shooter saves life

Screenshot from America's Army

The computer game Max Payne (MP, 2001) was banned in Germany, due to “socioethical disorienting effects,” it supposedly causes. In July of 2002 America’s Army (AA) was released—since then I am wondering why nobody over here has the idea to ban that game. AA, which is distributed for free over the Internet and on free DVDs, is

a tactical multiplayer first-person shooter owned by the United States Government and released as a global public relations initiative to help with U.S. Army recruitment. […]

Professor Michael Zyda, the director and founder of the MOVES Institute, acknowledged Counter-Strike (CS) as the model for the game.

America’s Army is relatively authentic in terms of visual and acoustic representation of combat, especially pertaining to its depictions of firearm usage and mechanics, but its critics have alleged that it fails to convey wartime conditions as accurately as it claims.

America’s Army is the first computer video game to make recruitment an explicit goal and the first well-known overt use of computer gaming for political aims. The game is used as a playable recruiting tool and critics have charged the game serves as a propaganda device.

Well, now we get enlightened, why AA does not fall into the category of “killergames,” as, quite to the contrary, it teaches how to save lifes. Try to swallow this quote from the official press release America’s Army medic training helps save a life

Silver Spring, MD (January 17, 2008)—A longtime America’s Army player became a first responder at a tragic car accident last November by employing life saving techniques he learned by playing the America’s Army game. Twenty-eight year old Paxton Galvanek was able to evaluate and treat the victims at the scene. Paxton credited the combat medic training he completed in the popular America’s Army online PC game with teaching him the critical skills he needed to react appropriately in this crisis situation. This is the second time an America’s Army player has reported successfully using medical skills learned through playing the game to respond in a life-threatening situation. […]

“Because of the training he received in America’s Army‘s virtual classroom, Mr. Galvanek had mastered the basics of first aid and had the confidence to take appropriate action when others might do nothing. He took the initiative to assess the situation, prioritize actions and apply the correct procedures,” said Colonel Casey Wardynski, America’s Army Project Director. “Paxton is a true hero. We are pleased to have played a role in providing the lifesaving training that he employed so successfully at the scene.” […]

On November 23, 2007, Galvanek was driving West-bound on I-40 in North Carolina with his family. About 25 miles south of Raleigh he witnessed an SUV on the east-bound lanes lose control of the vehicle and flip about five times. While his wife called 911, he stopped his vehicle and ran across the highway to the scene of the accident.

Assuming the role of first responder, he quickly assessed the situation and found two victims in the smoking vehicle. Needing to extract them quickly, he helped the passenger out of the truck and noticed he had minor cuts and injuries. He told the man to stay clear of the smoking car and quickly went to the driver’s side where he located a wounded man. He pulled the driver to safety on the side of the road.

Galvanek immediately noticed the man had lost two fingers in the accident and was bleeding profusely. The victim had also suffered head trauma. Galvanek located a towel, put pressure on the man’s hand, and instructed him to sit down and elevate his hand above his head while pressing the towel against his lost fingers. Galvanek then attended to his head cut and determined that injury was not as serious as his hand.

Roughly five minutes later, an Army Soldier [who else?] in plain clothing arrived on the scene of the accident and informed Galvanek that he was medically trained and could take over until the paramedics arrived. He looked over the injured men and told Galvanek that he had done a great job. Once the Soldier assured Galvanek that the two men were in stable condition and there was nothing more he could do to assist until the paramedics arrived, Galvanek left the scene and continued on his journey.

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