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Xbox Wars
June 12, 2009 4:32 AM   Subscribe

Science fiction writers have always been writing about remote control war, the Isreali arms industry has been develping remote control drones (as seen in Pakistan), but only the US military has a remote control mini tank driven via an Xbox controler!
posted by Coyote Modern (37 comments total)

 
We also have a Statue of Liberty controlled by a NES Advantage.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 4:38 AM on June 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


The remote control war happens every Sunday night when my wife wants to watch "Desperate Housewives". Bada-boom! Thank you folks, I'll be here all week!
posted by jeremias at 4:46 AM on June 12, 2009


Not a WiiMote + Arduino + XBee module all covered by steampunk etchings and enclosed in a papercraft container? Meh.
posted by DU at 4:47 AM on June 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


I was into the Israeli arms industry waaay before their later stuff.
posted by mattoxic at 5:00 AM on June 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Obligatory.
posted by Evilspork at 5:05 AM on June 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


No way mattoxic, me too.
posted by Coyote Modern at 5:10 AM on June 12, 2009


and enclosed in a papercraft container?

Would it be less meh if the exterior were made by Candyfab 6000?

There is something about skagging little brown people seen only onscreen using an XBox controller that impresses and appalls in equal amounts.
posted by Enron Hubbard at 5:14 AM on June 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


CandyFab exterior would be deliciously appropriate.
posted by DU at 5:19 AM on June 12, 2009


Evilspork beat me to the Ender's Game reference -- damn.

Well, there's also an official site, here.
posted by vhsiv at 5:28 AM on June 12, 2009


Q.: Is Ender's Game a larger political metaphor for an entire cohort of people living in a socirty devoted to a military-industrial complex? This may be more appropriate for Meta Talk, but the thought just occurred to me here.

(Mods, please delete this entry if it's too much like a hijack.)
posted by vhsiv at 5:34 AM on June 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


There is something about skagging little brown people seen only onscreen using an XBox controller that impresses and appalls in equal amounts.

This is my Wiimote. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My Wiimote is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I master my life. My Wiimote, without me, is useless. Without my Wiimote, I am useless.
posted by permafrost at 5:38 AM on June 12, 2009 [3 favorites]


Thank you Evilspork if only this was wikiworld and you edit my first link.
posted by Coyote Modern at 5:46 AM on June 12, 2009


"Take that, you fucking n00bs! I need another Mountain Dew... Cpl. MOM!"
posted by educatedslacker at 5:56 AM on June 12, 2009


And iPod controlled sniper rifles.
posted by cjorgensen at 6:38 AM on June 12, 2009


I'm sorry educatedslacker I really did mean that as a sincere comment: I really wish that Evilspork could change links (but this probably should be a metatalk). The bad grammar was meant as a joke (which with hindsight was a bad idea)

I am a Newbie (because i just found a reason to post despite having an account for a year) and I will learn from to shut up in the comments when I have nothing so say!

I guess learning the rules of the blue takes time and I still have a lot to learn, and I do genuinely want t do that.
posted by Coyote Modern at 6:47 AM on June 12, 2009


Red Ring of Death?
posted by eriko at 6:49 AM on June 12, 2009


I'm waiting for the day that we start paying the government to play Call of Duty 12: Current Warfare.
posted by JauntyFedora at 6:50 AM on June 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Live by the remote control, die by the remote control.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 7:11 AM on June 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


I will learn from to shut up in the comments when I have nothing so say!

Don't worry about it. If everyone did that, we'd only ever get a dozen comments per post, max.
posted by permafrost at 7:12 AM on June 12, 2009


Or we could take the gaming reference even farther and talk about that movie coming out where you control live people in a video game.

More on topic, it's good (I guess?) to see the military using controls that people will already be familiar with...
posted by scrutiny at 7:19 AM on June 12, 2009


Remote control combat drones are completely passé, anyway. They're far too vulnerable to comms jamming. What's hot now are fully autonomous robotic combat drones. At least until they finish working on that "Skynet" project, that's it...
posted by Skeptic at 7:19 AM on June 12, 2009


Coyote Modern

My comment was just a general joke about the average user on Xbox Live being moved into a war situation... it honestly wasn't directed at you in any way whatsoever.

Comment disclaimer:Don't take the majority of my comments seriously.
posted by educatedslacker at 7:22 AM on June 12, 2009


Remote control combat drones are completely passé, anyway. They're far too vulnerable to comms jamming.

