Call of PSYOPS: Video Games as Psychological Warfare in the 21st Century
Perhaps the most encouraging development in fostering freedom in our modern era is the rise of effective "counter-propaganda" to the machinations of Globalism, the likes of which have (arguably) not been circulated so widely since the pamphleteers of the 18th and 19th Centuries. The digital era has brought rise to propaganda and psychological warfare's perfect foil: The alternative media's adoption of open source intelligence analysis.
Open source investigations abound on virtually every subject of Deep Political significance today, and as a result, propaganda can be deconstructed by anyone with an Internet connection. Didn't know that Ben Affleck was a CIA agent whose handler is Chase Brandon? That information is available to you. Interested in the weaponization of novels, or CDC and Defense Department "assistance" given to big-budget Hollywood disaster flicks? Just point and click.
However, if one were pondering why the first-person shooter they just purchased for their Xbox was laden with pro-war propaganda while simultaneously training the player in reflexive shooting, one might have a more difficult task ahead of them; despite the vast influence of the gaming industry on 21st Century culture, virtually no investigative mettle has been assigned to the task of rooting out Deep State actors within the field.
That is, until today.
Foundations, Think Tanks, and Academia: The Usual Suspects and the Revolving Door
Collusion between video game developers and the Military Industrial Complex has come a long way since Atari's 1980 tank combat game Battlezone was used by the US Army as a Bradley tank training simulator. It's come an equally long way since the 1996 creation of "Marine DOOM." The vector graphics of Yesteryear have given way to ever-increasing polygon counts, the shoot-em-ups of the 2D-gaming era dissipating in a sea of first-person shooters (or FPS games). The US Army, too, has evolved in kind; no longer are such training simulators masquerading as video games aimed merely at enlistees, but the populous at large. In this respect, the Army's pet project, America's Army, is the Bradley Tank Simulator's modern analogue.
Originally published in 2002 (with over 40 iterations released since as of 2015), America's Army is the brainchild of one Colonel Casey Wardynski. Running on the widely used Unreal Engine, the game is distributed at no cost on multiple platforms; in line with Wardynski's original vision, the series' intention is to "[use] computer game technology to provide the public a virtual Soldier experience that was engaging, informative and entertaining." In other words, a "soldier simulation FPS," more realistic than its big-budget, Hollywood-esque counterparts.
Some might even characterize it as military training software, somewhat ham-fistedly and morbidly marketed the towards the very teenagers and young men the Army intends to recruit.
Colonel Wardynski, the architect of this marketing and conditioning strategy, is a renaissance man as Globalists are concerned. An economist, Professor, Colonel, game designer, Ivy Leaguer, and, most recently, Huntsville, AL Superintendent, Wardynski's biography reads like that of a polymath:
Most interesting is his post-graduate degree, attained from the highly selective RAND Graduate School, an offshoot of the avowedly Globalist RAND Corporation, graduating a mere ~100 students per year. Simultaneously a Think Tank, policy analyst, and propagandist, the RAND Corporation, like Colonel Wardynski, wears many hats. Widely known as an integral component of the Military Industrial Complex's well-oiled psychological warfare machine, that the RAND Corporation would produce a man like Wardynski is less than shocking. RAND's constant ability to evolve its propagandistic ambitions, from Radio Free Europe of the 20th Century to the video games of today, however, is a noteworthy feat.
Taking into account the sizable Rockefeller, Carnegie, and Ford Foundation grants issued to RAND throughout the decades, its pervasive influence is more easily explained. As a disciple of RAND, Wardynski's acknowledgement of game theory in the form of America's Army displays his creative appreciation for history, if nothing else.
The RAND Corporation is hardly alone within the Military Industrial Complex in its pursuit of games-based propaganda. The infamous DARPA and CIA subcontractor, SRI International, is also hard at work developing video games, though its project takes a radically different approach: Operant conditioning of children in the classroom.
