Murphy's Law: The Geek Advantage


January 18, 2006: American troops appear to have a considerable advantage because most of them grew up playing video games and using PCs. More and more military equipment uses computers, or are basically electronic gadgets. American troops require a lot less time to learn how to use this stuff, and tend to be very good with it. This extends from fire control systems in armored vehicles, to new radios, electronic rifle sights and training systems (which are very similar to those video games.) Many other countries have to spend a lot more time training their troops to use this stuff, and the proficiency of the troops is never particularly good. This effect is often seen when this high tech American equipment is provided to foreign troops who didn't have such an electronic childhood. 


Another big American advantage here is that U.S. troops can quickly get into the computerized training systems and further enhance their combat skills. A major problem with computerized simulators and wargames is the time it takes to learn to use them. But most American troops see this stuff as just another computer game, and get right into it. Whoever thought all those hours spend playing videogames would prove so useful on the battlefield.



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