I'm a big fan of shooters and always enjoy the ones that include real world events and potentially controversial subject matter. Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon comes to mind, and if you're familiar with the game and what is going on in the world today, you know why.

Ghost Recon begins in April 2008, with civil unrest in Russia. Ultra-nationalists have seized power with plans to rebuild the Soviet Union. Their first step is clandestine support of rebel forces in Georgia and the Baltic States. Alarmed by the threat, the U.S. deploys the Ghosts into Georgia to stop the Russians. Over the course of the campaign, the Ghosts take the fight to the ultra-nationalists, with a final showdown in Moscow's Red Square.

But there is a real world issue that is definitely controversial (no potential about it)...that even I have conflicting thoughts about. Maybe you do to - maybe you don't.


Now I don't want to focus on the real world controversies associated with drones. They're out there. They exist. And I'm kind of on the fence where I stand on the matter. You could tell me you're for them because they keep our servicemen and women out of harm's way...and I'd probably agree with you. You could tell me you're against them because we're essentially entering into armed conflict on foreign soil and in many cases, killing innocent bystanders...and I'd probably agree with you. I did get a little freaked out the other day when my wife and I were out for a drive out in the middle of nowhere and saw one overhead (it's probably what inspired this blog). I have no idea who owned it - private citizen, local government, federal agency? Your guess is as good as mine.

From a video game perspective, drones are nothing new. Plenty of games feature drones. They might be called UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) and they might not be weaponized, but we've certainly seen them. I think the way drones are implemented in video games, whether it's intentional or not, is probably the least offensive way they could be used.

That kind of surprises me (but doesn't necessarily disappoint me).

We've seen simulator games for just about everything now including a Goat Simulator and now a *ahem* Rock Simulator...but a Kickstarter project for a drone simulator using Google Earth from a few years ago...didn't do so well - 54 backers only managed to raise about a quarter of the targeted amount.

The Air Force has a web-based drone simulator that plays like a video game and is used to introduce interested individuals (and potential recruits) to drone operations. The game is cheesy as you would expect, which is probably a good thing. If it was more realistic, both in terms of graphics and mission objectives, it would probably be drawing the ire of the anti-drone crowd. I know you're dying to try it out - you can find it here. Anybody remember America's Army?

"Try your hand at piloting an Air Force unmanned aerial vehicle and destroying enemy targets."

There are a few other drone games, but for the most part...there isn't a dedicated drone game (at least none that I know of or could find). I've long been a fan of flight simulator games; played a whole bunch of them and still support them today.

When I think about the potential of a game that lets you pilot a drone, I see possibilities. Granted, there might not be a lot of interest in this sort of game, but definitely with the power and advances in technology, if it's done right it could be entertaining (do I need to say it again - there is a goat and rock simulator).  Some of my ideas about this are grand (and totally unrealistic)...but hey, doesn't hurt to dream about it, right? I would love to see a drone game offering integration into Call of Duty or Battlefield as a perk.


Mainstream society, at least the non-gaming part of it, often thinks we're a violent bunch because of the games we play. Imagine playing a game, we'll call it Drone Simulator 1.0, that allows you to destroy enemy targets but punishes you for every innocent bystander you kill.

I don't know if we're ready for that.

Alas, the weekend is almost here. Hope you had a wonderful day.