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Generation Xbox
Posted on Thursday, May 14 2009 @ 18:47:13 PST

It was hot that day. I could see the heat shimmering in the air all around. The sound of silence was almost deafening as I sat on top of the hill, waiting. Seconds turned to minutes as my nerves went crazy and my adrenalin started pumping. The metallic thud of the bolts locking to the rear can be heard on either side. The rattling chains of 5.56 and 7.62mm rounds glimmered under the sun. Our heavy gunners pulled their triggers, and lit up the village below.

Shift fire! Shift fire! I stand up and feel sweat drip off my nose. Time seems to slow down as I look down at my rifle. Seven pounds fully loaded, thirty inches long, fully extended. A one in seven twist ensures death at 600 yards, easy. I charge my M4 and flip the selector to burst. It's time to go.

"God damn! This is WAY better than Call of Duty!"

There's a reason my MTI (military training instructor) called my flight "Generation Xbox." Every other day he would give us the whole "You dont respawn in real life!" lecture after we messed something up. Afterall, how could we be expected to carry a rifle if our socks weren't rolled tighter than a nun's *nevermind*? I thought he was just making a generalization about our generation. I didn't actually think that everyone was a big gamer. I was pretty wrong.

I step around the bushes and begin my charge down the hill, my fireteam behind me. A window opens on the four-story building ahead. I squeeze my trigger and the window snaps shut, before my brass even hits the ground. I got one. The 240's and the 249's on the hill cease fire as I hit the wall beside the door and begin our stack. My fireteam falls in right behind me, and I can feel the A-frame of my grenadier's 203 jamming me in the thigh. Rock'n'roll. I lean into him, and he leans into the man behind him, and he into the last man. Rock. My grenadier is prepping a frag. I pull the door open just six inches. Frag out! I slam the door. The last man leans forward. BOOM! My grenadier leans into me. Roll.

"Battlefield 2 can't do it as well as me!"

Two game references, each from a different member of my squad. Is that all they can think about? It'd been so long since we actually played a real video game. How could they still be so enthralled! The FATS machine was the closest we ever got. Time Crisis, eat your heart out. It makes sense to me now that we were given that nickname. I can see why my instructor gave us **** about it all the time. When he went through, they didn't have cell phones. Guys like him spent time playing football or going to the gym, not in the arcades playing King Kong or Galaga. He'd been to Iraq. He'd been in firefights and house to house engagements. How else would someone with confirmed kills react to a bunch of kids who think they know how the military works because they played Command and Conquer as a kid? Rainbow six is a neat game for strategy, but nothing beats boots on the ground, right? I don't know...I'm pretty sure that Brother's in Arms taught me basic squad tactics just as well as these instructors did. At least in video games I never had to stare down a Brown Recluse who had the nerve to sit on my front sight assembly. I never had to lug around a fifty pound vest, with magazine pouches, grenade pouches, a radio, two 1-quart canteens, my two-quart canteen, and a buttpack with an MRE, foul weather gear, and a shaving kit. I didn't have to paint badass tiger stripes on my face and then lay in the dirt for hours on end watching the enemy eat, sleep, and ****.  But hey, if it weren't for all the games I played as a kid, I bet I'd have been running around like a madman out there. I'm sure having an entire family in the military helped, too.

I short-stocked my rifle and cut around the corner into the first room. A mad dash to the far corner, and two seconds later, my team shouts "Clear!" We stack up beside the stairwell. I rock back again, and they push back, and we roll. The stairs are easy. Two interlocking fields of fire going up, one covering the verticle sector, and one man covering the rear. We reach the top of the stairs, and I can see a man crouching behind a flipped bed in the room to the right. My genadier fires a burst and moves quickly into the room. I go straight ahead and my third man posts at the top of the stairs, while the fourth is at the bottom covering the entry. I shout "Clear!" and get a response instantly from my team. Just then, the door slams shut at there's a man standing behind it with an AK47. He rushes me and attempts some rifle fighting techniques. My martial arts experience kicks in, and I toss him over and take his weapon. One shot later, and it was actually clear.

"Rainbow six aint got SHIT"

There it is. The third man in my fireteam is a gamer, too. Go figure. I'm a gamer, too, but I thought it would be more important to focus on my training than on what I did 5 months ago. Whatever the case, our raid on Mount Village, a mock village designed for training (the FBI, the Army, the Air Force...we all use it!) in Urban Warfare, was complete. I apologize to the OPFOR man I just disarmed, and he threatens to wash me back for hurting him. I think he's proud of me, secretly. I looked over at my rear security on the stairs and said "Better than Killhouse, right?"

the OPFOR instructor can only say "What the hell does that mean? You god damn Generation Xbox kids think you know it all!"

Well, Mr. I. M. Terrorist, I saw Snake take Johnny's gun just like that.

What do you all think about our generation? Are we too influenced by video games? I think they can teach us some good things, if we play the right ones. We all know that beating hookers, running over pedestrians, and stealing cars makes the cops chase you, right?



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