Recommended reading

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by OldRedCap, May 7, 2008.

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  1. I am currently reading two very interesting books. Both at the same time because much of what is in one is made more clear in the other. I recommend them to those interested in the craft of soldiering. He refers to PTSD in many chapters and how this problem has been dealt with down the ages of soldiering. Serious writing basically - not B20 stuff.
    On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society is an analysis of the physiological processes involved with killing another human being. In it, he reveals evidence that most people have a phobic-level response to violence, and that soldiers need to be specifically trained to kill. In addition, he details the physical effects that violent stresses produce on humans, ranging from tunnel vision, changes in sonic perception, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
    Controversially, Col. Grossman argues that that the techniques used by armies to train soldiers to kill are mirrored in certain types of video game. The conclusion he draws is that playing violent video games, particularly first-person shooters, train children in the use of weapons and, more importantly, harden them emotionally to the task of murder by simulating the killing of hundreds or thousands of opponents in a single typical video game.
    On Combat: The Psychology and Phsiology of Deadly Conflict in War (Paperback) is an extension of the first, intended to provide coping strategies for dealing with the physiological and psychological effects of violence for people forced to kill in their line of work (soldiers and police officers).
    While his work on violence and killing has been very well received, the extension of his work into the potential negative side-effects of video games has proven much more controversial. Col. Grossman uses blunt language that draws the ire of gamers - during the heights of video game controversy, he was interviewed on the content of his books, and repeatedly used the term "murder simulator" to describe first-person shooter games.
    Col. Grossman retired from the military as Professor of Military Science at Arkansas State University. His career includes service in the US Army as a sergeant in the US 82nd Airborne Division, a platoon leader in the 9th (High Tech Test Bed) Division, a general staff officer, a company commander in the 7th (Light) Infantry Division as well as a parachute infantryman, a US Army Ranger and a teacher of psychology at West Point.
  2. Cant remember the details,
    But a t.v. programme a few years ago had stuff about debriefing U.S combat troops after WW2.

    The U.S army found that over 90% of their soldiers involved in combat,
    did NOT shoot to kill!

    The reason given for this,is because guys had been only trained to fire at bullseye targets

    That was why the fig.11,12 targets were introduced.
    Recruits were now encouraged to kill by firing at the outline of a man.

    Along with other,more realistic combat type S.A.W.E.S

    The programme stated that 90% of guys now shoot to kill.

    On the subject of games....firing at the screen with a bit of plastic at cartoon type characters is not going to make you a killer.

    Unless your gunning for donald duck of course!
  3. Not just Yanks re not firing. Goes way back with number of countries. He analysed number of rounds fired againstcasualties. Many rounds with few deaths suggested firing wide on purpose. Interviews confirmed. His point re games is that the screen killing - clean, easy, no emotion takes away the natural reticence to killing.
  4. As virtual reality moves to become closer and closer to reality, presumably the effects will be more and more exagerated. How long until a defendant claims that he committed a crime believing that he was still playing a game indistinguishable from everyday life?