Pentagon publication: Youngsters injure themselves during basic training because of the “Nintendo generation”

from okay-boomer department

If there’s been a persistent position over the past few decades, it’s that video games are the source of all the trouble with young people these days. If you want to take it further, you can boil it down to “this thing that kids enjoy but I didn’t grow up with is why everything is terrible”. You see this everywhere. The New York Times thinks the pandemic has forced all kids to play all video games all the time, creating all the problems. Established politicians say video games are the reason we have gun violence in America. Even cute little fascists like Josh Hawley, who seem like what would happen if you took a picture of Slender Man and gave him human features, claim that video games are contributing to a loss of manhood in America.

So perhaps it’s not particularly surprising that some in the Pentagon think young people playing video games are also creating problems for the military. But he should surprising that anyone in the Pentagon wants blame ‘Nintendo generation’ for core training injuries due to – check notes – weak skeletons.

The article, titled “Why Today’s ‘Gen Z’ Are at Risk of Injury in Boot Camps,” interviewed Army Maj. Jon-Marc Thibodeau, a clinical preparedness coordinator. medical at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri.

Asked about today’s youth, Major Thibodeau was direct. “The skeleton of the ‘Nintendo Generation’ soldier isn’t strengthened by activity before he arrives, so some of them break more easily,” he said.

This outlandish claim is backed up by anecdotes from a military hospital therapist who talks about some of the injuries she sees occur during basic training. In particular, no comprehensive study conducted by the Pentagon is cited. It should also be noted that many injuries are soft tissue injuries, which have nothing to do with the strength of someone’s skeleton. It should also be noted that this opinion coming from the military is not particularly new: JFK lamented the softness of the Americans in 1960, as the Vice article notes.

It all has pure “get off my lawn” vibes. First, the “Nintendo generation” doesn’t get basic training these days, because it was my generation and I am 40 years old. I will also suggest that this may not be the message you want to send to a group of young people that you are actively seeking to join the military. And, finally, I’ve noticed a complete lack of acknowledgment as to how much “combat” is active these days that uses technology and the methods of controlling that technology that damn looks like something closer to playing a video game versus scaling a fabricated wall. Drones, anyone?

And it’s not like everyone at DoD agrees with Thibodeau’s hot take.

Not everyone in the military thinks the younger generation is soft. Retired Navy Admiral William H. McRaven, former head of Special Operations Command, once said that anyone calling Millennials meek had never “seen them in a firefight in Afghanistan.”

Despite Major Thibodeau’s issues with the Nintendo generation, the Pentagon has actively wooed them in recent years, pouring millions of dollars into projects aimed at making Navy sailors and army soldiers into stars of the game. esports on Twitch. The Nintendo generation didn’t care much.

I also don’t think the young people who will make up the future fighting forces don’t care about the messages from the Pentagon here. This stuff is really easy to say, but unless the Pentagon wants to back it up with real data, it’s just the armed forces shooting themselves in the foot. I learned not to do that stuff…by playing video games.

Filed Under: blame, military, video games

Companies: nintendo

Jacob L. Thornton