Archive for category Games

Games: Call Of Duty Advanced Warfare

This game is of interest to our community because it involves a future where PMSC’s are the dominate players. It is a game that asks ‘what if?’.

This franchise has made a ton of money off of the Call of Duty games, and this latest game is the next evolution of that franchise. When they hired a heavy duty actor like Kevin Spacey to play the CEO of the fictional PMSC in this game called Atlas Corporation, then you know these guys are not fooling around. These games are essentially interactive movies, complete with premieres and premier parties and awards for best games. It really is amazing how far these things have come along.

It is also telling that video games would invest so much into PMSC related stories. Mercenary type games must really do well for them to put so much money and resource into the concept. I should also mention that I have a ton of traffic coming from places like Los Angeles and other areas of the country where games or other bits of PMSC related entertainment are made. I am sure on Facebook, the same kind of thing is happening. An industry that makes their money on good story and great action in a game, will find inspiration wherever it can–to include this blog. Which is great and I hope they take the ideas and run with them. Just know that I can’t control what the gamers or other contractors feel about the game, so if it sucks, it is on you guys. lol

So we will see how the game does? For the record, I had no involvement with the development of this game. Check out the other behind the scenes videos that talk about the weapons and ideas of the game. Lots of technology and future warfare type stuff going on. –Matt

Pre-order game here.



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Cool Stuff: Art Of War Sun Tzu Strategy Card Deck, By Robert Cantrell

A big hat tip to Fred over at his website called Law Enforcement and Security Consulting for introducing this really neat set up. If you are a fan of Sun Tzu and like playing cards, and appreciate having dual use stuff in your deployment kit, this would be a good set up to have. A deck of playing cards doesn’t require batteries either.

Personally, I have used my Sun Tzu mobile apps I downloaded on my smart phone for reference. I have a quote generator app and the whole book as an app. But a deck of cards is equally cool, just because it is another way of looking at the material and organizing it.

The really intriguing part of this set up is the author has created a system on how to use these cards. They are organized in such a way so that you can easily get to the type of advice or material you need. Or you can combine them into unique strategies that suite your needs–or ‘building a snowmobile’ out of Sun Tzu’s strategies and ideas.

If you go to his website, there is a guidebook and more detail given on how best to use these cards. Or just use the cards for that game of poker or solitaire to pass the time on your deployment. Check it out and this would make for a great little gift during the holidays or for a birthday. –Matt



The Art of War: Sun Tzu Strategy Card Deck is made in the USA from the finest quality casino grade card stock. The content is written around four key elements of competitive strategy that include elimination, isolation, preparation of the field of contest, and preparation of the self. These elements are divided into four equal parts by suits as follows:

Preparation of Self – All hearts involve shaping yourself. You set your disposition to that best suited to reach your goal and present your adversary with appearances that that cause him to act against his best interests.

Preparation of the Field of Contest – All clubs involve shaping the field of contest. You create the conditions, such as confusion on the part of your adversary, that better allow you to win.

Isolation – All diamonds involve isolating something. This something may be an adversary, an option, an objective, time, etc. You separate something from something else.

Elimination – All spades involve eliminating something. That something may be an adversary, an option, an objective, time, etc. You remove something from the contest.

They follow the natural progression from preparing the self and the field of contest, isolating on a target, and closing on the objective shown by everything from wolves chasing down a caribou, lawyers isolating on a witness inconsistency, deal makers identifying and addressing an objection, to a child getting the answer he wants from one parent or the other. At the very core, it is all the same.

Each strategy card provides a memorable title, a strategy definition, and a basis of truth from which the strategy works. You reach your goal by enacting one or more strategies together at the same time or in a useful sequence. The strongest strategy combinations tends to have at least one representative member from each card suite.

Website for cards here.

Buy the deck of cards here.


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Games: Army Of Two– The Devil’s Cartel

This is a great concept for a game. Take these two security contractors and veterans of the middle east, and put them up against the cartels down south. Here is a quick description about the game.

You’ll face off against the world’s most vicious drug cartel in Army of TWO The Devil’s Cartel. Take part in a private military operation against The Scythe, a wide-spread criminal operation that has brought murderous terror to the besieged nation of Mexico. Lead your own insurrection as you battle tenacious foot soldiers and ruthless drug lords in a story that’s ripped from today’s headlines. Do whatever it takes to end the corrupt cartel’s stranglehold over the country, and bring the head of The Scythe to swift and bloody justice. The Army of TWO may be vastly outnumbered by the villainous Devil’s Cartel, but they certainly will not be outgunned.

Man, it almost seems like the guys at EA are reading this blog. lol I have been talking about private industry, armed with letters of marque, operating within a well constructed offense industry, and used against the cartels for awhile now.

What is cool here is that this game further demonizes the cartels and allows the gaming public to participate in their destruction.  It also brings up the concept of using private industry to take care of a problem. Even if the reality of doing such a thing is remote, or that private industry would probably approach it in a less dramatic and violent fashion, it is the idea of such an action that is significant. Very cool and we will see how it sells. –Matt

Facebook page for game here.

