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Treating Traumatic Stress with Videogames

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the better-than-a-stuffed-bunny dept.

78

garzpacho writes "Doctors at the Virtual Reality Medical Center are using VR video games to treat post-traumatic stress disorder among vets returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. The software behind the treatment incorporates elements from the military training video game Full Spectrum Warrior, and had some input from designers of America's Army. From the article: 'Dr. Dennis Wood takes patients on what some might consider an odd journey. He starts off leading them to a military compound in Fallujah, Iraq. He then guides them through an Iraqi marketplace before they accompany a patrol through Iraqi homes. And if he thinks they're up to it, he may even take them onto a battlefield, in the midst of explosions and aircraft flying overhead.'"

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But... (5, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 8 years ago | (#15795571)

What if my Post Traumatic Stress was caused by video games? [slashdot.org]

Actually I found any game I played too much of could really mess me up for a few days. Muds were terrible for going around unconciously assessing what level people were and how many experience and gold I could get if I snuffed 'em.

Now I stick to simple strategy [magnodyne.com] games [sourceforge.net] which only give me unconscious reflexive behaviour to want real estate in bright, shiny primary colours.

"oh, blue! want that!" "hmm the intersection of ocean and water looks like a good place to harvest wool, wheat and wood"

I'd probably have post traumatic stress if I even came close to one of these [wikipedia.org]

Messed up (2, Insightful)

HTTP Error 403 403.9 (628865) | more than 8 years ago | (#15795656)

This seems like a big dream.


Our leaders (most who have never seen combat) send our children to fight in a hellhole. The troops get blown to shit, the President attends none of their funerals and the one's that survive, we fly them home and let them play video games to cope.

Re:Messed up (1, Offtopic)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 8 years ago | (#15795672)

Our leaders (most who have never seen combat) send our children to fight in a hellhole. The troops get blown to shit, the President attends none of their funerals and the one's that survive, we fly them home and let them play video games to cope.

And it's all funded by bonds held by the chinese. Makes you wonder who is/was more in the pocket of the PRC, Clinton or Bush.

Re:Messed up (1)

Das Modell (969371) | more than 8 years ago | (#15802393)

People die in wars. You can't stop doing military operations just because soldiers might die, that's like ceasing law enforcement because cops might die.

Health insurance buys you an XBox??? (1)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 8 years ago | (#15795819)

Hmmm..... silly stuff. A bit of R&R has always been a useful way to get over stress. Why is it news if this happens to include some video games?

Re:Health insurance buys you an XBox??? (1)

rjshields (719665) | more than 8 years ago | (#15797258)

Traumatic stress is probably not the same thing as the stress you're thinking of.

There's a reason you're frightened... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15795877)

It's probably not the spider that scares you. I'm not savy enough to break the encryption, but the picture of the spider has something hidden in it. Stegdetect shows that the picture was embedded with a file using the JPHide algorithm. If stegbreaker was working for me I'd figure out what's in the picture.

Re:But... (1)

OneArmedMan (606657) | more than 8 years ago | (#15796064)

What if my Post Traumatic Stress was caused by video games?

Like the several times I have dreamed the Quake 1 Cross hair and/or being the Quake guy?

Dude, see a good shrink (3, Insightful)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 8 years ago | (#15797887)

What if my Post Traumatic Stress was caused by video games?


Heh. I'm used to exaggeration and hype, but this has got to take the crown. I really don't think you really mean that.

Post Traumatic Stress [wikipedia.org] isn't just about "oh, I'm so stressed that my penis size... err... level isn't the highest in the game." It's about intense psychological trauma caused by a believable threat of imminent death, severe physical injury, or something of that order of magnitude. We're taking the kind of stress that happens when the enemy is shelling your position with artillery or MRLS, or a tank is coming at you and the heaviest weapon you have is a SAW, or you see someone's brains blown out before your very eyes, or you get to storm a house and see what a grenade can do in a closed room (there are WW2 veterans who still break down into tears if you ask them about that), or whatever similarly serious.

Again, we're not talking just "stress", but the "OMG, I'm DEAD one way or another" kind of being scared shitless for your very life and limb. We're talking intense _terror_ where you see no way out. That kind of thing.

If you get that kind of pure mind-paralyzing terror out of a MUD, and for such a mundane reason as xp and levels... please don't take it as an insult, but as friendly advice: see a good psychiatrist ASAP. If just comparing your score or level to someone else's can trigger such a massively disproportionate reaction, you have major problems. Seriously.

That or keep your hyperboles less over-the-top if it was just a hyperbole.

Re:But... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15798323)

dude.

you are gay!

It's all ok... (4, Funny)

fireman sam (662213) | more than 8 years ago | (#15795584)

The war in Iraq/Iran/Syria was just a game, nobody *REALLY* got hurt. Now go home and watch some tv... Shhh, it was just a game...

Re:It's all ok... (2, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 8 years ago | (#15795592)

The war in Iraq/Iran/Syria was just a game, nobody *REALLY* got hurt. Now go home and watch some tv... Shhh, it was just a game...

I'm waiting for the game based upon this episode of history. I expect it will be named With Us or Against Us

Re:It's all ok... (2, Funny)

megaditto (982598) | more than 8 years ago | (#15796072)

The real question is, does one have to play the Freedom scenario, or can a hot coffee patch [slashdot.org] be applied to select the alternative:
 
start them off at a madrasa in Pakistan, [...] then guide then through planting IEDs in the Iraqi marketplace. And if he thinks they're up to it, he may even take them to see Allah in the midst of 72 vigins flying overhead?

How times have changed... (5, Interesting)

rholland356 (466635) | more than 8 years ago | (#15795611)

A psychiatrist I knew who served in WWII treated shell-shocked vets by introducing them to model railroading--the type where you would build everything from kits.

Model railroading worked a lot better than the George S. Patton school of rehabilitation.

I hope these simulated video environments truly help those soldiers who served our country.

Re:How times have changed... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15795703)

I hope these simulated video environments truly help those soldiers who served our country.

I don't. Those fuckers cost me a lot of money and made the rest of the world hate me all while spouting self-righteous bullshit about how they were "serving" me. Well, I hope those fuckers get "served" with so much post-traumatic stress that they go insane and kill their families and themselves.

