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America's Army As a High School Education Platform?

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the wait-what? dept.

The Military 133

GamePolitics reports on a recent press release from the US Army which says they will be partnering with various military, education, and non-profit organizations to bring an education curriculum to high school students via America's Army. Quoting the press release: "The partnership ... will incorporate Army technology, gaming and simulation resources to enhance student achievement in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The platform for the new curriculum is the America's Army PC game, a free online game that provides civilians with a virtual role in the US Army by introducing them to Army technologies, Rules of Engagement, training and missions. Used as a communications tool, the game has also been adapted for use within the military to produce effective and engaging virtual environments that enhance Soldier training in a number of areas including force protection, convoy survivability and nuclear, chemical and biological detection."

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133 comments

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Joke? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25094429)

Is this a joke?

Re:Joke? (1)

oblivionboy (181090) | more than 4 years ago | (#25099269)

And my mod points just expired yesterday.... .o.

Just what every American high-school student needs (2, Insightful)

subl33t (739983) | more than 5 years ago | (#25094453)

Lessons on how to obey without question.

What could possibly go wrong?

Re:Just what every American high-school student ne (4, Informative)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 5 years ago | (#25094833)

Actually I took ROTC in high school. They covered illegal orders and UCMJ. They would go as far as to give you simple "illegal" order like calling at ease from a parade rest. The correct response was not to do it without question but to respond with "As you where sir!"
This was just High School ROTC and we covered things like war crimes and how saying "I was just following orders" is not an excuse.

Re:Just what every American high-school student ne (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25094977)

This was just High School ROTC and we covered things like war crimes and how saying "I was just following orders" is not an excuse.

My how times have changed...

Re:Just what every American high-school student ne (2, Insightful)

Aurisor (932566) | more than 5 years ago | (#25095329)

He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my
contempt.

Re:Just what every American high-school student ne (3, Informative)

BPPG (1181851) | more than 5 years ago | (#25098789)

If parent is marked flamebait, then I guess Albert Einstein [quoteworld.org] is my favourite troll ever.

Re:Just what every American high-school student ne (1, Offtopic)

PhearoX (1187921) | more than 4 years ago | (#25099373)

Isn't it ironic?

I had no idea Einstein was so ignorant... He cursed the very thing that afforded him the opportunity to speak freely and share the benefit of his advances.

Thanks for this... What a fascinating dichotomy of perceptions...

Re:Just what every American high-school student ne (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#25099719)

Isn't it ironic?

I had no idea Einstein was so ignorant... He cursed the very thing that afforded him the opportunity to speak freely and share the benefit of his advances.

Thanks for this... What a fascinating dichotomy of perceptions...

Actually he fled from this in Nazi Germany. The thing that prevented him from speaking freely and sharing his ideas.

Who shares the benefit of nuclear war anyway?

Re:Just what every American high-school student ne (1)

Nazlfrag (1035012) | more than 4 years ago | (#25100725)

He's only cursing those who march joyfully, as well he should.

Re:Just what every American high-school student ne (1)

PhearoX (1187921) | more than 4 years ago | (#25104491)

He's only cursing those who march joyfully, as well he should.

Is it really that bad to love your country and enjoy the privilege of defending it?

If you're referring to the act of 'marching joyfully' by itself, I did rather enjoy marching in rank and file to music in my high school's marching band... I also spent 4 years in the U.S. Marine Corps, and rather enjoyed that as well.

I think Einstein was speaking with the perspective he was given by life in Germany. This is the perspective I did not take into consideration when originally interpreting his quote. If I had been in his shoes, had I been subjected to the same experiences, and had I been shown the same 'evil' side of 'patriotism', I may have formed the same opinion.

Growing up in America and spending 4 years in the American armed forces, I simply have no basis for comparison.

Re:Just what every American high-school student ne (3, Insightful)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 4 years ago | (#25103237)

Actually that is fair statment. Soldiers of free country march not out of joy but out of duty. They understand that they are sacrificing so others can be protected. They take pride is service and not out of the shear glory of military service.

Re:Just what every American high-school student ne (5, Informative)

wasmoke (1055116) | more than 5 years ago | (#25096009)

I'm currently doing ROTC in college, and it really sickens me when people give the old argument that military personnel are trained to obey orders without question.
My experience is much the same as yours in JROTC; that is, we are being taught as future officers to question those orders which seem unreasonable or dangerous.
The main problem is that most people who have not had any exposure to the military do not know anything except what the media says. Nobody bothers to actually speak to a Marine, for example, because it's so much easier to just watch CNN for the REAL news. Ah well, I'm involved in what I am to protect the public's right to protest what I'm involved in, so I guess I shouldn't complain.

Re:Just what every American high-school student ne (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25096647)

Unfortunately for you and parent there, J/ROTC are nothing like the proper military :) *shrug* If you do join the actual military, you'll see it's much more of a clusterfuck, and yes, you're taught "disobey illegal orders" or what have you, but in actuality it's "keep your mouth shut and do it, or get demoted" because there are a lot of arseholes.

Re:Just what every American high-school student ne (1)

wasmoke (1055116) | more than 5 years ago | (#25096869)

So being locked into an eight year commitment to the United States Navy is not the "actual" military, according to you?

Re:Just what every American high-school student ne (3, Insightful)

Kagura (843695) | more than 5 years ago | (#25097107)

An illegal order is something like "Shoot this prisoner we just captured. I don't want to fucking bring along extra baggage for 24 hours until we can get him to the rear." These kinds of orders are rare enough that most people go their entire enlistment without coming upon an illegal order.

