263: The Regiment

Nicholas Branch

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Jul 19, 2010
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The Regiment

The lessons learned in a strict, military environment can affect a person for the rest of their lives. Nicholas Branch's experience in the 75th Ranger Regiment tells us that it makes no difference if the military environment is in a "Realism" unit playing over the internet.

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Dooly95

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Jun 13, 2009
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Interesting article. Roleplaying, in a way, but more close to home. It was very interesting to read.
 

Gunner 51

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I thought this was a strangely touching article. Perhaps this could be the solution to a good number of the foul mouthed players on XBL.
 

Kermi

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It was easy to forget at times in this article you were referring to a game. On one hand taking your roles in the game so seriously is a little offensive to people in the real military, whose lives are literally on the line if they go into battle without a solid team behind them.

But aside from that it's a tale about real human situations, played out over the internet - and there's nothing like the objectives of having a strong team in a simulated combat scenario to drive people to be their best. Once you have that I imagine at times it can be easy to forget you're playing a game, as well.
 

Gethsemani_v1legacy

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As someone who has both spent time with realism units (Though mine were in Call of Duty) and served a year as a conscript in an actual army, I think it is fair to say that the comparsion is somewhat flawed. What Mr. Branch is describing in his article is really what every teenager at some point learns (some learn it way later than other though).

The Army was a whole other deal. Sure, it thaught me responsibility in the quickest way possible ("Didn't pack your storm kitchen? Seems like you'll be eating cold chow the rest of the week") but the camaraderie with some of the men and women I served with can never be emulated. Being on a sports team or in a competitive clan/unit instills a certain friendship, but it is not the same sense of belonging that military service instills. If you have a really bad day, you just don't log onto ventrilo or the server. But in the military, if I have a bad day in the field, if I feel the entire world is stacked against me and I can't take anymore of the stuff the officers are making us do in the exercise I can't just decide not to show up. I will have to break down in front of these people that rely on me to do my part. Likewise, they will have to break down in front of me if they get the same feeling. In the end, we will come out as a stronger unity (hopefully) because we know each others strengths and weaknesses and we know that we can rely on each other to cover each others' backs and support each other in times of need.

Letting someone ventilate over ventrilo or teaching them how to behave like a grown up doesn't compare to that. Because online you'll never see the highest peaks of someone's personality nor will you see their deepest valleys. In a sense, realism units are more like really serious hobby-sports teams, which is rather fascinating in itself.
 

egosub2

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Jul 11, 2008
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For some reason - and this is only from my own experience - DOD:S seemed to build especially tight communities. I for one will always remember fondly my time in the game. Nice to see I'm not the only one. Cheers!
 

itf cho

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Jul 8, 2010
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Maybe one of the reasons whats-his-name had some issues with his girlfriend was that he had to blow off something she wanted to do because he had 'compulsory training' for this online regiment. Sorry, but that is taking gaming too seriously. It's supposed to be FUN. It ceases to be fun - for me, and imo - when you HAVE to do it.

And sorry, but an online gaming clan - no matter how serious they take it, or how dedicated to realism they are - is NOT a strict MILITARY environment. Calling a gaming clan a military environment is insulting to anyone in, or ever in, uniform.
 

koshypops

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I wouldn't expect any serving member of the armed forces to be insulted that a collection of (mostly) kids too young to serve would choose to form clans that try and play games with a little more realism. Hell having played some of the more realistic FPS's out there (America's Army being one) it makes me have even more respect for them (*EDIT* that is the Military men who do that job for real).

If realism based clans like the 75th Ranger Battalion help some kids (or even older peeps) to learn to grow up with respect and understanding then I think it's a good thing. Talking from personal experience in Britain, alot of kids in my neighbourhood lack respect for themselves and other people. The mention of hurling abuse at teammates when it was their own failing struck a cord as I know it is something I am sometimes guilty of myself.