Re:How times have changed... (2, Insightful)

vldragon (981127) | more than 8 years ago | (#15795725)

You sorry son of a bitch. Those "fuckers" as you call them don't decide if they go or not. It the government that tells them. The only choice they have is go where they tell them or go to jail. When people are dieing your upset that you lost some money and people you never met may not like you. Your an arogant bastard that should be beaten in the middle of the street.

Re:How times have changed... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15795824)

Your an arogant bastard that should be beaten in the middle of the street.

Ha ha ha. That's funny because it's actually the arrogant fuckers that think they're "serving" me that are getting beaten in the middle of the street (mostly they get blown up by IEDs but occasionally the mobs get them). Usually, I don't much care for the way life works but in this case it's something to feel good about.

Now, if I can just tell enough of them the truth about themselves to drive them to suicide (PTSD is my friend) then I can even have more reasons to feel good about the way life works. Hopefully all their friends and family will be superstitious religious assholes who think they're burning in hell for the suicides to add a bit to the enjoyment of it all.

Re:How times have changed... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15796176)

Not that I agree with you, but I gotta say it's refeshing to hear people talk about soldiers that way. I'm sick of this Roman soldiers-are-saints shit that's been going on for five years. Soldiers are meatheads (remember Dylan? 'Join the army if you fail...') or gun nuts. What's worse, they're always talking about how they 'serve' us.. christ, I never asked them to go shooting their gun off! How are they serving society any more than the janitor who cleans public toilets?

Hopefully there'll be a world war where all the armies of the world anhialite each other. Then we'll live in peace.

Re:How times have changed... (1)

SpecTheIntro (951219) | more than 8 years ago | (#15796307)

Hopefully there'll be a world war where all the armies of the world anhialite each other. Then we'll live in peace.

Right, because after all the soldiers died, no one with ambition would ever be born again. Our soldiers aren't saints. But they are our soldiers, and they are absolutely necessary for the preservation of American liberty. A country without an active and healthy military is a country asking to be conquered. Do we have a lot to fear from Canada and Mexico? No, not really--but that historical precedent has been set because of the very real deterrant of an American military. You should be happy that they do what we ask them to--the day they stop is the day we're in pretty deep shit.

Re:How times have changed... (1)

rjshields (719665) | more than 8 years ago | (#15797752)

If you have a problem with soldiers, take it up with your government. Soldiers are just doing their job, and it's not very nice to see people being blown to bits. They may be "meat heads" but no-one deserves to be put through that kind of shit. All the thanks they get is illnesses like PTSD, which is a horrible condition that most people don't understand. They then get branded as "crazy" by society instead of being given the psychiatric help they need.

Re:How times have changed... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15795974)

Hmm... I didn't realize before that the minimum length of service (including reserve) in the US military is eight years. So there are people still in uniform who signed up before Bush even took office, and certainly before it became obvious that he and his clique are howling psychopaths.

However, what's your view on people who sign up now? Surely they do "decide if they go or not", in which case the GP's sentiment (repugnant trollish flamebait though it undoubtedly was) becomes legitimate.

IMHO, signing up in these circumstances is an abdication of your moral responsibilities as a human being. Even choosing obedience over jail can be questioned. It's not a good choice to face, but it's still a choice.

(Posting AC in anticipation of mass downmodding from /.'s militaristic wing.)

Re:How times have changed... (2, Insightful)

vldragon (981127) | more than 8 years ago | (#15796096)

The minimum lenght of service in the US military is 0 years. (Your not forced to join) However if you do join you can sign up for 4 or 6 years. Not all people who sign up now go to combat. If you want to blame or bitch at some one because you don't agree with the war bitch and blame your elected gov officials. Write them and tell them what you think. Go out and vote for some one that shares your views or run yourself. The point is bitching on /. is poitless. If you want things to change go out and change them. How can you say "signing up in these circumstances is an abdication of your moral responsibilities as a human being"? If no one signs up then our countries military falls apart leaving us defensless. (And countries would attack) Then the combat would be at your front door. And when that happens do you pick up a gun and fight back or do you cower beneath your bed and cry waiting for death. And then you say "Even choosing obedience over jail can be questioned. It's not a good choice to face, but it's still a choice.", but I ask what you would do in that situation. Would you hold up to your morals and defy your orders even as the jail cell closes behind you; or would you do your duty and obey the orders of those appoited over you? You may say that you will stand by your morals but you'll never really know unless you where put in that situation.

Re:How times have changed... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15796275)

However if you do join you can sign up for 4 or 6 years.

If you read the fine print, you'll see that they can call you back at any point within 8 years, regardless of which contract you signed.

Re:How times have changed... (1)

Jerry Smith (806480) | more than 8 years ago | (#15797599)

If no one signs up then our countries military falls apart leaving us defensless. (And countries would attack)

If in other countries happened the same demilitairisation, then no other country would attack. You just have to get out of your 'pre-emptive strike' routine: not all countries support pre-emptive strikes.

Re:How times have changed... (1)

Hortensia Patel (101296) | more than 8 years ago | (#15797929)

"If no one signs up then our countries military falls apart leaving us defensless."

Wow. That's possibly the most egregious example of a false dichotomy I've ever seen. As if the only possible alternatives were:

a) I agree to blindly follow every order (no matter how illegal, immoral or just plain flat-out stupid), or

b) I cower under the bed and cry, as the the (Mexican? Canadian?) Legions of Doom swagger through Times Square setting fire to puppies.

Here's one idea off the top of my head: by signing up, you agree to participate in any action of actual national defence. That means foreign military or paramilitary personnel on US soil or in US airspace or territorial waters. Participation in any other action, such as an unprovoked invasion of another sovereign state for no adequately explained reason, is strictly voluntary. The military has the option to discharge you if you decline, but that's as far as it goes.

Re:How times have changed... (3, Insightful)

NEW22 (137070) | more than 8 years ago | (#15796099)

While the grandparent post is juvenile, I still take issue with your post. Soldiers do decide if they go or not. They have a choice as to whether they will join the military in the 1st place, and once they are there, they can choose to go to jail instead of going to war. Personally, I do not trust my government and politicians with my life, and I do not trust their moral judgement, though I do believe I would fight if we were at war on our soil. Now, most people join the military at a young age, before they have really had a good chance to maturely assess the state of their world, so I have sympathy that some may be exploited. I also have no doubt that the vast, overwhelming majority of U.S. military personnel desire to protect the United States, and would gladly do so.

