RAF May Replace Pilots with Gamers for Combat Drone Sorties

March 4, 2009 -

Last month GamePolitics reported that one of the U.S. Army's top combat drone pilots in Iraq was a 19-year-old who learned his control skills playing Xbox.

Now comes word that Britain's Royal Air Force may employ gamers to control its combat drones in Afghanistan.

PressTV reports that the RAF hopes to save money by replacing pilots with less-skilled personnel:

The Royal Air Force (RAF) announced Saturday that pilots without full combat training will replace top guns in controlling unmanned Reaper planes in 'frontline missions' in Afghanistan as part of a plan to reduce costs...

Although a small mistake by the remote-controlled pilot can be lethal for civilians or friendly forces nearby, RAF chiefs, believe that 'lower grade' pilots with 30 hours' basic flying training can fly sensitive missions over Afghanistan...

It appears that RAF chiefs have based their claim on studies suggesting that the best drone crews are often young 'video-game players' rather than 'experienced fighter pilots'.


Comments

Re: RAF May Replace Pilots with Gamers for Combat Drone ...

As long as I'm on the side with the robots, I'm fine with it.

Not really, this is a bad idea. At the very least we have conspiracy theories that games really do desensitize people to actual violence and killing in a permanent way. But it'll likely end up that the military starts releasing games that DO this, and recruits top players from those games.

It'd be like a recruiting post at a paintball or laser tag stadium. Video games are getting more immersive, and let's face it, with that immersion and better graphics comes more intense violence. It's the difference between flight of the valkyries played in a chiptune on an NES, and in 7.1 with a subwoofer the size of a small horse.

Re: RAF May Replace Pilots with Gamers for Combat Drone ...

Drones have been used for years. It's only now that Drones and Gamers are mixing.

Re: RAF May Replace Pilots with Gamers for Combat Drone Sorties

War Games

"Volume helps to get a point across but sharp teeth are better."

"Volume helps to get a point across but sharp teeth are better."

Re: RAF May Replace Pilots with Gamers for Combat Drone Sorties

Damn you, "Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots"! Can't we all just get along?

岩「…Where do masochists go when they die?」

岩「…I can see why Hasselbeck's worried about fake guns killing fake people. afterall, she's a fake journalist on a fake news channel」

Re: RAF May Replace Pilots with Gamers for Combat Drone ...

Something about unmanned killing machines seems inherently unfair to me, even in war. Relative to a specific battle, the side with unmanned vehicles is risking only money but is still destroying human lives. It's the smart thing to do, of course, but it doesn't feel right.

Re: RAF May Replace Pilots with Gamers for Combat Drone ...

In the words of Tom Clancy: "Wars are ugly, their not supposed to be fair."

Re: RAF May Replace Pilots with Gamers for Combat Drone ...

Well, just wait until all wars are fought with robots only. Then no lives are threatened.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma

Re: RAF May Replace Pilots with Gamers for Combat Drone ...

The wars of the future will not be fought on the battlefield or at sea. They will be fought in space, or possibly on top of a very tall mountain. In either case, most of the actual fighting will be done by small robots.  And as you go forth today remember always your duty is clear: To build and maintain those robots. Thank you.
-- Military school Commandant's graduation address, "The Secret War of
   Lisa Simpson"

岩「…Where do masochists go when they die?」

岩「…I can see why Hasselbeck's worried about fake guns killing fake people. afterall, she's a fake journalist on a fake news channel」

Re: RAF May Replace Pilots with Gamers for Combat Drone ...

Unless military targets such as weapons factories, government buildings and contested territories are themselves populated and operated exclusively by robots, there will always be human casualties.

Re: RAF May Replace Pilots with Gamers for Combat Drone Sorties

Crimson Skies.


Brain: "Pinky, are you pondering what I'm pondering?" Pinky: "I think so, Brain, but we're already naked."

Re: RAF May Replace Pilots with Gamers for Combat Drone Sorties

Colour me different but I don't like the RAF amiditing lower grade soilders to send to Afghanistan.

Re: RAF May Replace Pilots with Gamers for Combat Drone Sorties

Ender's Game.

Re: RAF May Replace Pilots with Gamers for Combat Drone Sorties

I love that book.

Re: RAF May Replace Pilots with Gamers for Combat Drone Sorties

Joy, soon we'll be hearing from certain people that they were right about the military and video games all along.

BTW, being a gamer won't automatically make you want to plow the drone into a school or release it's payload on a hospital.

Re: RAF May Replace Pilots with Gamers for Combat Drone Sorties

But don't you get more points that way?

Re: RAF May Replace Pilots with Gamers for Combat Drone ...

I wouldn't kill people, not real people, the whole fun of games for me is the fact that it's safe.