Most people in the Army are not crazy and are reasonably well-natured enough that stuff that falls into the category of "illegal orders" are very uncommon.

Re:Just what every American high-school student ne (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 4 years ago | (#25100639)

An illegal order is something like "Shoot this prisoner we just captured. I don't want to fucking bring along extra baggage for 24 hours until we can get him to the rear." These kinds of orders are rare enough that most people go their entire enlistment without coming upon an illegal order.

That's pretty blatant - killing somebody ought to give any normal person pause.

But there are much more subtle opportunities as well. See the case of Captain Lawrence Rockwood [google.com] - who, in Haiti, believed "that American inaction in the face of human rights abuses was contrary to international law" and that he was "personally responsible for carrying out international law... That is the Nuremberg principle." Yet, during a military trial, he was convicted of multiple offenses, dismissed from the army and forfeited all pay.

Re:Just what every American high-school student ne (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#25101311)

Most people in the Army are not crazy and are reasonably well-natured enough that stuff that falls into the category of "illegal orders" are very uncommon.

Yes, but then there are soldiers that rape 14-year old girls and kill their family to cover up the traces [cnn.com] , that torture and sexually abuse naked prisoners, [wikipedia.org] shoot pregnant women [breitbart.com] , or bomb wedding parties [cnn.com] , all of which somehow spoils the beautiful picture. What a PR desaster!

Re:Just what every American high-school student ne (1)

gadget junkie (618542) | more than 4 years ago | (#25103833)

An illegal order is something like "Shoot this prisoner we just captured. I don't want to fucking bring along extra baggage for 24 hours until we can get him to the rear." These kinds of orders are rare enough that most people go their entire enlistment without coming upon an illegal order. Most people in the Army are not crazy and are reasonably well-natured enough that stuff that falls into the category of "illegal orders" are very uncommon.

I am a regular America's Army player, and the article basically states that they'll be using the game's physics engine to provide interactive simulations, which is nothing to write home about.

Having said that, and as a father of a teen kid, I prefer him to play America's army in a clan that the PS3. For one thing, the game is overwhelmingly played only between humans (no AI), and there's no respawning in any scenario. so it's easy to learn simple basics like "cohoperation wins", "do not make mistakes" etc...
then again, the game itself attracts a certain kind of people, traditionalist who think "duty, honour, country"... if that kind of thing is not your bag, you can always move on. I do not think that will harm anyone.

Re:Just what every American high-school student ne (1)

Kral_Blbec (1201285) | more than 5 years ago | (#25098421)

"Ah well, I'm involved in what I am to protect the public's right to protest what I'm involved in, so I guess I shouldn't complain."

Several years ago back in high-school I participated in a sort of summer seminar for youth in DC oriented about national security issues. We had these debates that we were supposed to participate in about various topics, one of which was the media at a time of war. During that time I had been planning on going into the service through one of the service acadamies and was gung-ho about serving (I've since then been rendered ineligible, but I wish I still could). In the debate I made a comment much like what you just said. Shut up every one of the hippy/liberal fools who were complaining about how many casualties there are in combat, including all the government officials there moderating.

It's pitiful that the whole "peace protester" mindset doesnt realize that they have the right to "protest" simply because someone was willing to fight and die to give it to them. In return, they give them scorn, spittle, and rejection. Why do people think that by disarming themselves they will be protected like ostriches sticking their head in the sand? Think about it next time you complain about the "injustice" of war.

PS i know ostriches dont really do that, but you know what i mean.

Re:Just what every American high-school student ne (1)

Half-pint HAL (718102) | more than 4 years ago | (#25103727)

Ah, the old "you have no right to protest because we fought for your right to protest".

Gotta love the childlike logic.

HAL.

Re:Just what every American high-school student ne (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25098615)

being nannied in a para-military fun camp is different to being on the battlefield.

I have a long history of military personnel in my family, they remind me constantly that while there are "bad" orders that you aren't supposed to follow, insubordination and it's unfriendly family of charges aren't something to be fucked with.

Re:Just what every American high-school student ne (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 5 years ago | (#25098633)

I learned a lot from my time in the AFJROTC. It has served me well all these years. Yea it is a real shame that so many people are so sure and secure in their ignorance.

Re:Just what every American high-school student ne (4, Insightful)

hey! (33014) | more than 4 years ago | (#25102199)

Well, let's get out of the realm of the abstract for a moment. Anybody who is reasonably educated knows that an order to do something illegal, say to murder a prisoner, is not valid. So you don't have to feel so injured by misunderstanding. There's always going to be a few or course.

On the other hand, the principle that soldiers should not obey an illegal order is really only good as the ability of a soldier to distinguish between legal and illegal. There isn't always a clear line, say between legal, aggressive interrogation techniques and illegal torture. One of the benefits of ROTC is, hopefully, and officer corps with greater critical thinking skills. Still, by in large troops and the officers who lead them are not lawyers, they have to use their ethical common sense to get them through dilemmas.

The real danger when you give a man a lethal weapon and put him under orders is not particular to the military. It is group think. And don't say that isn't a problem. Every military person I have talked to has plenty of stories of bureaucratic pigheadedness on a massive scale.

I have known many military people over the years, and one thing that I think is fair to say is that good soldiers, marines, airmen and sailors have a can do attitude. That contributes to the both the dynamism and dysfunction of the military. Survival may trump that, but the first response to an order to take a fortified position is to view it as a solvable problem. This takes an implicit trust in the competence and judgment of your superiors, and that habit means going along with things you know are damnably stupid -- so long as they aren't illegal or immediately fatal.