The thing is, there is a very large part of this country that does not believe that what the military is currently doing in a couple places is doing anything to help protect the United States. Some believe it is hurting the United States, others believe it was started for immoral reason. Now, the military did not decide to take those actions, the President did, but at minimum, any soldier who joined after the beginning of hostilities in Iraq should have went in full well knowing what he was supporting. There is nothing immoral in opposing this war, or soldiers who knowingly supported it. Somehow in this country we have decided that soldiers are sacred, and that an individual is not morally culpable if he willingly gives up his own freedom of conscience with knowledge and hands it over to the President. If you intentionally kill, you are responsible. That doesn't mean you are wrong, and it doesn't mean that sometime people don't have to do awful things, but every individual has responsibilty for their actions, and being a soldier in service to a government does nothing to change that. Just because a soldier believes he is serving his country does not mean that he always is. The only garuntee is that a soldier serves the President and government. Those people may or may not be directing the military in a way that serves the country. Rhetoric has conflated the 2, such that now we must always agree that, of course the soldier is serving the country. When directed properly, soldiers do more than anyone to serve this country, I have no doubt of that. Their job requires more sacrifice than potentially any other.

Now, you look at the U.S. military budget, I am not going to blame individual soldiers for the military budget. Still though, compared to every other nation on Earth, the U.S. does have an absurdly high military budget. This is money that is used in part to fund killing many of us oppose. Money that could either be given back to us, or could be used to directly help people here at home. Many would feel better if their money were used to help the needy in the US instead of kill people in the Middle East. Even if you think that is oversimplified, or do not agree, I think you can understand the outlook of such people.

You also discount this "it made the rest of the world hate me" aspect, but I think it is also a valid concern. The more of the world that hates me, the more of the world that will wish me harm. Also, I do not wish harm to be done to others in my name, I don't want to piss people off unnecessarily. Call that arrogant and selfish if you wish, but I see nothing wrong with that.

Also, I do not wish to see you beaten in the middle of the street.

Re:How times have changed... (1)

monoqlith (610041) | more than 8 years ago | (#15796333)

Yes, responsibility for individual's own actions rests squarely on his own shoulders. There is no where else to locate the primary burden of responsibility.

The problem is that every decision a human being makes is based on a certain level of trust: trust that your senses aren't lying to you, that your reasoning is correct and faculties are in tact, and that you are not being willfully deceived by those who give you the information on which you base your judgements.

So in response to this:

Somehow in this country we have decided that soldiers are sacred, and that an individual is not morally culpable if he willingly gives up his own freedom of conscience with knowledge and hands it over to the President.


It's not so much that we have decided that they aren't morally culpable - of course they are. However, since World War II, it's been almost universally agreed upon that those who give orders are, at the very least, just as responsible for the consequences as those who execute them. In many cases, it turns out that they are even more responsible. Orders discharged down the chain of command usually never encounter resistance from an ethical consideration - hence, the term "banality of evil," the justification of "I was just doing my job." Those who give orders, after all, define what the mission is, and are charged with justifying the purpose for the mission to their subordinates. Moreover in the military the chain of command is sacrosanct, and the circumstances are stacked against a soldier refusing to perform a mission, It's much more difficult for a soldier to think clearly about the ethical ramifications of his undertaking - his risks are much more immediate than those of the chiefs of staff and think tank theorists who dreamt it up from an armchair.

Soldiers are willing to take on the risk of losing their lives - that is a sacred sacrifice, one that we all should admire and respect, even if we don't agree with its premise. But they are willing to do so because they trust that any mission given to them by their leaders is worthy of that sacrifice. Any leader who doesn't take into consideration the human cost, or even worse is willing to bear such a human cost for an unworthy mission, is either evil or insane.

Re:How times have changed... (1)

NEW22 (137070) | more than 8 years ago | (#15796534)

Hello,

I must agree with you about those giving the orders. It is true that the soldier is in a position where he can be easily coerced, and the whole weight of the military justice system can seriously mess up his life should he refuse orders he personally finds immoral. Additionally you are right that they are the ones in the thick of the most stress inducing, psychologically taxing, and life threatening action where it is difficult to be able to make such decisions anyways, due to peer pressures and just concern for survival. Under so much stress, fighting an enemy, fearing for your life, why would you add even more to that stress and make your own army bring pain and pressure down on you as well? To have no allies, and be rejected by everyone in such a circumstance, cut off from family as the military drags you through its particular system of justice. Personally, the risk of such a circumstance prevented me from ever considering the military as an option (among other factors). So, while I did not convey it in my previous message, I am more angry with powerful people making such decisions and using their authority to force obedience to their wishes.

Given that, what do I imagine we could do to stop these leaders, if we oppose them? Vote against them? Try to get them removed from office or charged on something or other? PR campaigns? Agitate for legislation? Refuse to be a tool for their use? Something violent? If I can figure out who they are I vote against them. I do my best to not be a tool for their use (I do pay taxes however...). I do minor agitation for legislation via some organizations I contribute to.

So now, the "sacred sacrifice". I disagree that the willingness to take on risk of losing your life in service of something is inherantly noble (though it very surely can be!). Your position seems to imply that soldiers on all sides of all conflicts should be admired and respected, and if it does not, I would like to hear clarification. Personally I have felt that one should be directly in support of principles, and not people or nations, as theoretical/abstract as that sounds. A soldier may not have the information to make an informed choice on some issue, and so leaves it up to someone he trusts: the leader of his nation. Is there ever a point we can criticize a soldier for not taking on the burden of discovering the information himself, so that he does not need to rely on the judgements of others? As long as we submit to leaders (all of us, not just soldiers), the more it seems that we will have people surrendering their moral choices to others, giving those leaders more power to do evil, as well as good. Ideally, people could choose their battles based on their informed conscience. Unfortunately, no military does (or possibly could???) function in such a way.

How messy.

