First-Person Shooters Make Marines Better According to US Navy Research

How exactly do marines benefit from playing first-person shooters?
first person shooter game

The long-running controversy over whether or not video games improve your cognitive capabilities is no longer a subject for debate. It seems first-person shooters can make you comprehend combat tactics faster.

Therefore, the US Navy has lately started considering using virtual reality programs to train soldiers… And even if you think video games aren’t comparable to real on-the-ground training, they may help you learn combat tactics and situational awareness.

Improved cognitive reasoning

Call of Duty
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare by Joshua Livingston. Licensed under CC by 2.0

The ultimate first-person shooter video game experience and highly realistic approach to strategic, tactical combat may help improve rapid response in actual war with the capability to stealth attack or unleash total mayhem with a full-frontal assault.


The U.S. Office of Naval Research found that gamers have more developed cognitive functions to make them better soldiers.

For this reason, playing video games such as Call of Duty with a high level of activity can help young people to have a much more rapid response to external stimuli and stop attacks or perform attacks much faster.

Backed by science

Military Science
Courtesy Photo U.S. Coast Guard District 8

According to Shawn Green, playing war video games can help gain more significant cognitive control and hold alertness for much longer.


Some studies state that gamers have much faster reflexes than ordinary people and that even surgeons can benefit from playing games.

So, Call of Duty could enable soldiers to respond much quicker to certain high-risk conditions where reaction time can make the difference between life and death.

They can help create better soldiers

The City Life
The City Life by Sam DeLong. Licensed under CC by 2.0

The U.S. military has motivated many of its soldiers to play warfare video games as a way to support combat training.


Mixing high-endurance physical training with war video games would give an aspiring Marine or soldier a better prospect of survival in modern warfare… And while simulations are not quite realistic or a replacement for training, they are an ideal way to improve cognitive skills and get a first taste of the military world.

There are limitations

Stand up if youre tired
Stand up if you’re tired! by Brian Hamilton, Public Domain.

Video games have noticeable limitations as they don’t accurately simulate what a soldier’s life is really like.

In the digital world, there are no ethical concerns. In this scenario, video games distort the reality of what the results of their actions would be in the real world.


So, ethically, first-person shooters do little to train aspiring soldiers for the kinds of real dangers they will face on the battlefield and the ramifications of their actions.

Warhorse soldiers honor fallen through Crossfit 1
Warhorse soldiers honor fallen through Crossfit by Ruth Pagan, Public Domain.

In 2012, psychological scientists Brock Bastian, Jolanda Jetten, and Helena Radke offered evidence that war video games could potentially repress players’ sensitivity to real-life violence. This is a big problem since in real life a soldier must control himself in most cases and be responsible for his actions.

Furthermore, Major Jon-Marc Thibodeau said recruits have a higher risk of getting injured because they don’t do exercise. He named them the “Nintendo generation.”


The inactive lifestyles of those enlisting in the military make them more prone to injury during military training.

First-person shooters increase cognitive functions

Regardless of their significance as training tools, war simulation video games such as Call of Duty can be a helpful tool to connect aspiring soldiers to a military career.

Call of Duty may help create greater cognitive skills and prepare aspiring soldiers or Marines to enter the military world and get a quicker response to any external threat.


Feature image credit: War by

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