Website for game here.



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Games: Peter Singer Interview About ‘Call Of Duty’ And The Future Of Warfare

This is cool. Foreign Policy did an interview with Peter Singer about his consulting on the newest Call of Duty Black Ops game and I wanted to comment on it. Apparently this game has some pretty interesting input as to what future warfare will look like. The theme of the game is what if we ‘lose the keys’? Or hackers steal UAV’s from countries, and use them for whatever purpose. You as the player has to deal with that world. (no word yet if Cyber Lance is a concept being used in the game, but if it has guns, I am sure it has some kind of theme that is similar)

Definitely read this interview below and then watch the documentary that they put together. I liked this quote in the interview and it deserves some mention.

FP: How about the impact of these games on the public’s perception of warfare?
PS: Again, they are an entertainment platform. But you’ll notice that in the TV commercial I was in, everything that we were exploring a year ago as we were building out the game — well, news kept popping that confirmed the trends that we were identifying as important. Those who play the game will learn about trends and issues that are real and that are familiar to those in the defense base, but are not known widely: the criticality of rare-earth elements, the moving of more systems into the AI and robotic space. But when people point to video games, I point to something bigger in the perception of war: the end of the draft. Millions of kids are playing this game, but each year the U.S. Army has to persuade a little over 70,000 to join. During World War II, the U.S. public bought $185 billion in war bonds. During the last 10 years, we bought $0 in war bonds and gave the top 4 percent a tax break. If you want to talk about connections between the public and war, there are bigger things going on than video games.

That is quite the thing to get 70,000 young men and women to volunteer every year to join the military.  I remember during the peek of Iraq, recruiting was pretty tough and the military was doing everything they could to get kids to join. The military also depended upon contractors to fill in the blanks, and we did.  They also used stop loss and even called back some folks just to keep the all volunteer force staffed.

But all in all, it is pretty damn impressive that they are still able to get folks to volunteer. If video games are able to motivate kids to think about a career in the military, or influence tomorrow’s leaders in the military, then that is a big asset to our armed forces. Especially since these games help individuals to safely explore tactics and strategies of the battlefield, and help to feed the imagination, that then leads to innovations on how we do business. Life imitates art as they say.

Although games will never replace the blood, sweat and tears of real warfare. And anyone thinking that life in a combat zone is anything like a video game, will be very much in the wrong. They will quickly readjust to it’s boring, bitter and then momentarily frightening and extremely brutal realities. Nothing new there. Oddly though, soldiers in combat zones love to play these types of games….

But, even generals and soldiers play simulated war games, just to see how all of the pieces of the military are used for various scenarios. So it helps to see what that is, through the simple tools like a sand table all the way up to video games/red teams.

The final question in this interview is a good one too.

FP: The concept of Black Ops II seems ironic. Our own high-tech weapons are turned against us. Is this a cautionary tale?
PS: One of the changes in the real world is what I call “battle-zone persuasion.” The goal is not to blow up the enemy tank, but jam it, co-opt it, persuade it to do something that its owner doesn’t want it to do. This is new in war. You couldn’t persuade a spear to do something different after its owner threw it. You couldn’t call up Tom Cruise in his F-14 and say, “Maverick, recode all MiGs as F-14s, and all F-14s as MiGs.” A couple years ago, though, the Israelis turned off all the Syrian air defenses before they struck its nuclear facility, and then came Stuxnet. We are moving toward an era of battles of persuasion, as well as the traditional kinetic side. That’s one of the things the game does. The cautionary side is to know more about this and start to build some defenses against it.

Battle zone persuasion?  Interesting. I look at pseudo-operations in the same way. Hacking mindless weapon systems is one thing, but hacking a human would be the ultimate tool of chaos and destruction on the battlefield. Then you could use that guy or team to infiltrate companies/military units/terrorists/pirates/criminal groups, or even use them to hack other mindless weapon systems. They can create chaos from within, and find/exploit all of the weaknesses. That is quite the advantage.

It also demonstrates the importance of having some kind of an elephant chisel for our weapon systems we create. To be able to destroy these things before an enemy can use them against us. But yes, we should look at what could happen if someone took the keys, and games like this can help to imagine the possibilities, and even the counter to these acts.

Peter also mentioned an interesting aspect of modern warfare that ties in with mimicry strategy. Meaning the whole opensource warfare concept (mimicry of what others are doing), where everyone learns how to build weapons based on the input of a community of weapon builders. Not only that, but I think it is important to note that an incentivization process is happening as we speak that will only fuel these weapon builders. What I am talking about is the idea of youtube, and the reward an individual gets for showing off a creation in that arena.

Specifically, I am talking about this fake quadrotor with a machine gun video, that now has over 8 million views! (that is just on his upload, and not including the uploads of his video on other sites) How many folks that have watched this video, will go back to their garage and actually try to make a real weaponized quadrotor?  And with all of the available parts and information online to build such things, then the potential for ‘building snowmobiles‘ is there.