Re:How times have changed... (2, Insightful)

monoqlith (610041) | more than 8 years ago | (#15796671)

You bring up a lot of good points. I don't think I, or anybody, can answer any of your questions conclusively, because contrary to what most people like to believe, "evil" is almost never done knowingly. People are constantly redefining what "good" is to encompass their own beliefs. If we agree to say (charitably) that people always act in rational accordance with their beliefs, then it follows that people never do anything believing that either it or its consequences are fundamentally evil. At some level people always believe that what they are doing constitutes some "good" - even at a barely conscious level. This fact explains why we've been conditioned to buy into static definitions of good and evil - such definitions give us the resolution to act on behalf of our beliefs. This makes psychological sense, since our behavior is determined initially by what elicits thoughts and feelings of "good" - this is how it is reinforced.

Unfortunately, this is exactly why evil happens. The Nazis believed that ridding the world of the Jews was good. Likewise, the Romans believed that invading foreign territories and killing off their inhabitants was good. With this in mind it is hard to say whether it is reasonable to act on any belief at all, since all beliefs are subject to error. So your question is very difficult: is someone who commits to anything and kills on its behalf honorable and heroic or a fool and taking a grave moral risk? Most people think that believing in something and acting on its behalf is inherently respectable - but they fail to take into account the fact that it is exactly *this* capacity that allows the most egregious evil to occur. So, no, I don't necessarily think that both sides of a conflict inherently demand respect and admiration. On the other hand, I believe that our soldiers demand respect from *us* because - in their minds - they are sacrificing their lives in part *for us*, even if their mission is corrupt or misguided. At some point soldiers do have the responsibility to abort a mission if they see that its goals are contrary to their personal morals - but like anything this is their determination, not ours. It is their prerogative to act with their own agency and to reject a prescribed morality that they see as evil.

Re:How times have changed... (1)

NEW22 (137070) | more than 8 years ago | (#15796956)

Hey again,

Hope I am not taking this too far. I still am wary of this respect and admiration thing. I can understand that if someone honestly believes they are protecting and helping me out, I should appreciate their intentions, and that they do so at great risk to themselves makes this more the case. I don't know what this means for me if I were to address a soldier though, other than that I should not assume bad intentions, that maybe I acknowledge their good intentions instead of taking a hostile attitude?

Under this principle it seems I need to accord respect to anyone who (in my charitable estimation) honestly believes that what they do aids me in some way, which I do not necessarily disagree with, but makes soldiers exceptional only in that a soldier can often face mortal danger, and other activists and professions are less likely to (except maybe police and firemen?). Also, one can often find themselves in strident opposition to others who claim to have their best interests in mind. I am sure there are Catholics who honestly believe that I and society would be happier if contraception was illegal. Tim McVeigh may have honestly thought he was helping me and America at large in damaging what he saw to be a corrupt, oppressive government, and he paid with his life. Ted Kaczynski was sure I would be happier if I was free from the encumberance of modern society, and was allowed to return to some kind of primitivist utopia. Jehovah's Witnesses want to save more than my life, but my eternal soul from damnation in Hell.

So, another part of my worry is the whole "our soldiers" "us", etc. It seems that a universal, automatic, exceptional respect and admiration for your own nation's soldiers reinforces an atmosphere of nationalism and division. If I should admire the soldiers of my nation, and the citizens of my nation's enemies should admire their soldiers, then haven't we set up a situation that perpetuates war? It seems so basic that I should be able to say, "Look, I do not admire your way of thinking, or your actions. I believe that for you to continue is immoral." for anyone, soldier, politician, or random citizen. Personally, I happen to have whatever beliefs and principles, and would like to forward my own particular agenda with anyone who happens to share my views, regardless of our geographical locations. People I stand in opposition to exist within my nation of residence, and outside of it. I like a nation that is stable and reasonably safe, for selfish reasons, but aside from that I am only "for" my nation in as much as it forwards my other interests, or takes actions I agree with.

Different moral frames maybe? I think I've typed myself out finally.

Re:How times have changed... (1)

monoqlith (610041) | more than 8 years ago | (#15804218)

We should take this more on a case-by-case basis. I think universal respect for an abstract national identity, not concrete members of the government apparatus such as its military, is what defines nationalism and what makes it potentially so harmful - once you settle into abstraction, it's much easier to bear the cost of lives in the name of an ideal. In America we've (sort of) been able to distinguish between criticizing our leaders and criticizing the military, though the lines are blurred at the very top. In this case it is the leaders who are to blame because they willfully deceived (it seems) troops, who bore the entire human cost of this deception (the more trivial monetary cost is borne by us and our descendants.) This is a different situation unlike National Socialism, where people's individualism were systematically eroded, but the policy of the totalitarian state was in open view and the soldiers and the populace failed to see the moral implications, and even eagerly gave themselves up to the cost. In our society we do have the right to dissent, and we have legal means to change the mission if we see that it's not just. As such, if we believe that our soldiers have been deceived by our leaders, we ought to criticize the leaders, and not the soldiers for disagreeing with us - they disagree with us, we think, because they've been lied to. In any case we are in a murky moral situation where the answers are not clear - I have no idea what to do about Iraq. But what should be clear be now is that whatever happens, it should happen under different leadership.

Re:How times have changed... (2, Insightful)

freedom_india (780002) | more than 8 years ago | (#15797030)

The whole idea of Military service is unselfish service.

Commanders and Generals depend on their men obeying unquestioned. That is drilled into every serviceman from ground up.

War may be ugly, but more dangerous is disobedience. Many more lives depend on men following orders unquestioningly.

Of course the assumption is the brass is more wiser and more intelligent (which it is not today).

How would you like during the middle of serious combat in C&C Generals ZH, if your Comanche helicopter refused to fire on the GLA because they don't have enough "back-ups" to back them up?

I bet, the next moment you would either trash the computer or call up EA and shout at them so badly, they would close their ears.

How would it have been if the men who sacrificed their lives in Okinawa or Normandy beaches refused to obey orders because they were "thinking" their brass made a mistake.

A Pfc is NOT paid to think. He is paid to DO. A General or a Field Marshal is paid to THINK. Not DO.

Go and read Red Storm Rising once more. Better yet read the book Story of Second World War.