Like RAND, the Stanford Research Institute, or SRI, has a long, diverse, and to the discerning eye, somewhat disreputable history. From the seemingly strange to the ruthlessly pragmatic, SRI has offered its "unique" skillset to many a government agency. In the 1970s, they were a witting CIA subcontractor in the pursuit of "psychic supersoldiers," which, according to the CIA, yielded "actionable intelligence." More recently, SRI created Apple's artificial intelligence, SIRI, yet many remain unaware of the fact that SIRI is merely the "civilian" iteration of a military AI, developed by SRI for DARPA.
Did I mention that SRI created nearly all of modern computing back in 1968? From the computer mouse to hypertext, from word processing to videoconferencing, SRI, in cooperation with ARPA (using the ARPANET), NASA, and the Air Force, is the progenitor of our 21st Century "Technotronic Era":
SRI is now leveraging its vast experience in the technological realm with its foray into "Digital Games for Learning," ostensibly creating conditioning software "focused on the cognitive effects of simulations in K-12 STEM education." STEM (or Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) is the latest educational initiative in a long line of Prussian-style "reforms" and a focus of the oft-criticized "Common Core" agenda. Where Common Core lurks, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is never far behind, making their partnership with SRI Education in this venture somewhat predictable:
You're welcome to read GlassLab's wordy executive report on "Digital Games for STEM Learning," but in brief, SRI and the Gates Foundation have determined what marketers at Sony, Nintendo, and Gates' own Microsoft have known for decades: Video games are an excellent way to operantly and classically condition children. Gone are the days of focus on literature, the Arts, and the Trivium Method of learning necessary to create independent and holistic minds. SRI, the Gates Foundation, and popular game creator and publisher Electronic Arts (progenitor of the propaganda-laden Battlefield series) will now pump out automatons using a digital Skinner Box:
Simply set your kids (lab rats) in front of your fancy new iPad (operant conditioning chamber) and enjoy your new and improved human resource. No parenting necessary. The Simulacra is Gates, SRI, and Common Core approved!
Hopefully the Foundation's well-documented history as eugenicists doesn't play on your unpsychopathic conscience. There's a pill for that, I think.
This endemic relationship between the military, academia, Foundations, and the gaming industry recently manifested on the global stage by way of Syriza's Yanis Varoufakis. Before playing the role of "Hero of the People" as Syriza's Finance Minister, Varoufakis was a Cambridge fellow, member of the Globalist Brookings Institution, and former Economic Advisor to Papandreou, the man responsible for brokering Greece's austerity deal with the EU in the first place.
His career also includes a foray into the gaming industry as a private consultant for the VALVE Corporation, founded by former Microsoft employees Gabe Newell and Mike Harrington and creators of famous titles like the dystopian FPS Half-Life and first-person puzzle game Portal. VALVE also operates the popular game distribution platform, STEAM, which distributes the aforementioned America's Army.
As advancements in artificial intelligence, bioinformatics, and technological convergence coalesce into the emergence of the post-human era, the capable eyes of open source intelligence analysts should turn their glance towards the gaming industry as a tool of propaganda, as has readily been done with literature, Hollywood, and television. The few documented connections outlined herein are merely a foundation upon which others will (hopefully) build far more complete works.
Psychological Warfare's "Call of Duty"
In addition to military training and conditioning software, the psychological warfare tactic known as predictive programming is also alive and well in modern video games. Infinity Ward's FPS series, Call of Duty, which is known for its bombastic, Michael Bay-esque Hollywood style, fittingly "envisioned" the 2013 Syria Crisis in its 2007 title, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare.
The game focuses upon two branching military campaigns: One by the Marine Corps in an unnamed Middle Eastern country (situated on the in-game map directly atop modern Syria) run by a cartoonish dictator generically referred to as none other than "Al-Asad," the other by a British SAS team combating "ultranationalist Russians" who are supporting this thinly veiled tin-pot Arabic dictator. After a patriotic romp through Central Asia, "Al-Asad" predictably (predictively?) uses "Weapons of Mass Destruction" on his own people, leading to a climactic final battle at a Russian nuclear site in a bid to avoid World War III.
The plot is so reminiscent of the mainstream media coverage amidst the 2013 chemical False Flag blamed on actual Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad, that it's surprising to see that no one (to my knowledge) has yet drawn the comparison. Readers are encouraged to decide for themselves.