I do wonder about that. It seems like the remote controlled drones are seeing so much use in Iraq & Afghanistan is because the insurgents can't jam them or shoot down the satellites*. I wonder just how useful they would be in a war against an oppenent as technologically advanced as the U.S.


*I'm not a military expert but I do think shooting down satellities would quite difficult (possibly impossible) even for the U.S.

posted by nooneyouknow at 7:29 AM on June 12, 2009


up-up-down-down-left-right-left-right-B-A-Start...

aw... dammit...
posted by Navelgazer at 7:33 AM on June 12, 2009


nooneyouknow AFAIK, many of the drones used in Mess-O'-Potamia and "AfPak" are already highly autonomous. There's still a "man-in-the-loop" for things like, well, actually firing weapons, but the vehicles themselves can find their way back on their own.

Of course, there's long been talk of automating even the targetting and firing functions of UCAVs (Unmanned Combat Air Vehicles), but even the Pentagon is a little uncomfortable about that. After all, most current officers did watch "Terminator" when they were younger...
posted by Skeptic at 7:40 AM on June 12, 2009


I wonder just how useful they would be in a war against an oppenent as technologically advanced as the U.S.

Scary as hell.

Picture the first volley of arrows from Braveheart or Hero. Archers pull back and let the arrows fly. The sky fills with arrows going up. They reach apogee. Then they start falling.

When you are fighting against a technologically advanced opponent, the arrows fall back on the shooter.

Imagine all of the destruction of the first world war happening in two months.
posted by b1tr0t at 7:42 AM on June 12, 2009


I'm not a military expert but I do think shooting down satellities would quite difficult (possibly impossible) even for the U.S.

How about the Chinese?
posted by DU at 7:48 AM on June 12, 2009


"Video games train our kids for war"

--Lords of the New Church, ca 1984
posted by ZenMasterThis at 8:53 AM on June 12, 2009


"Video games train our kids for war"
For what it matters, I'm a somewhat avid gamer and think war's pretty awful. However, I find myself not being able to stand war-themed games with clear good and bad: The moral ambiguity of Metal Gear or Thief is way more engaging.
posted by dunkadunc at 9:15 AM on June 12, 2009


"Gosh I wish I had better reflexes to dodge this taxi..."

Stiv Bators, lead singer of Lords of the New Church, 1990
posted by lumpenprole at 9:42 AM on June 12, 2009


"Video games train our kids for awesome war- in space!"

--the Last Starfighter, ca 1985
posted by drjimmy11 at 11:50 AM on June 12, 2009


ZenMasterThis, what sort of futuristic Pong-based warfare were LotNC expecting in 1984?

yes, ok, 1984's pretty late for a Pong joke, what with Combat and my favorite, River Raid, and Choplifter I guess.
posted by theclaw at 12:06 PM on June 12, 2009


Israeli army develops one-eyed robot trouser snake
posted by Xoebe at 12:17 PM on June 12, 2009


How about the Chinese?

Thanks for that. By not a military expert, I meant everything I know about war & the military I learned from G.I. Joe. I was basing my "hard to shoot down satellities" theory on vague stuff I had heard about (ballistic?) missiles being difficult to shoot down.
posted by nooneyouknow at 12:39 PM on June 12, 2009


Well, a ballistic missile is hard to shoot down because you don't know where it's coming from until it's in air, then you have to be in front of it, then you have to acquire it as a target and hit it with another missile. I've read this is like shooting a bullet with a bullet.

I would think that a satellite, since it's in a predictable orbit would be pretty easy to hit. It would be a matter of math and physics. In the case of a satellite you just need to park a slower moving object in the same orbit.

In a Harry Harrison book (don't remember which) he has a space battle, but rather than a laser, a ship open a cargo hold of ball bearings to predictable effect.
posted by cjorgensen at 1:55 PM on June 12, 2009


The Steward explained that if they press the button on the Button Unit, two things will happen: they will receive $200,000, tax-free. And someone whom you do not know will die. --- from Button, Button by Richard Matheson.
posted by SPrintF at 5:45 PM on June 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


In the case of a satellite you just need to park a slower moving object in the same orbit.

I thought if it is a substantially slower object, it is by definition not in the same orbit. Actually, I think it would be easier to accomplish from an initially higher orbit, then do a controlled re-entry, and cross paths with the target on the way down.
posted by Enron Hubbard at 11:02 AM on June 13, 2009


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