This process happens at lightning speed as viewers observe/orient/decide/act in the construction of their weapon. They want to mimic what they see, and do one better.  Or even improve upon it, all for the attention it gets on youtube (or for winning their fight). Moore’s Law applies as well, and will further help in the mad dash to create a better mouse trap.  Not to mention the weapon companies who are into the same game of ‘build it, and show it off’ to impress potential buyers of those weapons. That is a powerful concept if you ask me, and keeping one step ahead of it is extremely difficult. Video games like this can help us imagine the potential with this stuff, so innovations can be created to counter it. The future is now, as they say….. –Matt



Since When Does Brookings Make Video Games?
Military futurist Peter Singer — and consultant for the forthcoming Call of Duty — reveals what kind of dark assumptions are baked into the next blockbuster game.
MAY 8, 2012
The Internet has been abuzz over details — and several intriguing YouTube videos — of the upcoming “Call of Duty: Black Ops II,” scheduled to hit shelves in November. A sequel to the 2010 blockbuster “Call of Duty: Black Ops,” the latest iteration of the video game continues the saga of American and Russian operatives immersed in a complex 1960s Cold War plot. But much of the sequel takes place in 2025, when the United States is confronting China and when America’s high-tech arsenal of robotic vehicles is hacked, hijacked, and turned against its makers. Although the dark plot sounds like science fiction, it is actually based on solid real-world analysis provided by defense futurist Peter Singer, author of the bestselling Wired for War. Foreign Policy spoke with Singer about his work on the game:

Foreign Policy: There have been a lot of delicious rumors about Call of Duty: Black Ops II. What can you tell us about the game?
Peter Singer: [Laughs.] I’m just going to say the things that are already out there in the media. Essentially what they have revealed is that it builds upon the last game [Call of Duty: Black Ops]. The setting is broken into two parts. Some events take place in the Cold War of the 1980s, and most of it in the 2020s in a proto-Cold War that has emerged between the U.S. and China over a series of regional tensions and resource shortages. Essentially what we have done is take certain trends that are just now emerging, certain technologies that are at their Model T Ford stage, and move them forward into likely potential futures. The same for the political side as well, playing what happens if they move forward. We identified key trends shaping the current and future battlefield. Some you will see played out in robotics. A generation ago, this was all science fiction. Today, the U.S. military has 7,000 unmanned vehicles in the air, some of them armed, and 12,000 on the ground. We have 50 countries out there beginning to use military robotics. We might see evolution in other directions of robotics, such as bigger is not always better. An example in the game is the armed tactical quadcopter. As part of the marketing for the game, we put out a viral video of one of these made real. I know a Pentagon office has started looking at it and asking, “Why can’t we have this?”

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Books: Black Powder \ \ Red Earth–A Near Future Graphic Novel About PMC’s And The Middle East

Thanks to David over at Kitup for getting the word out about this graphic novel. I have not had a chance to flip through this thing, but I wanted to get it out there as a very unique book for this industry to check out.

The authors and illustrator here have created not only a book and comic, but also the merchandise and FB role playing game to go with. That is smart business because all of it will help to promote the book. It will also help Hollywood and readers imagine the world that the author is describing, and that is what gives these types of books a lot of value.

I also thought it was interesting that if this ever was made into a movie, that the author had the actor Kurt Russell in mind as one of the leads. You never know?…..-Matt


Black Powder, Red Earth

By Jon Chang, Kane Smith, and Josh Taylor

2017. The nation of Iraq, mired in horrific civil war, splinters into three nations: Kurdistan, New Baghdad and Basran. Within 6 months Iranian religious, government and military proxies dominate Basran, host to over 60% of the former nation’s oil reserves.
Backed by Saudi petrodollars, the GCC(Gulf Cooperation Council) Protectorate contracts Cold Harbor, a private military corporation, to wage a war of ruthless intrigue and clandestine violence in the post-Iraq state using American special operations contractors.
2019. Now.

Check out their website here.
Buy the book at the Jundi Gear locker from Amazon here.

From an interview between John Chang, the creator of BPRE, and the blog Giant Robot.

MW: Where did the Black Powder \\ Red Earth story come from and why did you decide to turn into a game?

JC: Black Powder \\ Red Earth started out as a short story. As far back as 2002, I had begun interviewing a number of Special Operation Contractors who were rotating between CONUS (Continental U.S.) and Afghanistan (and later Iraq). These men had opened up a whole new world to me, where companies provided security, support, and operational services to a variety of U.S. government agencies. At the time, public awareness of such entities was very limited, so I began writing. This was the start of BPRE.
The story and characters went through many changes over the six years I worked on it. I tried to be ruthless with each draft, taking what worked and tossing the rest, crafting a tighter story, while, at the same time, working on a game experience set in the same universe.

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Games: Call Of Duty Modern Warfare 3–The Vet And The Noob

The official Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 live action trailer featuring Sam Worthington, Jonah Hill and Dwight Howard. Whether you’re a veteran of Call of Duty or a n00b just starting out, there’s a soldier in all of us.

This is hilarious and a great promotion of the game. Nothing like a little star power and humor to sell a product.-Matt

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