How in the world did Gary Webb get as far as he did before he got bumped off?
Of course his murder was for the sake of “national security”, because the drug war is one of the very few props remaining for the american dollar. But at some point you’d think the military would start to wonder why we’ve become so dependent on wall street money launderers to maintain what’s left of our standard of living.
Same with the endless wars in the middle east, of which the killing game is one of the primary recruitment tools. We used to have industries, we used to sell things. The dollar was in demand because this country produced things that people wanted to buy. Now all we sell is debt and weapons. And of course children, to saudi arabian pedophiles. Top dollar for a white girl.
Wake the f*ck up pentagon. Your family lives here. Stop parroting the echo chamber and start to think. Your bosses worship the devil. Seriously. It’s that bad.
For young men, first-person shooters are the hottest computer games around. That’s why the Army spent $10 million developing its own. But there’s a catch. Big Brother gets to watch you play….
LANatomas is an hour into its twice-weekly practice, getting ready for its season opener Sunday night against res.ilience, a clan from the Seattle area. In preseason standings, LANatomas is the top-ranked team in the Pacific Conference of the Cyberathlete Amateur League’s Main Division, and the members hope to claw their way into the Premier Division this season, one step from the big time. But at the moment, the Premier Division clan they’re practicing against—Eminence, from Dallas—is mowing them down.
“Dude, we are getting raped,” clan leader Jeff Muramoto mutters.
Looking over their shoulders is Craig Wentworth, a slight, pale, blond man wearing narrow glasses and a red T-shirt. Wentworth, 20, is the clan’s veteran and has been playing Counter-Strike fanatically for five years. A junior at California State University, Sacramento, he decided recently to step back, citing the time required to remain competitive in league play. Now he just drops by to watch and advise.
“We were playing seven days a week, hours and hours a day, and I just got burned out,” he says. Playing under the name Las1K, Wentworth says he won about $2,000 in cash and another $2,000 in computer parts in Counter-Strike tournaments. “Not bad for a hobby. I was one of the more famous players around here. A lot of people knew me.”
Muramoto, 21, looks up at Wentworth with a grin of affirmation. “Dude. You were own-ness.”
But Las1K hasn’t laid down his weapons for good and he knows it. “You always come back,” he says quietly, watching his friends blast their way through a phalanx of terrorists. “You get pissed, take off for a few months, but you always come back to it.”
For anyone who hasn’t seen one of these games—known as first-person shooters—here’s the gist of them. You’re placed in a combat zone, armed with a weapon of your choice and sent out to find and kill other players. Knife them, club them, blow them apart with a shotgun, set them afire, vaporize them with a shoulder-launched missile, drill them through the head with a sniper rifle—the choice is yours.
Depending on the game, blood will spray, mist or spout. Sometimes your kills collapse in crumpled heaps, clutching their throats and twitching convincingly. Sometimes they cry in pain with human voices. Their bodies lie there for a while, so you can feed off them if necessary, restoring your own health. Then you can grab their weapons and set off to find another victim, assuming you don’t get killed first.
It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but among young men it’s far and away the most popular genre of computer game. Some psychologists and parents worry that such games are desensitizing a large, impressionable segment of the population to violence and teaching them the wrong things. But that depends on your point of view. If, like the U.S. Army, you need people who can become unflappable killers, there’s no better way of finding them.
It’s why the Army has spent more than $10 million in taxpayer funds developing its very own first-person shooter, and why the Navy, the Air Force and the National Guard are following suit. For anyone who thinks kids aren’t learning playing shooter games, read on….
“I have to laugh when someone says, ‘Oh, the people playing these games know it’s not real,’ “ said Dr. Peter Vorberer, a clinical psychologist and head of the University of Southern California’s computer game research group. “Of course they think it’s real! That’s why people play them for hours and hours. They’re designed to make you believe it’s real. Games are probably the purest example yet of the Internet melding with reality.”
LANatomas clan member Rob McCarthy, 17, a senior at Sacramento High School, couldn’t agree more.
“What’s interesting to me is that you can become famous in the cyberworld, and that fame can carry over into the real world,” McCarthy said. “In the cyberworld, you can earn respect, just like in real life. Most parents can’t get their minds around that.”
It may sound fanciful, but he’s right. Top Counter-Strike teams and top players have developed cult followings, and with that have come fame and fortune. Management teams have sprung up to develop new talent, and cash tournaments are commonplace. Clans from 50 countries attended the World Cyber Games two weekends ago in San Francisco, competing for a $25,000 top prize and lucrative corporate sponsorships.
Team 3D, arguably the best clan in the United States, boasts sponsorships from Subway, Hewlett-Packard, Nvidia (which makes graphics processors) and Sennheiser (which makes audio equipment). The world’s No. 1-ranked clan, Schroet Kommando of Sweden, is sponsored by Intel and has its own clothing line. Fatal1ty, a legendary Counter-Strike gamer, also has a clothing line and a Fatal1ty-brand computer motherboard coming out.
In addition, top players make extra money by giving private lessons for anywhere from $50 to $120 an hour, schooling players on strategies, gunnery, weapons selection and squad tactics.
For thousands of Counter-Strike players, the game has become their life. “This is what I want to do,” said Carson Loane, 18, a LANatomas clan member who once played Counter-Strike for 20 consecutive hours. “But if I’m going to do it competitively, I have to practice at least 10 hours a day. And I’m prepared to do that. But the catch is you’ve got to find four other people to do it with you. The only way to win this game is as a team.”
In Chico, an organized team, or clan, of Counter-Strike enthusiasts has yet to form, though not from lack of effort. Erik Manley, manager of Software Etc., at the Chico Mall, lights up at the mention of the game. He said he and some friends have tried to form a team, but without much success so far.
“There was some interest at first,” he said. “We got a Chico server listed online, but it never took off. There are only about five of us right now. We’re still hoping to get something going.”
Manley said Counter-Strike may be the most enjoyable online game he’s ever played.
“You begin to play,” he said, “and all of a sudden it’s four hours later.”
Stanford University psychology professor B.J. Fogg isn’t surprised to see such dedication to a computer game.
“Video games, better than anything else in our culture, deliver rewards to people, especially teenaged boys,” said Fogg, who studies the effects of computer games. “Teenaged boys are wired to seek competency. … Video games, in dishing out rewards, can convey to people that their competency is growing. You can get better at something second by second.”…