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Drone pilots say their work is nothing like a video game

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United States pilots remote-controlling surveillance drones in Afghanistan say their work is nothing like playing a video game, according to a report in Business Insider sharing these pilots' experiences.

United States pilots remote-controlling surveillance drones in Afghanistan say their work is nothing like playing a video game, according to a report in Business Insider sharing these pilots' experiences.

Author Rob Blackhurst asserts that although the pilots carry out operations remotely using a joystick configuration similar to a video game console, the pilots are "softly spoken and sober about the life-and-death decisions with which they were charged," completely opposites of the mentality that video games inspire killing.

"It's anything but," an RAF Reaper pilot called Oz told the publication. "If we act like it's Star Wars, there are people in the command centre watching us and listening to what we do. The taking of human life is not something to be considered lightly. OK, they are bad guys we are killing, but they are still human beings."

Blackhurt writes of the pilots' distaste at comparing the use of armed drones to playing video games. He cites Chris Cole's Armed Drones and the PlayStation Mentality essay in which he accuses current soldiers of not valuing human life because they are physically removed from consequences presented by the drones.

The full piece can be read at Business Insider.