The Call of Duty series' latest entry adds a twist of Transhumanist futurism to the mix; Call of Duty: Black Ops III's trailer recounts humanity's potential future, looking back from the 2060s on the development of Cybernetics, Technocracy, and "super soldiers." It's even complete with an Edward Snowden lookalike:
While this retrospective ignores Google employee and futurist Ray Kurzweil's predicted "Singularity" of 2045, it does imply the fulfillment of another Kurzweil vision, World Government. And though dystopic Sci-Fi has become increasingly pervasive in modern entertainment and is not necessarily indicative of Deep Political intent or investment, the series' previous installment contains at least one noteworthy Deep Political actor among its staff:
International drug dealer, gun runner, and USMC Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North's credit for Call of Duty: Black Ops II
It is at this point in our investigation (much to this author's chagrin) at which open-source intelligence begins to fall short; unlike the intelligence networks in Hollywood mapped out by researchers like Tom Secker of SpyCulture, the gaming industry has no similar analogue with which to explore these loose hypotheses further. In a personal attempt to begin creating a document trail, I decided to pluck at (or in this case, FOIA for) the low-hanging fruit: The widely attributed Military Industrial Complex assistance to FPS games like Call of Duty, enshrined in most military game credits:
The credited military assistance to Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
Filing a request with each listed branch in kind, I inquired for the following documents:
Requesting any and all documentation related to the USMC's assistance and/or funding of the 2007 entertainment software title Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare by Infinity Ward. Specific documentation on the involvement of (but not limited to) the USMC 1st Tank Battalion, Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 775, and USMC 5th Battalion 14th Marines on the production of this game should be included.In addition, I filed a number of more general requests for information on military assistance to the games industry in general, all of which were flatly rejected. The Marine Corps has yet to respond to my Call of Duty 4 request in full, but one division has - Marine Aircraft Group 39 - who sent me the following:
You can read the denial in full here, but unfortunately, it seems the meticulous and disciplined record-keepers at the USMC have either lost these documents upon HMLA-775's decommissioning or never had them in the first place. However, a third possibility exists: They're simply not looking hard enough. It is at this point that I implore readers, researchers, and curious minds alike to file FOIA requests of your own on government assistance to the gaming industry. While FOIA is far from a perfect tool, this should hardly dissuade individuals from utilizing it while it still exists. Targeting information on an industry whose Military Industrial Complex funding is virtually undocumented, yet has still come to rival the distribution and revenue of Hollywood seems a worthwhile task that, with enough effort, may very well yield important revelations.
File a Federal FOIA Request (By Agency)
Central Intelligence Agency: http://www.foia.cia.gov/foia_request
Federal Bureau of Investigation: https://www.fbi.gov/foia/
Department of Homeland Security: http://www.dhs.gov/freedom-information-act-foia
Department of Defense: http://www.dod.mil/pubs/foi/
United States Marine Corps: http://www.hqmc.marines.mil/Agencies/USMCFOIA/Howtomakearequest.aspx
US Air Force: http://www.foia.af.mil/
US Navy: http://www.doncio.navy.mil/TagResults.aspx?ID=122
US Army: https://www.rmda.army.mil/foia/foiarequest/
You can read the denial in full here, but unfortunately, it seems the meticulous and disciplined record-keepers at the USMC have either lost these documents upon HMLA-775's decommissioning or never had them in the first place.
However, a third possibility exists: They're simply not looking hard enough. It is at this point that I implore readers, researchers, and curious minds alike to file FOIA requests of your own on government assistance to the gaming industry. While FOIA is far from a perfect tool, this should hardly dissuade individuals from utilizing it while it still exists. Targeting information on an industry whose Military Industrial Complex funding is virtually undocumented, yet has still come to rival the distribution and revenue of Hollywood seems a worthwhile task that, with enough effort, may very well yield important revelations.
(Note: This author's experience has been that the various branches of the armed forces, especially the Army and USMC, are far less reticent in answering FOIA requests than their intelligence counterparts. Uncomfortable filing FOIA requests? No problem! Your assistance is still needed in cross-referencing the staff of America's Army with other FPS titles like Battlefield, Call of Duty, and Microsoft's Halo.)