Trust and a willingness to go along with anything short of illegality are good things in a soldier, but bad things in a citizen and especially a civilian leader. A good citizen has to question the competence and judgment of the leadership. When political mistakes reach the military, it's too late to question. One military saying I've heard is that shit rolls downhill, and it's the military's job to deal with the politicians' shit. A politician's ought to avoid handing the shit down to the military by being skeptical.

Skepticism is not a military virtue, which is not to say anything negative about military service. No profession is the beginning and end of all virtues. One of the problems I see of certain political viewpoints is that they like to promote the military as the entire repository of American virtue because obedience or rather willingness to get behind the mission, is so useful to them.

Look at Colin Powell, a great soldier, a top notch military leader, and a bad Secretary of State. He brought his military values of duty and loyalty into the job, and ended up being a catspaw. It wasn't that he accepted an order to lie; he accepted the mission he was given and took ownership of it, the way good soldiers do. It made him both useful and an object of scorn within the administration. By giving his superiors more than they deserved, he gave his true masters less.

Re:Just what every American high-school student ne (1)

n3tcat (664243) | more than 5 years ago | (#25096263)

I would love to see one of the 2LT's in my directorate tell a LTC that. Ah the laughs that would be had at their expense...

Re:Just what every American high-school student ne (1)

Kagura (843695) | more than 5 years ago | (#25097125)

The laughs would belong to the 2LTs if the colonel ordered them to kill an entire family who lived outside the city, but too close to the base and refused to move. That is an illegal order, and I doubt many LTCs issue such commands.

Re:Just what every American high-school student ne (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25096463)

And what about all those soldiers who don't ask the fundamental questions, like "why are we involved in an illegal war?" Had there been enough training to deal with such questions, most (if not all) soldiers would not have allowed themselves to follow the illegal order to deploy to Iraq.

Re:Just what every American high-school student ne (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25096551)

And what about all those soldiers who don't ask the fundamental questions, like "why are we involved in an illegal war?" Had there been enough training to deal with such questions, most (if not all) soldiers would not have allowed themselves to follow the illegal order to deploy to Iraq.

The KNOW why we're there. Because Saddam attacked us on 9/11, just like they were told by their officers.

Re:Just what every American high-school student ne (2, Insightful)

the linux geek (799780) | more than 5 years ago | (#25097045)

I remain mystefied as to the origin of the "illegal war" argument. Congress authorized the President to invade and occupy Iraq in accordance with the War Powers Act of 1973 - how is that illegal? Not even the UN has challenged the legality of the US presence in Iraq.

Re:Just what every American high-school student ne (1)

Kral_Blbec (1201285) | more than 5 years ago | (#25098331)

Because CNN said so. duh.

Re:Just what every American high-school student ne (1)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 4 years ago | (#25099385)

Because the War Powers act is unconstitutional. The standing army is unconstitutional, as well. Congress has the power to declare war, not "authorize the use of force". The Federal Government can raise an army (appropriations for which can not be made for longer than two years; but per the 10th amendment, as well as historical practice, the state militias and the national guard are perfectly fine, as well as a reserve officer corps) and raise and maintain a navy (which includes the usmc, as the marine corps were formed in 1775, a year before the declaration of independence).

Are my arguments terribly practical in the "real world?" No. But impracticality doesn't make something incorrect.

Re:Just what every American high-school student ne (1)

Descalzo (898339) | more than 4 years ago | (#25102857)

The President has the constitutional power to authorize the use of force. This has been shown many times: the Civil War, Korea, Vietnam, Gulf War 1...

Re:Just what every American high-school student ne (2, Informative)

amorsen (7485) | more than 4 years ago | (#25099445)

Not even the UN has challenged the legality of the US presence in Iraq.

The US has veto rights in the security council. What exactly do you expect the UN to do? The UN has the same problem with Russia in Chechnya.

Re:Just what every American high-school student ne (1)

MrZaius (321037) | more than 4 years ago | (#25100237)

I've always assumed the people were mistaking the old religious doctrine defining a "just war" with a question of legality when they say that - It's a great deal simpler to label Iraq an unjust war than an illegal one. Regardless, though, there is a desire among many an internationalist to see the weight of international law increase to the point where we actually are subject to limits on our ability to wage preemptive war.

Re:Just what every American high-school student ne (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#25104191)

The UN never, NEVER, has given permission for this war. Once the war finished, the UN aknowledged that USA was the occupant and granted some official recognition, wich is completely different. So, for the rest of the world (and I know you don't mind) this war is illegal.

Re:Just what every American high-school student ne (1)

PC and Sony Fanboy (1248258) | more than 5 years ago | (#25098001)

This was just High School ROTC and we covered things like war crimes and how saying "I was just following orders" is not an excuse.

America follows laws against war-crimes? You wouldn't know it... Or do they only apply to low-level soldiers?

Re:Just what every American high-school student ne (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#25099153)

I would assume they do... I haven't seen any videos of masked American soldiers holding guns to the head of an innocent Civilian, demanding the Mexicans to cease their invasion of our country, then wrapping up the video by chopping off said civilian's head with a field knife...

The worst I've seen is some chick wiring a naked dude's fingertips to a car battery and making him wear a garbage bag while she zaps him.

Personally, I'd say he got off light.

Re:Just what every American high-school student ne (2, Interesting)

Half-pint HAL (718102) | more than 4 years ago | (#25103089)

Ah, the old "at least our inhuman b@st@rds are less inhuman than their inhuman b@st@ards" argument.

Inhuman b@st@rd.

HAL.

