as well.

Nushif
March 5, 2012, 12:49 PM
Like I said before. It's all about quality.

Fallout: New Vegas has some very interesting mechanics that are more or less accurate ranging from reloading (not a gun, making bullets) to iron sights. It's not realistic by any means, but the iron sights are great.

[edit]

Some of the best training I've ever received was actually done with little green army men. Our PMS (Primary Military Instructor) had us rehearse formations, and tactical movement with those for hours on end.

Cosmoline
March 5, 2012, 02:26 PM
They could, but they generally don't. There are a few that are realistic enough to be made into an actual educational tool. For example, a game engine where iron sight aiming is used instead of an aimpoint, where the weapon moves with breathing and so on, could form the basis for a tool to show people the basic problems with clearing rooms, slicing corners and such.

Otherwise, though, what you're really doing in FPS games is learning how to exploit the programing to your advantage. Whether it's against the AI or other players. An experienced gamer will, without even thinking about it, quickly determine which weapons and tactics work best for a particular game. In some the fast charge with a shotgun is best. In others that will get you killed and you have to stalk and shoot. If someone modded a good platform to be as realistic as possible, and set up a house to clear for example, the lessons you learn could be applicable to real life. The main lesson in that case being--don't try to clear a house!

Thinking of a few games with good points--

STALKER has some semi-realistic damage at least until you get armor. And the NPC's scold you in Russian if you sweep them while trying to talk to them.

Red Orchestra has about the most realistic WWII arms simulation around. You have to work the bolt, aim with wobbly iron sights, assume stances, and so on. And your lifespan is about 1-4 minutes.

Skyrim has no firearms and highly exaggerated arrow damage, but if you remove all the high fantasy stuff and just use the graphics you have an incredibly detailed backdrop with tons of concealment and cover.

And it's easy to adjust any game's difficult with mods so that any one hit will kill or drop you. That would have a major effect on intensifying the experience and making players more cautious.

If you could create a simulation with the environmental detail of Skyrim and the gameplay mechanics of Red Orchestra, plus realistic muzzle rise and bullet drop, you could really have something useful as a training tool at least to get the general concepts down before you do go to the range. In fact you could have a range in the game. Many already do as a training ground.

Here's RO, for example, giving you a few very helpful tips on Mosin-Nagant shooting and on the real world lifespan on an ostrfront battlefield:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sk6URooj9W0

You can see how to ram home the stripper, how to work the bolt properly, and the very basics of how to use iron sights. All with an engine that's about a decade old and way out of date now. I see no reason similar skills for more modern weapons couldn't be incorporated, such as clearing jams on an AR or doing executive reloads.

wannabeagunsmith
March 5, 2012, 02:46 PM
I play "Urban Terror", a free FPS, which is anything but realistic. It is based on various hollywood movies, has real guns, but the guns have the ejection ports on the wrong side lol....it is just for fun, not for any sort of 'training' and there are lots of UK players who likely have never seen a real gun before.

Zoogster
March 5, 2012, 03:45 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u2hI9Dvorz8


Ear plugs, range finder, spotting scope, kestrel meter for determining wind strength, bi-pod adding stability, elevation and windage adjustments.

With decent bullet trajectories and wind, along with the ability to hold breath briefly.

I don't know of another game with that level of detail.


A person may learn a basic understanding of some of what is involved in actually taking long range shots in real life. As opposed to just putting something in cross hairs and firing as in most games.

Many groups also have at least someone playing a spotter to assist a sniper too, not the lone hero affair of most games.
Or their job may involve primarily recon for others on the team and little shooting.

Sam Cade
March 5, 2012, 03:50 PM
If you could create a simulation with the environmental detail of Skyrim and the gameplay mechanics of Red Orchestra, plus realistic muzzle rise and bullet drop, you could really have something useful as a training tool at least to get the general concepts down before you do go to the range. In fact you could have a range in the game. Many already do as a training ground.


ARMA2/VBS2 does all this and more. It even has realistic sound propagation. See posts #37 and #58.

I see no reason similar skills for more modern weapons couldn't be incorporated, such as clearing jams on an AR or doing executive reloads.
ARMA2 does this too.

Dnaltrop
March 5, 2012, 04:10 PM
I'll just put it out there since most folks are talking more Modern games. I really can't get into any modern shooter.

Red Dead Redemption had a great world, and good coverage of guns from the Volcanic, Schofield, and Broomhandle to the Carcano rifle. No Spray and Pray. Cover AND inconvenient reloading make it enjoyable for me. Can just walk through the mountains hunting bears and elk with no goal in mind.

The only other games in that vein are the Metal Gear Solid games, and unlike other shooters, the Ultimate goal is to pass through levels with Stealth, without firing a shot (beyond a tranquilizer dart)

The game actually has punishments in places for killing too many people. One in particular (MGS3-Snake Eater) makes you wade upstream in a nightmare sequence, with the ghosts of every slain enemy, and every animal you've killed for food attacking you.

The next one (MGS4) makes you violently Ill, and you throw-up your health if you become bloodthirsty.

It's good to get more folks shooting, even if it's because of a video game, but there's still nothing like live-fire.

wannabeagunsmith
March 5, 2012, 08:48 PM
Firearms: Source seems like a neat game, cant figure out if it will run on macs though. Has LOTS of guns though.

WargameHub
March 5, 2012, 08:52 PM
Studies have shown video games can benefit fast decision making and puzzle solving. Still need to train the body to react at the speed the mind does.

Sent from my SPH-P100 using Tapatalk

tomrkba
March 5, 2012, 08:59 PM
They allow me to veg out without watching stupid TV shows.

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