Gamers rise up, The Army wants you
War Games, Last Starfighter, Ender’s Game; the fictional history of gaming ability being successfully utilised in combat is extensive. It seems natural enough, people who play computer games have been shown to have fast reflexes, low response times, are able to make decisions under pressure and can adapt to complex situations. Traits that are an obvious fit for fighting. At least this is how the Danish military feels.
Denmark’s military - Danish Defence (aka Forsvaret) expressed their interest in recruiting from the gaming community after running initial trials with Danish esports giant Astralis in 2017. Their findings were positive, according to Major Anders Bech, head of section with the Danish Ministry of Defence’s Personnel Agency:
“Gamers have certain skills in being and remaining calm under pressure, faster reactions than other young people, quick decision making, good teamwork skills, orientation and strong ability to visualise…these are all abilities which we could use”.
As a bonus, they found that using gaming platforms to advertise was wildly successful, with far higher numbers of applicants as well as an increase in the suitability of the candidates they received. Whether gaming applicants will emerge from the training as perfect soldiers remains to be seen: “They have some core skills which we are interested in, but there are also other requirements in regard to being able to function as a soldier” Bech added.
It’s a dream of underappreciated gaming introverts everywhere - putting skills honed during thousands of hours of play into a sexy, dangerous career and proving all their doubters wrong. It’s unfortunately a possible justification to the endless catalogue of cringe memes about the hidden abilities of “hardcore gamers”.
As regrettable as it may turn out to be giving neckbeards an opportunity to laud their skills over everyone, it’s always exciting when 80’s science fiction spills into real life (Weird Science next please). Additionally, there’s solace in knowing that gaming is beginning to open up careers besides.. well... pro gaming. This could even be a step towards all war becoming virtual, with all conflict occurring digitally between chosen national players, and all violence being eradicated. Oh well, baby steps.
Images: KnowYourMeme, Sputnik International & Scott Schober