Re:Just what every American high-school student ne (1)

sco08y (615665) | more than 4 years ago | (#25107677)

Actually I took ROTC in high school. They covered illegal orders and UCMJ. They would go as far as to give you simple "illegal" order like calling at ease from a parade rest. The correct response was not to do it without question but to respond with "As you where sir!"

Okay, this is drill and ceremony so it's supposed to be highly formalized, and we don't do this stuff on a day to day basis. You're wrong on several counts. First of all, it's perfectly valid to go from parade rest to at ease. You go from looking straight ahead to following the speaker. Second, when you're at parade rest, you really not supposed to speak. Third, it's were, not where.

To understand "as you were" you have to know that in D&C a command is made up of the preparatory command and command of execution. (It actually has to do with rhythm, believe it or not.) If you issue an incorrect preparatory command, you can "cancel" it with "as you were." If you issue an incorrect command of execution, you have to issue another command entirely.

For example, since the person controlling a formation is facing the formation, it's quite common to get your left and right mixed up. So you'll often hear "Left... as you were... right, face!"

If you ever want to go into the military, I strongly recommend that you do not do JROTC. It's a load of crap. I'd even avoid ROTC... sign up for three years and you can do ROTC if the military is right for you. Officers with no enlisted experience tend to suck a lot.

Yes, you can't get in trouble for refusing to obey an order that is not technically correct. However, at least from a combat arms perspective, what I teach my soldiers is that often the needs of the mission and common sense override technicalities. So long as they communicate with their leadership, they'll be fine.

And if you think about it, the big problem with robots is usually not following orders to the letter, but not doing anything when not told. Not surprisingly, the NCO Creed [army.mil] expressly states: "I will exercise initiative by taking appropriate action in the absence of orders." I think it's rather badly written, but there are many good points in it all the same.

Re:Just what every American high-school student ne (1)

kayditty (641006) | more than 5 years ago | (#25095085)

what they need? isn't that what they already have?

Re:Just what every American high-school student ne (2, Insightful)

morari (1080535) | more than 5 years ago | (#25095837)

Not too different than what is taught in school anyway. This is just more overtly propaganda.

Just what every individual slashdotter needs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25096103)

Quick! Someone post something about Microsoft so we all can act different.

Re:Just what every American high-school student ne (4, Informative)

bravobulldog6 (1365139) | more than 5 years ago | (#25097785)

My name is MAJ Paul Stanton and I am a former infantryman and current computer scientist in the US Army. The views that I present here are entirely my own and do not represent an âoeofficial statementâ for the government or military. In your comment, you insinuate that Army Soldiers obey without question and are members of a non-thinking organization. Please allow me to explain a little about the current operational environment that our Soldiers are fighting in and the educational preparation they receive prior to deploying overseas. We are fighting a complex, asymmetric, thinking enemy who constantly creates ambiguous situations that our Soldiers face daily. Our Soldiers must think and be creative to defeat this enemy â" and they do. You may not hear about it, because our media chooses to tell the isolated story of a mistake instead of the countless examples of Soldiers doing the right thing, but I have much experience in Iraq and Afghanistan that supports our thinking Soldiers. How do Soldiers prepare for the challenges that theyll face? There are many formal educational venues â" ROTC, West Point, and officer schooling for officers and Basic, Advanced Individual Training, and unit training for Soldiers. At each opportunity, Soldiers learn about ethical decision making and have the opportunity to practice via scenario based training (the same time of scenario based training that Americas Army supports). The result is an intelligent and capable Soldier who thinks on the battlefield. Yes, you probably have a mental picture of a negative instance â" one that the media discussed at length. . . .has it happened? Yes. But is it the extreme exception? Yes. Soldiers face âoeshoot / no-shootâ scenarios in real time, with real bullets, on a daily basis. They make the right decisions â" they are not automatons, but rather smart, competent, ethically-minded people who want nothing more than to do the right thing. Please take the time to think about the challenges Soldiers face, and then consider how they can operate without thinking. I believe that you will find that it would be impossible.

Re:Just what every American high-school student ne (1)

schmuck281 (1368989) | more than 4 years ago | (#25100163)

Thanks Major. I'm a retired Army Staff Sergeant (1967-1989) I get so tired of the knee jerk "soldiers are stupid automatons" meme. In my years in the Army I was privileged to live in placed like Germany, Thailand, Korean, The Philippines and Vietnam. I met great people in each of those places. In fact my wife is from Thailand and we have two grown children and two grandchildren. Some of the soldiers I was privileged to work with were not highly educated, but some were, and even the ones that were not were not dummies. I found over the years that in the average platoon there were men (and women, I had those too) that could do almost anything. Whatever the problem we faced, someone, sometimes more than one, had some experience in that area and could help us achieve whatever it was that we needed to do. I have also met highly educated people that needed to be escorted by someone that knew the difference between a door and a wall, else they confuse the two. The American soldier was not dumb during my term of service, which included the draftee Army of the 60's and early 70's. The quality of the troops that I meet now are far and away superior to those days. Those that speak of dumb order following robots are obviously people who can speak with the authority of someone who has no idea what he is talking about.

Re:Just what every American high-school student ne (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25098557)

Yeah, look at this Congress. :)

Re:Just what every American high-school student ne (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25098617)

I don't any experience with ROTC, etc., but I would note that its critical for a democracy for the armed forces to obey legal orders.

Ultimately, to my understanding, the military chain of command goes up to president, whose authority derives from his election by the people.

You don't want folks carrying powerful weapons disregarding the instructions of the civilian leadership about who to attack or who not to attack, I think.

Re:Just what every American high-school student ne (1)

//violentmac (186176) | more than 4 years ago | (#25099429)

I'm in the military and I obey and question.

