“War is not a game!” Or is it?


When I was first choosing my topic for this paper and writing up the argument draft, I looked through the list of suggested topics and chose a topic that seemed interesting to me, work family conflict and its causes.  However, after I handed in my argument, it occurred to me that the topic that I choose to write this paper on should not only interest me, but it should fascinate me (15-pages worth of fascination!).  I then remember something that I had discussed the day before in my Ethics in International Relations class.

There is an army recruitment center located in the Franklin Mills Mall near Philadelphia.  In this recruitment center, people can come and play video games for free, video games that give the people (little boys, mostly) the true experience of what it would be like to fight in a war.  Well, what they think is the “true” experience.  Since the opening of this recruitment center, there had been several protests outside of the mall.  People claim that the video games are desensitizing little boys of the horrible realities of war.  It leads many boys to sign up for the Army.  Worse yet, it is training the boys to eventually pilot drones, an extremely controversial issue and one that Obama said he was going to eliminate, though his drone use has been worse than the Bush administration drone use that he criticized.  Operating a drone is exactly like playing these video games as far as execution — a man sitting at a computer in Arizona pushes a button, and a drone drops a missile in Iraq.  This completely dehumanizes war.

I do realize that this “White Paper” will be a little unorthodox, but I am confident that it will be interesting and a worthwhile topic to address. In my paper, I will discuss the issue of drone use and the Army Recruitment Center at the Franklin Mills Mall from a business perspective, a government perspective, and a society perspective.  With the business perspective, I will address the social responsibility of businesses as applied to the companies who manufacture the video games, the companies that manufacture the drones, and the Franklin Mills Mall, which is allowing the army to have such a recruitment center on its site.  For the government, I will touch on (but not dwell on) some of the legal issues that are pertinent to the matter.

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3 Responses to “War is not a game!” Or is it?

  1. RickE says:

    I think this is a very difficult situation because it is very important that the Army gets recruits, however, we must make sure that nobody is forced or tricked to go into the Army. I think Kant would find this very interesting because some would argue that the Army is deceiving these kids and just using them to bolster their ranks, whereas others might argue that these kids are making an informed decision based on their experience.

  2. tesoman says:

    In addition to what Rick said, the whole drone issue to me is intriguing. One drone could essentially win a war for a country and send hundreds of its men and women back to their families. But the argument for scrapping the use of a drone that is operated thousands of miles away from the war is that, “it dehumanizes war”?
    Without drones more expenses are added to the bill of war which comprises of dollars and blood. Does the dehumanizing of war balance out the lives that would be saved?
    If not, I ask then; should war be fought on the same plane to make sure that everyone has a fair change? If America was to go to war with Kenya could the most sophisticated weapon they hold be AK-47s and at most have 16 fighter jets (the entire Kenyan air force)? A country like America maintains its advantage as a superpower through its technology, but if they are being chastised for using this technology then what is the point of developing it in the first place?
    I am no connoisseur of war and maybe I don’t have all the facts right, but it seems to me that without drones and technology like that instead of having x number of people dying we would have to deal with 10x number of people dying.

  3. Jordi says:

    I see nothing unorthodox about it… why do you say that?

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