Sunday, September 16, 2012

'Bin Laden Raid' Simulation

In a recent article in the New York Times, a firearms training facility in New Hope, Minnesota is now offering a simulated experience of the Bin Laden raid of May 2011. The facility, Sealed Minds, recently constructed a 10,000 square foot studio to authenticate the experience that Seal Team 6 had in Bin Laden's compound near Abbottabad, Pakistan (Huffington Post). For a video of the simulation, please watch below.
 
For a cost of $325 (New York Times), and NO training necessary, Sealed Minds with a former Navy seal member leads you through their artificial compound, to hunt down Osama Bin Laden with paintball guns. Although the mission to kill the ex-leader of Al Qaeda was both heroic, and successful, is it right to allow the public to "participate" in one of the most historic Navy Seal operations? Quite frankly, I believe it is disrespectful to the Navy Seals who risked their lives to take out America's most wanted terrorist. While the "fake-Bin Laden" is merely firing paintball ammunition which could do no more damage than a bruise, the idea of terrorist-hunting should be looked at more rationally. Killing terrorists shouldn't be a hobby or sport for adrenaline seeking individuals, but for trained U.S military operatives. Not only do I think that it is disrespectful to the men and women who fight and die for our country, but also promotes an idea of violent vigilantism that serves no business for civilians. Please feel free to jump in and share your thoughts below, or refer to this New York Times article or here for further readings about the 'Bin Laden Raid' at Sealed Mindset firearms studio.

8 comments:

  1. While I agree that this simulation could be disrespectful and a bit fanatical, this attitude isn't new. America's fascination with the military and the war in the Middle East has inspired much more than just this simulation. The connection to the war is apparent in the Modern Warfare games. Publishers like Activision have profited greatly from the same interest the simulation uses.
    The live action parts aren't new either. Airsoft and paintball are fairly popular sports in the US. Most times, the games aren't very realistic, but realistic gear is widely available.

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  2. To me, the idea of the simulation is awful. Although one could argue it pays tribute to the killing of Bin Laden, I feel the true purpose of the simulation is for profit and violence. I believe people would participate in this simulation not because they want to honor our soldiers and those who have died as a result of terror, but because they want to feel like "Wow, I just did the same thing as our Navy Seals and killed Bin Laden! Wooo!" In reality, nothing can simulate the unknown danger of one of the most important covert operations in American history. People should learn and appreciate the story of the brave people behind the mission to kill Bin Laden, but no one will ever be able to simulate it.

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  3. I wonder if people participating in this event do so because of the thrill of the hunt, or because they want to feel heroic. American culture has for as long as I know associated bravery and heroism with people in war. If people participated to feel the courage and reward of the actual Bin-Laden raid, then this simulation is definitely dangerous. Seal Team Six respectfully disposed of the body of Bin Laden. Everything was very solemn, even if there were parties in the USA. This simulation desensitizes people to actual death and war. If it's just another real-life video game sort of deal, then it's fine.

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  4. Interesting concept. I agree with you that it could be disrespectful to the Navy Seals that actually performed to operation, but I also think that this is a way to embrace the successful mission that our country has achieved. For many years, America has been looking for a way to kill Bin Laden so you could only imagine that we would be ecstatic over the fact that he is finally eliminated. While standing behind a paintball gun, the simulation shows the average American what the Navy Seals have to go through in real life.

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  5. Yes, but they clearly aren't getting an accurate depiction of the hardships that Navy seals endure. These american's have a two hour session with a paintball gun while Seal Team Six have years of intense training while equipped with assault rifles standing in the eye of danger as armed terrorists are firing back at them...I understand that the killing of Osama Bin Laden was a great milestone in fighting the war on terror, but I honestly believe that profiting from a paintball simulation is not an adequate or respectful way of honoring our Navy Seals, but that's just my two cents.

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