Re:Just what every American high-school student ne (1)

vrmlguy (120854) | more than 4 years ago | (#25101749)

Lessons on how to obey without question.

What could possibly go wrong?

My first response to this dribble was to Google "You cannot learn to give orders unless you first learn how to take orders", but it didn't show up a definite source for the phrase. It did, however, find this little gem: http://books.google.com/books?id=edpoFMjzD-IC&pg=PA185 [google.com] . Google won't easily let me copy and paste, so read the paragraph that starts with "Of course" and the two that follow for an examination of how American soldiers are trained to think for themselves.

Sorry guys, (2, Funny)

eddy (18759) | more than 5 years ago | (#25094503)

but your society has jumped the shark.

Re: Sorry guys. (1)

nawcom (941663) | more than 5 years ago | (#25094857)

but your society has jumped the shark.

Where do you live? I will be your ex-american monkey boy!! Living underneath your bed will do.

Re:Sorry guys, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25095379)

Sorry guys, but your society has jumped the shark.

If you own a refrigerator I suggest you get into it now.

Re:Sorry guys, (1)

Eli Gottlieb (917758) | more than 5 years ago | (#25097711)

I know. It's time for all of us with the sense and capability to GTFO. The battle was fought and lost.

All you need is a science MMORPG (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25094543)

Kids will learn calculus if that makes their avatar level: "Look at this dude, I'm a level 5 scientist!" And when time comes to put down the game: "OMG I learned all this stuff and now I'm a scientist in real life too!"

Re:All you need is a science MMORPG (3, Interesting)

Bragador (1036480) | more than 5 years ago | (#25094657)

I actually am hoping for such a game to eventually exist. And if nobody makes it I might do it but I don't have the skills...

Look at websites like http://www.hackthissite.org/ [hackthissite.org] where you basically learn many things. When you find the solution to a problem, you are awarded points. This pushes you to learn more and achieve more.

Instead of having HTML, javascript, programming, etc challenges, why not make something like that for general science?

Make learning FUN!

Also, I'd LOVE games to learn languages like http://www.tbns.net/knuckles/ [tbns.net] .

Again: MAKE. LEARNING. FUN!

Re:All you need is a science MMORPG (3, Insightful)

Daimanta (1140543) | more than 5 years ago | (#25095925)

Sounds like a good idea but personally I am against it. It is a disease of the modern society that everything you do has to be fun. If you make everything "fun", people will be more likely to refuse doing something because it lacks fun. People need do things because they need to do things. You need to learn how to calculate if you want to do anything that involves numbers(like filling in your tax papers). Having the knowledge should be its own reward.

Note, I didn't post this because it is fun, I posted it because I felt like I needed to respond to you.

Re:All you need is a science MMORPG (1)

kabocox (199019) | more than 5 years ago | (#25098009)

Sounds like a good idea but personally I am against it. It is a disease of the modern society that everything you do has to be fun. If you make everything "fun", people will be more likely to refuse doing something because it lacks fun. People need do things because they need to do things. ...
Note, I didn't post this because it is fun, I posted it because I felt like I needed to respond to you.

I'm of mixed nature. I don't mind them putting the http://www.military.com/ASVAB [military.com] into a game. Honestly, I'd say a large percentage of school already greatly rewards those that can put up with needless boredom. Having a little fun in life isn't a sin. Actually, I find it funny those that think almost any form of "fun" or others having fun should be declared a moral sin or declared illegal.

Life's a bitch as it is. If I can't find some/any fun in it now and then, what would be the point? O.k. we are living in a golden age utopia there isn't anything wrong with that per se. You know what the next really big thing is? WOW or any of its like tricking it's users into obtaining at least a high school education.

Re:All you need is a science MMORPG (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#25099027)

Not now, honey! There is someone wrong on the Internets!

Re:All you need is a science MMORPG (1)

oncehour (744756) | more than 5 years ago | (#25096937)

Drop me a line and let's discuss this idea in more detail. I'd be down for helping, and I may have the resources to get it out there in front of the actual kids.

Re:All you need is a science MMORPG (1)

plover (150551) | more than 5 years ago | (#25095337)

No kidding. If the average kid had to do homework as a part of grinding in WoW, considering how much time they spend in game we might end up with a nation of Doogie Howsers.

Of course, all the asian gold farmers would quickly have their PhDs, and we'd really just end up with a nation of kids all trained to send their money overseas.

Re:All you need is a science MMORPG (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#25104437)

Don't forget that in the end you will have a very militaristic and trained population, ready to serve in other illegal wars. That's the way USA makes its money lately, isn't it?

The militarization of education? (3, Interesting)

whitroth (9367) | more than 5 years ago | (#25094569)

So, will all military references be removed for educational purposes, or is this an attempt to militarize education, and sucker more kids into the US military, for more colonialism and adventurism?

And before anyone starts arguing, are *you* in the military? If not, and you agree with the miltitarization of education, and you are in your 20s or thirties, and not incapacitated, what excuse do you have for *not* being in the military, right now?

Oh, I see, like Dick Cheney: you have "other agendas" (read, get rich, and risk somebody else's kid's neck for your money).

                mark

Re:The militarization of education? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25095611)

At school, we learn to follow a regimented schedule set by our superiors and accept their judgment as to our worth (grades). There are also military recruiters on campus. I agree that education should not be militarized. I just disagree that it hasn't happened yet.

Re:The militarization of education? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25095783)

Eventually this will lead to a high school course named "History and Moral Philosophy" a la Heinlein.

