An eighteen-year-old soldier stationed in Iraq was able to attain the post of drone pilot instructor, in part due to skills he learnt while playing video games. Democracy Now! conducted an interview with P.W. Singer; author of Wired For War: The Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the 21st Century and formerly advisor to the Obama campaign.
Singer explained that the soldier was a high school dropout who had joined the army to do his father proud. He had planned on becoming a helicopter mechanic, but since he had flunked the high school English course, superiors asked if he wanted to try out for the position of Drone Pilot.
“And it turned out, because of playing on video games, he was already good at it. He was naturally trained up,” Singer said to Democracy Now! in the interview. “And he turned out to be so good that they brought him back from Iraq and made him an instructor in the training academy, even though he’s an enlisted man and he’s still, he was nineteen.”
So next time your parents tell you to put that silly Xbox away, remind them about the 19-year-old who went from high school dropout to Drone Pilot instructor.