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Real first-person shooters: Online group rallies military gamers

Nov. 18, 2011 - 03:32PM   |   Last Updated: Nov. 18, 2011 - 03:32PM  |  
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Had your fill of console commandos who aren't even veterans of middle school yet spout off on "realistic military tactics" in the gaming forums?

Sick of game reviewers who wouldn't know the business end of a real Claymore mine from an M4?

The folks at Off Duty Gamers have got you covered if you want to make a run for their online bunker. Former Army paratrooper Mark Christianson first started the group as a refuge, rally point and intel center for veteran gamers who are actual veterans.

"We're creating a place for people who are tired of arguing with 12-year-olds about weapon accuracy," says Christianson, a military consultant for gaming giant Electronic Arts.

He has enlisted a squad of active-duty and prior-service gamers who are unleashing a regular stream of hardware, game and gear reviews written for people who appreciate what it means to be a first-person shooter in real life.

Now Christianson is trying to connect troops and veterans with gaming-industry producers on the lookout for military experts to help develop future games. He has already helped a few vets land some gigs and believes there's huge room for growth.

From inventing storylines to play-testing to gamer convention meet-'n'-greets, "I think the potential is great for veterans to be involved in the gaming industry," he says.

Those interested can upload their particulars, and if things work out, Christianson says he'll take a small cut for doing the legwork while giving the lion's share to those in the trenches.

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