Incidentally, some of us in our 20's and 30's did try to enlist, after 9/11, and also the Oklahoma City bombing (until it became clear that that was a domestic attack). In my case, the military didn't want me because of my eyesight... maybe I should have joined the ATF instead?

Re:The militarization of education? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25095963)

Is this really a problem? Aren't we all smart/mature enough to not turn into soldiers because of a Army math problem?

How many people protesting this idea also think there should not be restrictions on violent video games because they don't really influence behavior?

You can't have it both ways.

Re:The militarization of education? (1)

jfreaksho (263517) | more than 5 years ago | (#25096715)

I don't know anything about how they intend to use the game or its military base. I'm guessing that the military base is the reason they are planning to use it.

I think that education in this country has serious issues, and the military being present in it is not the worst of these.

I think that people are not suckered into military service nearly as often as you might think. It was the best option I had available at the time, and I just reenlisted eight months ago, near the end of my 8-year contract. There are many reasons to join the military. That you found none doesn't eliminate those reasons for others.

I am in the military. I don't know that I disagree with a military presence or style to education. It can work very well for some people, just as the discipline taught in the military can really help people get their act together. Personally, I'd like to know more how John Taylor Gatto actually teaches, and if there is a similar school in my area, for the day when I may have kids.

J.

Re:The militarization of education? (1)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 4 years ago | (#25100403)

What is interesting here is the US army is emphasising non combat roles and career opportunities. This might be a somewhat misleading due to the carry preference to contract out a lot of those non combat roles to private corporations, which means of course the non combat roles as shrinking and young people enlisting are likely to find themselves bound to a career they had not expected. This might change of course as it has become apparent that contracting out those works has proved a corrupt failure.

Perhaps a major restructuring of armies around the world is due. The main adjustment being to change the basic army unit from a infantry unit to a combat engineering unit and incorporating a full range of trade apprenticeships in the training regime. This provides a large skilled labour base for government infrastructure works with a significant labour saving as it has of course already been paid for and only materials need to be supplied.

Modern defence forces need to more creative in being of use, in unarmed/noncombat roles so that are not such an enormous drain upon the countries resources. This also can give a much greater sense of worth for the person serving in the military and provide a range of useful and constructive activities for them to be involved in and in the event of a natural disaster provide an enormous resource for rescue and reconstruction efforts.

A whole lot less focus upon fighting global wars of mass destruction and, feeding humans (be they innocent citizens or gullible soldiers) to the endless greed of the military industrial complex and a whole lot more focus upon being a 'useful' and functional part of the societal matrix.

Re:The militarization of education? (1)

Half-pint HAL (718102) | more than 4 years ago | (#25103913)

If the army has trained tradesmen, how could American companies rake in the pork from "reconstructing" the cities flattened during their various illegal invasions (Iraq, Afghanistan) and low-contact engagements (eg Serbia/Kosovo -- "no need to get shot -- let's stand back and drop bombs on them. Chinese embassy? Oops! Civilian utilities -- water; electricity? Oops!" Heck, they even managed to bomb the Wrong Country (Bulgaria).)

HAL.

Re:The militarization of education? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25097001)

Are you familiar with the concept of a false dilemma? See your post for an excellent example.

Re:The militarization of education? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25097241)

for more colonialism and adventurism?

The US was a COLONY not a colonial power. Europe was colonial. Maybe you're reading from a mirror and not a history book?

Alas, you have us on the adventurism charge. :)

Re:The militarization of education? (1)

Half-pint HAL (718102) | more than 4 years ago | (#25104131)

The Philippines? Costa Rica? Cuba. Not to mention Hawai'i. I'm sure there were others in the Far East, but my American history ain't great.

Re:The militarization of education? (1)

ErikZ (55491) | more than 4 years ago | (#25099603)

Interesting, educating students about the military is now "the miltitarization of education".

It would be a tragedy of education if high school students graduated without knowing the basics of their own military.

Especially in the US, which has the most powerful military in the history of mankind.

Ooops. I'm late for my flight to the colony of Japan!

Is it just me, or.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25094647)

are we becoming more and more of a military "warrior" culture where we're not doing anything productive outside of our military industrial complex?

I think it's also disheartening that, for many kids growing up today, the only viable career path is the military.

I'm getting more and more disgusted with our Country.

From the article (2, Informative)

blool (798681) | more than 5 years ago | (#25094675)

I was a bit confused as to how America's Army could be educational(it's a pretty run of the mill FPS, similar to CS, with a lot of U.S military "atmosphere" to it). However it seems that they plan to expand a little bit for this education initiative.

The first educational module will be incorporated into the PLTW Principles of Engineering course. Students will use the America's Army gaming technology to explore kinematics in a ballistics project. They will be able to test the accuracy of their calculations in the virtual environment to observe how different variables such as displacement, time, velocity and elevation angles affect the principles of engineering.

If I remember correctly, Americas Army was never a lean mean beast. It was incredibly slow to load, and required decent hardware to run. Certainly won't be doing any of this on your schools machines that have integrated graphics cards.

Re:From the article (2, Insightful)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 5 years ago | (#25097183)

The first educational module will be incorporated into the PLTW Principles of Engineering course. Students will use the America's Army gaming technology to explore kinematics in a ballistics project. They will be able to test the accuracy of their calculations in the virtual environment to observe how different variables such as displacement, time, velocity and elevation angles affect the principles of engineering.

ROFL! Please tell me this is some kind of joke. The guy is saying that kids will get better at shooting in the AA FPS..

It's just... (1, Troll)

anarkavre (904651) | more than 5 years ago | (#25094929)

...Hitler Youths and military propaganda for the 21st century. Nothing new here.

