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  Military Laser Weapon Gunning for Gamers?  
Posted 2005-11-16 by Tony Walsh
Military Laser Weapon Gunning for Gamers?
While the "PHaSR" Personnel Halting and Stimulation Response weapon is a feat of military science, its physical design is curiously curvaceous. I can't think of a compelling practical reason for the non-lethal weapon's organic shape and two-toned styling--most military weapons tend to be rather utilitarian. My wild guess is that the PHaSR has been designed to appeal directly to video-gamers, many of whom who are familiar with "using" futuristic weapons at least in a virtual sense. Here are some shots of game weapons that bear a passing similarity with the PHaSR: Halo 2 Covenant Carbine, Halo 2 Beam Rifle, Starseige 2845 Blaster Rifle, Unreal Tournament 2004 Sniper Rifle. The U.S. Army already operates fighting robots with joysticks and buttons, and is reportedly upgrading the system to accept input from a controller more like the ones used on today's video game consoles. Designing military hardware to appeal to gamers is likely not only to increase recruitment numbers, but decrease the time required to train troops.
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Comment posted by Jos 'Hyakugei' Yule
November 16, 2005 @ 2:19 pm
I watched How William Shatner Changed the World, which is about the influence Star Trek had on the development of todays technologies.

Coincidentally, I see that the name of this device is taken also taken from Star Trek - the phaser (PHaSR).

The show is worth seeing, whether you liked the show or not. Shatner is quite funny, in a self deprecating way, and the interviews with the scientists are interesting. The show is based on Shatners book "I'm Working on That : A Trek From Science Fiction to Science Fact".
Comment posted by Tony Walsh
November 16, 2005 @ 2:30 pm
Yep, my entry could have swapped "gamers" for "trekkers." I just think gamers are a more realistic target considering other military efforts to attract gamers--I think gamers are more likely than trekkers to believe that they can "do" the things they see/experience in their media of choice.
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