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Edge: War Porn: Part Two

Edge: The second part of our look at the effect that games' portrayal of war has on players' perception of it.

The distinction between games and the reality of war becomes trickier when battles are fought remotely. With the use of drones, high-altitude support and the infrared vision systems of Apache gunships, war is being ever more virtualised – co-opting videogame trappings and control schemes in the process. Defence contractor Raytheon hired game developers to design its drone operation (its ‘synthetic environment’ is powered by an Xbox processor), while iRobot’s XM1216 Small Unmanned Ground Vehicle is controlled by a gamepad. The pilots for these craft are usually in the US – Washington, Texas and Nevada. They have breakfast with their families, see their children to school, sit down for a few hours of intense combat operations, then clock off to go home.

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