Video games and the future of war

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Last month, Amir Mizroch profiled Idan Yahya, an Israeli soldier who honed his skills of shooting down missiles by playing the computer game Warcraft III. Kelsey D. Atherton sees the future of war:

In Warcraft III, the player commands an army of AIs, mostly designed for combat, and maneuvers them while protecting his base and attempting to destroy his opponents base.  Games can involve upwards of 90 combatants per player, span large battlefields, feature fog of war, and frequently contain hostile, unaffiliated fighters that provide an additional difficulty.  It’s a radically different thought process than most games, with their focus on guiding a single character, allow.  The intensity of playing [real-time strategy games like Warcraft] can be likened to operating at the speed of the pilots fighting Midway while making the decisions of the Admirals directing it.  Except, of course, that in a game there are no lives on the line. Or at least, that was the case.  What the profile of Idan Yahya demonstrates, and what other writing about UAV pilots hint at, is that we are now approaching an era where that kind of fast-paced thinking directing multiple AIs is part of war.

Via Andrew Sullivan.

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