Re:How times have changed... (1)

NEW22 (137070) | more than 8 years ago | (#15798396)

I understand the concepts, and I understand the justifications the military drilling men to operate unquestioningly. I see how that makes the military a more effective and efficent tool in serving the interest of the decision makers. Still, understanding why this is a military ideal, for anyone to operate completely unquestioningly means they must give up their own moral judgement. Is it ever moral to surrender your own moral judgement to others? Now, the 2nd guessing you described in your post is all tactical and not moral in nature. You are descrbing a theoretical soldier who refuses to act because he believes his superiors do not understand his need for back-up, or that they must have made a mistake in choosing an objective. It seems that is a different sort of disobedience than one rooted in moral objections.

Now, you also say that "many more lives depend on the soldier acting unquestioningly". Who's lives, and how can you know that is the case? For all we know, a soldier's refusal to do something may save many lives. I understand that the response would be that an individual soldier does not see the big picture his commanders do, and so is ill situated to make these decisions. I think I would agree that if a soldier believes he being asked to fight a war he morally agrees with, it is his job to submit to the authority of those tasked to direct him and not 2nd guess their strategic or tactical decisions. I do believe that he is still justified in refusing orders for a moral reason at any point though. A private may not be PAID to think by the military, but he still must think because he is morally responsible for his own decisions, regardless of how well the military may like that.

You say that the idea of soldiers unquestioningly obeying their commanders is based on the assumption that "the brass" is wiser and more intelligent, but that you don't think they are today. I don't know if I understand what you mean by "the brass". I have always assumed it to mean generals more than the President, and I personally question the wisdom and intelligence of the political side more than the military side, in performing their job functions. Anyway, lets say that in however you mean it, you are correct. If you believe that "the brass" lacks wisdom and intelligence, what is a soldier to do? Continue on as before because it is their job description, as sad as it is that their bosses have failed them? I guess I am not sure what it is you are really advocating.

Re:How times have changed... (1)

Cecil (37810) | more than 8 years ago | (#15798751)

I think you are talking about two different things. He is talking about people who morally object to the orders because they believe the orders to be evil. You seem to be talking about people who are afraid they will die and refuse on that basis.

Re:How times have changed... (1)

save_the_fauna (991285) | more than 8 years ago | (#15796649)

since World War II, it's been almost universally agreed upon that those who give orders are, at the very least, just as responsible for the consequences as those who execute them


The moral that came out of WWII was the opposite of this - that those who execute orders are just as responsible as those give them. Nazis were fond of giving the excuse 'I was just following orders' when accused of war crimes. The Nuremberg trials established the precendent that such an excuse is not valid; it is the duty of anyone who is given an illegal order to refuse it.

Re:How times have changed... (1)

monoqlith (610041) | more than 8 years ago | (#15796709)

Well, both precedents were established, since the men tried at Nuremberg both gave orders and received them. If I understand correctly it was determined that your culpability wasn't covariant with your geographic distance from the crime, provided you were in the direct chain of command. People who gave orders and those who received them were both complicit.

Re:How times have changed... (1)

save_the_fauna (991285) | more than 8 years ago | (#15796108)

The US Army is an All Volunteer Force. The people who are serving in the army in Iraq all chose to join the army of their own free will, knowing that they would be send wherever the president thought they should go. They knew that they could be ordered on suicidal missions, or be ordered to do any amount of damage to other people short of breaking the Geneva conventions.

While they didn't specifically choose to go to Iraq, they are still responsable for being there.

My personal outlook on the army has always been this: I will not join until my services are needed in a war I consider just. In any other situation, I would be opening myself up to being ordered to go somewhere or do something I consider unjust.

Re:How times have changed... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15797675)

Those "fuckers" as you call them don't decide if they go or not.
You always have a choice.
The only choice they have is go where they tell them or go to jail
See, fair choice. You can always say no, if you face up to the consequences of your actions. So what if your life gets a little more miserable? The other choice involves shooting innocents children in their homes, torturing prisoners and getting blown up by terrorists. Easy choice really...

And you can always flee from the government, or start you own private war against it off course.

Re:How times have changed... (1)

DylanLeigh (991089) | more than 8 years ago | (#15805590)

Something is seriously wrong with Slashdot moderation when
Your an arogant bastard that should be beaten in the middle of the street.
is modded Insightful.

Help (1)

Mark_MF-WN (678030) | more than 8 years ago | (#15795806)

Why would you want to help them? I thought the current national thinking was that veterans should just "get off welfare" -- at least if the VP is to be believed. Besides, the government has already told us that playing videogames will reliably turn you into a psychotic baby-murderer. You really want to take someone who's been trained to kill and make them into a crazed maniac?

Re:Help (1)

rholland356 (466635) | more than 8 years ago | (#15800205)

Why would you want to help them?
Because they will be coming home. We should not discard them like we did to our Vietnam veterans.
I thought the current national thinking was that veterans should just "get off welfare" -- at least if the VP is to be believed.
Oh, there is very little thinking going on in Washington. Even though he never served in the military, VP Dick Cheney does indeed need healing. I recommend we submit him to endless Halo challenge matches, fully connected to biofeedback devices that simulate the video environment. And especially connected directly to his pacemaker.

Cheney could be Sgt. Cheney in the Halo match, in charge of his platoon of chickenhawks. And they could reinact Saving Private Ryan, only Private Ryan is Ollie North. Would you pay to see that match replayed on Google Video? Damn right you would!

Besides, the government has already told us that playing videogames will reliably turn you into a psychotic baby-murderer. You really want to take someone who's been trained to kill and make them into a crazed maniac?
Well, that's why the Army uses videogames for recruiting and training. However, I think the doctors mentioned in this article have convinced some that by guiding soldiers through a simulated environment, they can undo a lot of the damage that has been done, both through training and by consequence.

Seriously, we will have quite a large number of soldiers returning to our streets, who during the day built soccer fields and schools, at night they invaded Iraqi homes, rousted families and shot people dead. At checkpoints they unloaded clips into vehicles to discover innocents who did not understand they would be killed for approaching. They have seen their buddies killed by bombs and snipers. Do you think they should be accorded some treatment to help them re-adapt to our megaconsumer society that sacrificed nothing while they served overseas?

Do you think their jobs are still waiting? Do you think they can adapt to mundane family life once more? Do you think they will tolerate what has passed for political discourse after being exposed to the reality of Iraq? It is something we have to address, and if video environments help, then it is one more tool at our disposal.