I'd also like to point out that one of the officers of the 75th Ranger Regiment mentioned in the article HAD served in the US Army Medical Corp. What we read of him doesn't sound like a man who feels insulted. Perhaps we civvies should let the Military men and women do the talking about who feels insulted.
 

The Random One

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Of course, in the end, it's always about relationships. No matter what you are doing, you are interacting with other people and even if the activity you are performing is virtual your relationship, even if under a layer of roleplaying, is real.

That's why I don't like MMO games. Fuck other human beings, they're fucking weird!

itf cho said:
Maybe one of the reasons whats-his-name had some issues with his girlfriend was that he had to blow off something she wanted to do because he had 'compulsory training' for this online regiment. Sorry, but that is taking gaming too seriously. It's supposed to be FUN. It ceases to be fun - for me, and imo - when you HAVE to do it.
Never underestimate other people's definition of fun. They weren't gaining anything by playing that way, so why else would they do it if not for fun? There's a lot of bile against people who spend way too much time adjusting their fictional characters, but that's what they enjoy in the game. Forcing them to play our way is what would make them say, 'Isn't this supposed to be FUN?'

But I'd hate to have to play something. I get neurotic when I run a Mafia game (in which I have to show up and run the show at specific times).
 

Popsicle

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Jul 21, 2010
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Great read. There aren't only kids in these units, but also men and women with families. Many of whom have or are currently serving in different militaries around the world.
 

Straz

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Gunner 51 said:
I thought this was a strangely touching article. Perhaps this could be the solution to a good number of the foul mouthed players on XBL.
I doubt it.
It seems that in order for this realism roleplaying to be effective it must be taken seriously.
Like honestly, it sounds similar to any other server to me: Be polite, have fun, don't be a jerk and I'll be respected.
I will be honest when I say this "Realism" concept may be appealing to some people but to me it just seems to be kind of ridiculous.
But each to his own, I suppose.

Honestly, the only role playing I wish to engage in is dressing like a cowboy and talking with a drawl. Purely for awesomeness.
 

Gunner 51

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Straz said:
Gunner 51 said:
I thought this was a strangely touching article. Perhaps this could be the solution to a good number of the foul mouthed players on XBL.
I doubt it.
It seems that in order for this realism roleplaying to be effective it must be taken seriously.
Like honestly, it sounds similar to any other server to me: Be polite, have fun, don't be a jerk and I'll be respected.
I will be honest when I say this "Realism" concept may be appealing to some people but to me it just seems to be kind of ridiculous.
But each to his own, I suppose.

Honestly, the only role playing I wish to engage in is dressing like a cowboy and talking with a drawl. Purely for awesomeness.
The cowboy idea sounds like a total hoot, I'd totally do it for RDR. XD
I guess what the foul-mouths need is supervision, ideally by their parents. I'd bet not many of them would be as foul mouthed if their parents were around and dope-slapped them every time they cut out of line.

But parents are busy people and the kids will continue to curse. I guess I should just try to take the rough with the smooth when it comes to foul-mouthed kids on XBL. :)
 

Straz

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Jan 10, 2010
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Gunner 51 said:
Straz said:
Gunner 51 said:
Snip
The cowboy idea sounds like a total hoot, I'd totally do it for RDR. XD
I guess what the foul-mouths need is supervision, ideally by their parents. I'd bet not many of them would be as foul mouthed if their parents were around and dope-slapped them every time they cut out of line.

But parents are busy people and the kids will continue to curse. I guess I should just try to take the rough with the smooth when it comes to foul-mouthed kids on XBL. :)
I will admit, the cowboy idea was largely inspired by RDR, but I will take credit for having that aspiration for some time before I even knew of such a game. It was such an awesome idea.

OT edit: I suppose, if one was inclined when one is playing with such impressionable youth one might gain their trust and then discourage foul language to present a slightly more civilized facet of gaming culture to them, but I have my doubts about such a plan.