Re:It's just... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#25099193)

Well, you know, without the whole 'kill the Jews' part... Hitler was actually a pretty smart guy...right up until that whole Holocaust thing.

Re:It's just... (1)

Half-pint HAL (718102) | more than 4 years ago | (#25104761)

Well, you know, without the whole 'kill the Jews' part...

I love how everyone gets on their high horse about Nazi racism then shoots them in the foot by being racist, sexist and various other -ists themselves.

Romanies (aka Gypsies), Poles, political dissidents, homosexuals, the mentally and physically disabled and many more were "exterminated" by the regime as well, but somehow the Jews get singled out in the collective consciousness as the victims. I'm not sure whether that's pro-Semitic or anti-Semitic.

The Nazis Killed People. Let's not be racist about it.

Modding to eliminate redundancy? (2, Insightful)

FrostDust (1009075) | more than 5 years ago | (#25095037)

It sounds to me like they're modding the America's Army game to make physics simulators for students to try out, and maybe increase their interest in science or engineering. It's probably cheaper for the government to do this than to develop a whole new system that incorporates many of the same features AA already uses. Just because the programs are based off of a popular shooting game doesn't mean 15 year olds are going to be playing military shooters in school (although I'm sure many of them have no qualms over playing Halo, CoD, or Tom Clancy games). Likewise, playing a game based on the Unreal or Source engine doesn't necessarily mean you're playing a FPS.

Re:Modding to eliminate redundancy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25095263)

No way. I teach CS at an American school and this is simply not supported by the IT curriculum. The Army thinks it can introduce a war game into the most liberal trade in the USA? What fools.

Modding to eliminate Portal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25095977)

I'm thinking Portal would have been a fun way to teach physics.

Let's be consistent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25095193)

Aren't we all mature and smart enough to not get sucked into being soldiers based on an Army sponsored math problem?

How many of you protesting this think there should be no restriction on violent video games because they don't really influence behavior?

You can't have it both ways.

Personally, I welcome ... (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 5 years ago | (#25095283)

... our armed senior class overlords.

Let's be consistent (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25095417)

Is this really a problem? Aren't we all smart/mature enough to not turn into soldiers because of a Army math problem?

How many of you protesting this idea also think there should not be restrictions on violent video games because they don't really influence behavior?

You can't have it both ways.

Sounds like a Physics Sim (1)

Dr Kool, PhD (173800) | more than 5 years ago | (#25095545)

"Utilizing the gaming platform, PLTW, Ohio DOE and the America's Army team have developed a number of applications which will be implemented over the coming year to enhance PLTW's engineering curriculum, currently implemented in 3,000 middle schools and high schools nationwide. The first educational module will be incorporated into the PLTW Principles of Engineering course. Students will use the America's Army gaming technology to explore kinematics in a ballistics project. They will be able to test the accuracy of their calculations in the virtual environment to observe how different variables such as displacement, time, velocity and elevation angles affect the principles of engineering. They will be able to visualize a parabola trajectory and calculate the varied velocities, ranges, and angles of their device within the game. Students will also be able to 'drive' a vehicle around a virtual obstacle course as well as perform a virtual helicopter drop and determine how various factors will affect the physics of the activity."

Kind of like Lunar Lander, only with better graphics.

Re:Sounds like a Physics Sim (1)

w32jon (1317789) | more than 4 years ago | (#25099891)

that was my impression after reading the article as well, I didn't get "Army brainwashing" vibes from it.

It sounds like educational physics simulations that just happen to use the America's Army engine.

banned (1)

PipoDeClown (668468) | more than 5 years ago | (#25095819)

banned from college because of too many TK's

No way in hell...... (0, Flamebait)

Anachragnome (1008495) | more than 5 years ago | (#25095951)

When the military is actually involved in the non-ROTC curriculum of high schools, my children will be pulled from said schools. Period.

Currently, ROTC is elective. I suspect that this is the first step in a grade school-level indoctrination, solely for the purpose of hooking our children into the military. Now when it becomes REQUIRED, then all suspicions are off the table and they have become fact.

Regardless of the content, even if it IS simply to get more students into fields that the military needs, the military has NO business in the education system outside of their own institutions. I already spend a lot of time trying to explain/counter the propaganda foisted off on my children through the media.

I will NOT have my children indoctrinated by the military as part of their (REQUIRED BY LAW) education. If it becomes a requirement, then my family will be looking for ways in which to LEAVE this country. As is, I am already totally fucking embarrassed to be an American.

Re:No way in hell...... (1)

dr.banes (823348) | more than 5 years ago | (#25096653)

Ah yes... The Military Industrial Complex that Ike warned about. I'm with you in that boat, I think I'll leave the country. You've got to see the commercials they run, shit they rival stuff put out by Hollywood. I also spend quite a bit of time explaining world events to my kids and not from the mainstream media viewpoint, bad enough I really have to worry about this. Its funny how, when a GTA game comes out, politicians, lawyers, etc. go crazy to condemn it. But games based on the military or wars (COD4, America's Army, Battlefield, Rainbow Six.etc) receive little if any scrutiny no matter how violent and gory they are. Those games are considered "patriotic" and revolutionary and now they are being used for education?

Re:No way in hell...... (1)

simstick (303379) | more than 4 years ago | (#25099663)

Ah yes... I'm with you in that boat, I think I'll leave the country.

Drop us a postcard from your new home.

Re:No way in hell...... (1)

jfreaksho (263517) | more than 5 years ago | (#25096793)

I won't disagree with you, but I have trouble remembering more than a couple of educators that had any business being involved in my education. I remember a lot of propaganda that was distributed through my teachers. Free thought and critical thinking has never been a part of modern public education in the US. Read John Taylor Gatto's book, "The Underground History of American Education." available for free on his website.