If someone joins the RAF and has a history of gaming and wants to do this, then that's fine by me, as long as they don't start hunting around the general population for volunteers. Otherwhise, as EZK says, it starts to get eerily like the film Toys.

Re: RAF May Replace Pilots with Gamers for Combat Drone Sorties

Is anyone else reminded of the movie Toys?

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma

Re: RAF May Replace Pilots with Gamers for Combat Drone Sorties

Now I have an excuse to buy that $200 joystick and throttle control. I could tell my wife it's for national security. 

"I'd far rather be happy than right any day."

Re: RAF May Replace Pilots with Gamers for Combat Drone Sorties

I think I just found my calling in life....

 

Check out my blog - http://serveratcapacity.blogspot.com

Re: RAF May Replace Pilots with Gamers for Combat Drone Sorties

My brother took a flying aptitude test at age 19 as well, passed with flying colors. They offered him a scholarship, etc.

Re: RAF May Replace Pilots with Gamers for Combat Drone ...

Can't lie, good idea...  I could be willing to do that depending on the missions.

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Goth_SkunkAnd at long last, I think I'm finally done.06/30/2015 - 3:08am
Goth_SkunkAnd if those progressive games fail to make any headway in the market, don't blame gamer culture for not being cultured enough to appreciate the product. Own up to the fact that the game either sucks, is not interesting, or both.06/30/2015 - 3:06am
Goth_Skunknor suggest that the games industry and culture is rife with toxicity because of it and needs to change for the good of the medium. There is room in the market for progressive games to co-exist with games like Hatred, not replace them outright.06/30/2015 - 3:04am
Goth_SkunkAnd if the overly violent content of most AAA games or the perceived mistreatment of women in such games bothers one, by all means criticize it, but do not under any circumstances suggest that it such content shouldn't exist or be promoted,06/30/2015 - 3:02am
Goth_SkunkGames, for the most part, let you do this! You can be the man or woman you're not. You can escape reality and immerse yourself in the experience. And that's wonderful! I play as female characters all the time in games I play, when the option is available.06/30/2015 - 2:59am
Goth_SkunkA choice that nature denied transgender people at birth! People don't undergo gender reassignment because they want to be transgender; they undergo gender reassignment because they want to be the gender they identify with!06/30/2015 - 2:52am
Goth_SkunkBut I think it gets silly when people start asking for the ability to play as a transgender protagonist. I mean, why would one do that? One usually has the option to create a character that's either a man or a woman, gay or straight. You have the choice!06/30/2015 - 2:50am
Goth_Skunkfirst two games, a move which was ultimately corrected in the 3rd game. By extension, Dragon Age has always had the option, and good on it!06/30/2015 - 2:45am
Goth_SkunkBut it certainly is good to see developers entertain the allowance of allowing the player to develop their protagonist to be homosexual if they want. The Mass Effect series was criticized rightly for not allowing a male homosexual romance plot in the06/30/2015 - 2:44am
Goth_Skunkand only just by the slimmest of margins. Homosexuality is sadly still a hot button controversy in the USA, which makes developing a noteworthy game with a hardcoded homosexual lead or theme a dangerous risk to take.06/30/2015 - 2:37am
Goth_SkunkThe United States is the largest single customer base for video games in the world, and it only just mandated by rule of its Supreme Court that marriage ought to be just as much an inalienable right for homosexuals as it is for heterosexuals,06/30/2015 - 2:35am
Goth_SkunkFor example, it would be difficult for a developer to produce a AAA quality game where the protagonist is hardcoded to be MtF transgender, and convince enough people to buy it in order to make it worth its production costs.06/30/2015 - 2:31am
Goth_SkunkNo Mecha, not woe unto those who ask for representation. By all means, ask and be represented. I don't have an issue with it, nor would I say anyone in GamerGate does either. But be reasonable about asking too.06/30/2015 - 2:27am
Goth_Skunkthat would've made Benedict Arnold raise a glass in toast.06/30/2015 - 2:25am
MechaCrashGamers are more than straight white men, but woe unto those who actually ask for representation!06/30/2015 - 2:24am
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Goth_SkunkYet the media continues to push that narrative, and they will continue to do so until their medium dies out from obscelesence or when the old guard retires and is replaced by people who were raised by gamers, people who know the score.06/30/2015 - 2:20am
Goth_SkunkGamerGate, by my view, is far more diverse and inclusive that the purveying culture surrounding games journalism right now. The stereotypical gamer is a straight white male, but GamerGate has shown, time and time again, that this is not really the case.06/30/2015 - 2:18am
Goth_SkunkAfter all, you did just call it a "problem."06/30/2015 - 2:15am
Goth_SkunkAs opposed to setting the bar high, creating a culture clique that promotes exclusivity rather than inclusivity. Cronyism rather than diversity. Do you feel that inclusivity and diversity are just buzzwords to be used whenever convenient?06/30/2015 - 2:12am
 

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