Missed (1)

Mark_MF-WN (678030) | more than 8 years ago | (#15802688)

I think you missed my sarcasm -- I totally agree that:
  1. Cheney is a complete ass-hat whose only redeeming characteristic is he's just evil, rather than evil AND stupid like Bush Jr. Any government so terrible that it would make conservatives miss Clinton and Gore for their aggressive government downsizing, and liberals miss Bush Senior for his fiscal prudence, is a government that needs to go. You could run an escaped mental patient for president right now and probably do alright in the polls.
  2. Veterans deserve, at the very barest minimum, to have their physical and emotional injuries treated and to be looked after if they are too disabled to work (although personally I'd say this is true of everyone). If someone gets one of their arms blown off for their country, it seems somehow inadequate to give them just a prosthetic claw, a small pension, and an ackward pause where the handshake should have gone.
  3. Videogames are a superb psychological training and conditioning tool -- and not just for people with post-traumatic stress conditions. Research has shown that they can improve the concentration of people with attention deficit disorders. They have powerful anti-anxiety and pain-control effects. In one experiment, people with claustrophobia were able to spend two hours inside an MRI machine without panicking by playing a video game while they were inside. Even without claustrophobia, most people can't stand more than half hour inside on of those things. The improved visual acuity and hand-eye coordination that videogames promote is unrivalled. Videogamers can often see better than the deaf and hear better than the blind, two groups that are known for their enhanced senses. I could go on and on.

Re:How times have changed... (2, Insightful)

Walter Carver (973233) | more than 8 years ago | (#15797539)

I hope these simulated video environments truly help those soldiers who served our country.

Who served the government, the country had different opinion about this war.

Re:How times have changed... (1)

rholland356 (466635) | more than 8 years ago | (#15799992)

I didn't say *which* country.

And no matter where you live, there you are. And when in Rome you do like the Romans. And Romans liked bloodsport--lots and lots of bloody games.

Video games are our modern form of bloodsport, and if they can be altered to do something good for people who need assistance, then that's a positive development.

Tit for tat (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15795612)

This is truely a remarkable step forward in medical science. Victims of PTSD rejoice! You may now live a productive lifestyle eating cold pizza and tacos while staring at the computer screen. As per yesterday's article it is clear that the experts believe that videogame addiction is far superior to PTSD.

umm,,.... (3, Funny)

Dangolo (974232) | more than 8 years ago | (#15795615)

so they're treating someone who's having a hard time managing themselves in the real world, by submerging them in a virtual world?

It didn't work out so well for lawnmowerman, or did it?

Those damn language barriers.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15795668)

When i first read vets i thought : Why would the US government send veterinarians to war??
My bad!!

Looking foward (1)

vldragon (981127) | more than 8 years ago | (#15795687)

This is great. If they ever send me over there as soon as I get back I going to request this treatment. Play video games instead of going to work... Doesn't get any better than that.

Re:Looking foward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15796306)

Hey buddy, go fuck yourself. When you have lived in constant fear of imminent, violent death for years at a time and had to even kill on occasion, only then will your opinion on whether these people are faking to get out of work matter. Not to mention spouses you've seen twice in almost 4 years and children you've never met. Go back to your cubicle and enjoy the fact that your largest stresses in life are getting the project done on time, making the mortgage payments, and fighting traffic.

What's next? Are you going to spit on the next combat vet you meet? Push an amputee out of a wheelchair because he's just faking it to get that sweet chair? Or be an adult and apologizefor what you wrote?

Re:Looking foward (1)

vldragon (981127) | more than 8 years ago | (#15800526)

You go fuck yourself. I said nothing of faking it. What these people go through is real and its good to know that they give us more time to heal/relax/be with family when getting back from war, before they send us back out. And I say us because I put on a camo uniform everyday.

Mmmm (3, Interesting)

BilZ0r (990457) | more than 8 years ago | (#15795690)

...Or they could just give them MDMA [cognitiveliberty.org]

Imagine if this immersive techneque really worked, and they tried it for other things; some how I don't think they would get away with showing rape PTSD victims Urotsukidoji - Legend of the Overfiend [wikipedia.org]

Move over Janov, let propranolol take a load off (2, Informative)

Baldrson (78598) | more than 8 years ago | (#15795704)

Imagine a drug that could obviate post traumatic stress disorder and Arthur Janov's Primal Therapy. Then imagine a drug that could reduce the emotional impact of sermons about Hell you've heard or of movies you've seen -- movies like "Deliverance" or "The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind". It has a name and it's "propranolol [harvardmagazine.com] ".

Re:Move over Janov, let propranolol take a load of (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15795737)

On a similar train of thought, does this mean that PTSD is a gateway drug for video games now?

Re:Move over Janov, let propranolol take a load of (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15796473)

man I hate that drug. Probably dangerous in an emergency room as it can cause your heart rate and preasure to plummet. I had to stop taking it because my heart rate dropped to 40. I find that this is a good drug to take about an hour before you are going to do something you know will make you nervous.

Posting anonymously for unobvious reasons.

Neuromancer flashback (1)

twowicky (978597) | more than 8 years ago | (#15795757)

Anyone else get that erie flashback to Neuromancer?

Good luck with that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15795771)

PTS from combat is a bitch. How do justify killing another man, woman or child? Accident or targetted mostly doesn't matter. You wake up with it, you go to sleep with it, you carry it with you everwhere. You think about the sights, sounds and smells. How a video game is go to change one's actions of the past is beyond me. Sounds more like marketing to me.

It's not too hard (2, Insightful)

Soulfader (527299) | more than 8 years ago | (#15797343)

How do justify killing another man, woman or child?
After the third time they mortared us, I was remarkably unsympathetic to their viewpoint.

Re:It's not too hard (1)

Big Nothing (229456) | more than 8 years ago | (#15797598)

So you're saying that violence breeds violence (and indifference)? Truly a provoking thought.

Provoking? (1)

Soulfader (527299) | more than 7 years ago | (#15809453)

So you're saying that violence breeds violence (and indifference)? Truly a provoking thought.
Actually, I'd say that's one of the most obvious comments ever made in the context of war.

I'll tell you how I justify it to myself. Maybe that will help you understand. It doesn't sound like you care to, from that comment, but someone else might be illuminated.