You might as well just homeschool.
J.

Re:No way in hell...... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#25099439)

You're going to need at least a master's degree and well-documented proof of ancestry to return to whatever nation your ancestors originated. Even if that were possible, the social climate there may still regard you as less than those who were born and raised there and by implication those whose ancestors did NOT leave when it got tough in ages past. If you are mixed ancestry, it may be even tougher. We are dealing with nations that do something that the USA finds so politically incorrect, like protect its borders.

You think that you have too much government in your life now? It is no accident that in societies that have free postsecondary education and free medical care often have compulsory military service and limited civil liberties. It is also true that those nations with more generous benefits is precisely the reason that they have tighter entry requirements. With the advent of globalization, most nations are attempting to dismantle social safety nets in order to compete with the rest of the world. Don't be surprised that the high standard of living supported by you new country's government benefits may come to and end as soon as you receive your Certificate of Loss of Nationality from US CIS.

Would you enjoy the idea of having to pay the government for the privilege to receive radio and television signals? Would you enjoy living in a society that believes that money is more at home in the hands of the government than in the hands of individuals like you? Would you approve the idea of some bureaucrat through some law telling you where you can live, what, where and when you can eat, what you can drive, where you can work, what kind of work you are permitted to do? All these little irritations would add up and make you think about leaving the USA.

If you have the UK in mind, whatever you win in in lack of militarization is more the lost in surveillance cameras. You cannot plead ignorance of something like that in a forum such as Slashdot. If you're a secular Jew who is not an businessperson, independently wealthy ('trustifarian') and/or ready and able to retire, Israel is not for you, even with the benefits offered under its Law of Return. It is much harder to live there than the USA. Social services are being piecewise dismantled to reduce the marginal tax rates to invite foreign investment which means socioeconomic Darwinism rules there with one-third of households living in poverty, not to mention serving in the military reserves. You fear terrorism here? There is a reason for the term Eurabia with the riots in France and the Theo Van Gogh murder in the Netherlands. Australia, maybe? Again, a quick search for the liberty climate of Oz is not what it used to be. The remote parts thereof have been declared a failed state. Would you approve of cars that flash on the dashboard "overspeed" when exceeding 100 km/h?

What I have to say is that even though the USA has its problems, it is worse elsewhere, and getting worse in lockstep so that the USA will still attract immigrants. To the immigrant, the USA will always look better. To those such as you and I who were born and raised here, we know it is going downhill.

Give it some thought.

Re:No way in hell...... (1)

shimmyshimpson (1305497) | more than 4 years ago | (#25100553)

Are you deluded ???

Australia is the best country in the world to live in, bar none.
Best food, best climate, best women, best society, best everything.
The US is best for crack and handguns and pimps, not much else.
So open your eyes man, Australia (and pretty much most of Europe) wipe the floor with you. It's just your insanely efficient propoganda machine that lies to you from day one that says it isn't so "Yooo Esss Ayyyy"

Perfect. (2, Funny)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 5 years ago | (#25096371)

I always wanted a simulation that would allow me the visceral experience of getting an education, with out actually learning anything.

Just one of the many reasons... (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 5 years ago | (#25096709)

...I will never send my kids to a public school.

Who cares about America's Army? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25096811)

They stopped supporting the Linux at Mac clients at v2.5. 'Nuff said. FFS it uses the Unreal engine!

Group-think hypocrisy? (2, Insightful)

JonathanBoyd (644397) | more than 5 years ago | (#25097065)

Jack Thompson accuses games of corrupting our youth: results in moral indignation from Slashdot, saying that games don't turn anyone into anytihng.

Schools mod America's Army for educational purposes: results in moral indignation from Slashdot, saying that the military is using games to brainwash people.

Don't know if any individuals hold to both views, but it's interesting how these seem to be vocal opinions.

Re:Group-think hypocrisy? (1)

pxc (938367) | more than 5 years ago | (#25097895)

Don't know if any individuals hold to both views, but it's interesting how these seem to be vocal opinions.

The two positions are the same (they are opinions of different thing), but the opinion/emotional response is the same: outrage.
Outrage is generally a more vocally expressed opinion than complacence or acceptance.

Re:Group-think hypocrisy? (1)

JonathanBoyd (644397) | more than 4 years ago | (#25098993)

True. I'm just wondering if anyone does actually hold to both opinions and what they would say to the suggestion that it might be contradictory. Playing devil's advocate really since all this seems to be happening the other side of the Atlantic and thus is largely irrelevant to me.

Re:Group-think hypocrisy? (2, Interesting)

Dutchmaan (442553) | more than 4 years ago | (#25100309)

I'm wondering if the same people who are supporting this would have issue if oh say, a school required a child to participate in a class that uses Grand Theft Auto as a learning tool with a curriculum by a gangster rapper?

It's not about the video game (no one had/has issue with kids playing AA on their own time), it's about the teaching of ideology.

A word from a Major... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25097255)

I'm an Air Force Major, and this is a terrible idea. I would never want my child to join the US Armed Forces under the current regime.

Most of our enlisted people are gung-ho, but (frankly) we officers are paid to think.

And many of us think that Iraq was a way for certain corporate entities to profit through sweetheart contracts and the like.

The way our leaders think is this: "Even if we spend $3 billion of taxpayer money, if we can make $100 off it - hey, that's $100 we didn't have".

Sorry - got a little off track there. But I did not join to be a mercenary for Cheney and Rumsfeld, inc.

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