We're here to eliminate the power of remaining Taliban forces (and their allies) to wage war on the elected government of Afghanistan or any other nation, including my own. I'd never heard of the Taliban prior to September of 2001, but they had been grinding the people of this country under their heel for years, long before they supported a terrorist group who flew airplanes into some of our civilian structures.

We bend over backwards to avoid anything resembling collateral damage--the enemy knows that he only has to win in the press, not the battlefield--and as a result are often not terribly effective. Our own people die sometimes because we do not use the resources available to us for fear of civilian casualties. We value their civilians far more than they do. On the other hand, when we do call in close air support or an air strike, we know that we are reducing the Taliban's ability to wage war on us and on their own people.

I have not seen many battles, but in every one that I did see, they would have gotten by unscathed if they had just ignored our presence. We sat on a hill for 18 days during Operation Mountain Thrust, during which period they attacked us three times with rockets, mortars, and small arms fire. At no point did we open the ball--we watched them gather, prepare, and move into position because we couldn't be absolutely certain that they were planning mischief. This is how much we care about their civilians. For our pains, we were mortared.

So when we do eventually kill people, I don't have a lot of sympathy for them. They supported people who killed Americans. They kill their own people to try to stay in power. They kill anyone who helps us, or even sells us cigarettes. They kill anyone who accepts humanitarian aid from us. When a dog behaves like this, we put it down. A person is not a dog, but some of them are not far from it.

I rationalize it this way. And I have nightmares anyway. Along with whatever physical damage I take--and there's been a fair bit even without enemy fire--this is the price I pay so that you and people like you never meet these people or any of their friends on the streets--or in an airplane.

Re:It's not too hard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15798381)

Sorry, I meant to say something like "How does one's mind justify such an extreme act after the fact". (As you know) The problem is is that a soldier is placed in a situation where he has no choice but to fight or die right there. It's just the "replay" that makes one wonder if there could've been a better solution. Some bury the thoughts, some don't. Neither is the right or wrong way.


Being "unsympathetic" in the heat of the fight and long after the fact are two different things. Caring in battle is IMO bad thing. All you need to remember is your training.


I've had 20 years to thing about my actions in the military. Time has a way of changing one's view. My comments are meant out of respect and concern for the soldier.

stress caused by video games? (1)

marybethls (991556) | more than 8 years ago | (#15795780)

So, will this fix the stress caused by video games themselves?

Similar Treatments (4, Interesting)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 8 years ago | (#15795799)

My wife was recently diagnosed with MS. The flareup she suffered involved lesions in the area of the brain that deals with balance and nausea. Consequently, her immediate symptoms included severe disorientation and nausea. While these symptoms slowly subsided during her recovery, she was still left with fairly disabling balance issues.

Once she was finally able to go home, she discovered that different games she played affected her sense of balance in different ways. Two notable examples were Ultima Online and World of Warcraft. The isometric graphics of UO were easily tolerated. WoW quickly made her dizzy. We mentioned this to her rehab doctor who ordered her to add WoW to her routine of home exercises.

It wasn't the first time we had run in to this advice. We had a contact with Space Medicine at NASA. They had expressed some interest in my wife's condition since the issue of balance is something they work with extensively. One of the interesting side effects of extended space travel is having to become readjusted to gravity; essentially recalibrating your body to properly interpret the effects of gravity. Astronauts will often find themselves easily disoriented and quick to lose their balance during this period of time (it seems to be more pronounced in less-experienced astronauts). One of the treatments to speed recovery is watching a video of motion while running on a treadmill. The video perspective often shifts, challenging the patient's system to properly interpret conflicting perceptions. Our NASA doctor friend saw the issue that he dealt with as very similar to what my wife was experiencing.

The underlying issue is programing behavioral response. In my wife's case, she is having to re-learn her way around damage. In the Astronauts, they are having to re-learn how to handle stimulus that they had become used to ignoring. I would imagine the soldiers are also re-learning to interpret things in different ways.

Re:Similar Treatments (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15796030)

My wife was recently diagnosed with MS.


I am truly sorry about that. My best hopes and wishes go out to you and her. You might want to consider additional [newscientist.com] treatments [nationalmssociety.org] .

Again, all my hopes and wishes that you both are able to weather that one shitting disease.

The US Govt treats Enlisted men like tampons (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15795826)

Once one gets bloody it gets tossed and replaced with another. You really think they give a fuck about their "mental health"? Why not start with ending the "stop loss" measures and let troops come home when their enlistment ends and not six months later. Add in the fact that the US Govt is using psych sessions for evidence in arresting people and no one is going to say shit. "You ok to be discharged soldier?" "Sir, yes sir."


Want to stop PTS? Stop ordering people to kill other people. This whole thing sounds like marketing bullshit, not useful treatment.

Re:The US Govt treats Enlisted men like tampons (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15796762)

My wife was just discharged from the US Army for a mental disorder. Against the psychiatrist's recommendations, she was discharged, rather than treated. Proof positive that the Gov't could give a rat's ass less about the soldiers. They'll find another recruit to take her place.

huh? (2, Insightful)

gooberguy25 (915147) | more than 8 years ago | (#15795921)

i dont understand why they are treating people that are bugging out from the war, with more war (even though it is a videogame)

Re:huh? (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 8 years ago | (#15797803)

i dont understand why they are treating people that are bugging out from the war, with more war (even though it is a videogame)
I initially thought this, but I think the idea is to have a familiar war setting, but (a) obviously without the danger of actually getting injured (so they can relive experiences in a virtual, controlled world) and (b) depending on the severity of the PTSD not even necessarily have guns/explosions/blood at all.

good idea (1)

MBuhrow (979212) | more than 8 years ago | (#15796121)

Because a good cry can help when you're stressed.

Well that explains a few things.... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15796419)

So that explains why I was able to survive such a fucked up childhood. I played Nes/Snes/Genesis/N64/Playstation and eventually got a computer, which I also played games on. Or mabye I always knew that and I also knew the only use of a scientist is to ramrod their facts down other people's thoughts via a bridge of trust between an "expert" and a "dipshit who believes said expert".

Games take your mind off of reality and allows existance in a safe place for awhile; if that place is not safe then it is indeed it does the exact oppisite. More importantly, it's an exercise of the mind; so those who go through traumatic times go to their happy place, kill virtual people, then get smarter by thinking about that, then come out the other side of the hell smarter and better able to cope by being able to form complete abstract coping mechanisms.

In this instance, gaming changes the nature of your memory. Memory is 3 parts; what actually happened, interpretation then, and interpretation now. A child being thoroughly rejected by society may, at the time, be traumatic and result in a hit-list mentality for coping, but after the fact, if you form the opinion of "if your parents decided never to trust you, be intamate with you, or even include you in their non-existant social life, what then?". You then interpretet he memory from "you bunch of assholes" to "goddamn do I hate my parents." to "Well, I'm not a bad evil person, they are, so I can probably still find people to be friends with and still have a good time." to "I forgive you ma n' pa".

So, it brainwashes you to think your buddies can respawn on a subconscious level. It's a brainwashing of choice, and so long as you remember previous states of memory, it isn't a complete brainwash but it does allow for coping.

That said, I love the gaming clans I'v been in that have been made up of soldiers! Classiest guys I'v ever met.

Afraid of the dark? (1)

NIK282000 (737852) | more than 8 years ago | (#15796670)

Play some doom 3, that will fix you right up.

Re:Afraid of the dark? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15799442)

early in doom's history -i loaded it from 3 zipped files on floppies onto a compaq presario in 1992-ish-
i would play it for hours, and become nauseous.

Post Traumatic Gaming Syndrome (1)

tiktok (147569) | more than 8 years ago | (#15796918)

I agree that some computer games are so real, they do cause Post Traumatic Gaming Syndrome [thetoque.com] (PTGS). It's not 20 years ago when you closed your eyes and could still see Tetris blocks falling...falling...falling.

Not Sure... (2)

stormi (837687) | more than 8 years ago | (#15797968)

I'm really not sure how playing army games will help them with PTSD. If anything, I would suspect it would make them a nervous wreck.

My parents went through a year of REALLY BAD fighting and I believe I had some mild form of PTSD myself, and would jump/ my heart would race whenever I heard a door slam, or a loud bang, or anyone at all yelling. Even a sudden voice that was somewhat loud would temporarily panic me. I can't believe that watching people yell in real life or on tv or a game would calm me. The only thing that worked was having some nice peaceful time for a year or more and slowly convincing myself I was safe.

How exactly will triggering nasty images help the soldiers to recover?

One treatment after another (1)

killermookie (708026) | more than 8 years ago | (#15800109)

And after they've finished this treatment, they can begin again with their new video gaming addiction [slashdot.org] .

PTSD: or, "I'm f*cking sick of killing and death" (1)

Zhe Mappel (607548) | more than 8 years ago | (#15802761)

For BusinessWeek, reassembling broken killers' minds is just another story to plug into its Technology section (indeed one so low in priority they've assigned it to an intern).

For those miserables whose humanity was stolen from them in this war, however, the aftermath of mass murder is somewhat less of an occasion for sanguine techno-speculation. And so is it for us: as these shattered men rotate back into civilian life, we will see familiar patterns of depression, joblessness, drug addiction, domestic violence. There will be individual and collective pain.

Beyond the immeasurable human cost, the economic hit to our society may total trillions [csmonitor.com] according to estimates by Nobel Laureate economist Joseph Stiglitz.

Food for thought before starting unnecessary wars.

Video Games to Treat PTSD - Civilian Gunea Pig (1)

mpopedot (992000) | more than 7 years ago | (#15809846)

Great. Now all I need is a specialized version of the software that leads the user through a forced interrogation where 2 JTF2 officers (Canadian Army), 1 JTF (American), and 2 regular Canadian Army hold you in a van in Toronto for 90 minutes and interrogate you using torture:

  • Taped eyelids with bright floodlights shone in your eyes as you're handcuffed in an interrogation steel chair
  • injection of intravenous phenobarbitols, a.k.a. truth serum
  • an electric shock cuff
  • they'll slap your face with rubber gloves

The software interrogator would force you to say your name in Arabic, even though you are not Islamic, and have to be told your Arabic name. When you do not cooperate they'd use the electric shocker to fry your upper arm, until finally once it was at max, you'd get heart arythmia and worry you're having a heart attack. It would also make a VHS movie of you confessing (under torture) to being an Islamic fundementalist terrorist with the following lines:

  • "Alahu Akbar! Alahu Akbar! Alahu Akbar!" god is great in Arabic
  • "Mohammad is the Prophet!" even though you're not Islamic
  • "I know how to make bombs!" sure, from age 11
  • "I'm going to blow up the CN Tower!" absolutely never thought of it, and would not know how

While you're saying these lines, they make you pull wildly against your handcuff restraints and shout into the camera, and act really crazed. Then they'll explain once they're done that with this video, even if you sue the federal governement, that with this video that they will be able to show it in private to a federal court judge so a Section 38 of the Evidence Act will be invoked on your legal proceeding. Then you won't be able to tell anyone, or you'll go to jail because you'd be divulging a national secret.

Before they let you go, they'll take your picture, glasses on and off, they'll take a DNA sample using saliva from your inner cheek, and they'll push you to take 6 Propranalol pills, one a day till they're done. These will help you forget, which they point out is the best thing for your and your family. They tell you that if you remember, that they will have your name in the paper, and it won't look good. The American mid-way through the interrogation will threaten to send you to Gitmo if you recall and tell the special ops nature of this interrogation.

Have a nice day in your democratic western, north american country.

P.S. Don't forget, you're a white, middle-class, non-religous software guy, innocent of any wrongdoing, with a diagnosis of depression (they knew about), so it will be hard to get people to believe you

Re:Video Games to Treat PTSD - Civilian Gunea Pig (1)

mpopedot (992000) | more than 7 years ago | (#15810095)

Forgot to mention:
  • You'd be forced to sign a legal piece of paper that you could not read in your condition. They'd explain it meant "All this was voluntary", and they add you can't be let go until you sign it
  • Before using the shock cuff, they'd try and administer more phenobarbitals from the 100cc syringe taped to your arm. In anger, the junior (Canadian) interrogator would give you too much at once, and you'd fade to black. When you woke up your limbs would be held by officers, and the lead American would be telling you not to roll your eyes back in your head and to look at him. When you did, the Candadian interrogator would use paper towel to wipe foam that had erupted from your mouth onto your chin, throat and shirt
  • Your expensive (family gift) watch would have the underside crystal cracked during the siezure
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