Military Looking at Professional Gamers as New Recruits


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If you were to go back in time 20 years, you likely would have had a hard time finding a parent who thinks that there is anything beneficial in video games. Considered by many back then to be no more than a time-wasting, brain-killing, hobby for people with too much time on their hands, no one would have thought that being a gamer would help you in life, let alone find you a job.

20 years later and all that has changed drastically. There are professional e-sport teams competing internationally, streamers online that earn a living wage from playing their favorite games, and now the Danish Ministry of Defense is looking at gamers as potential candidates for the Danish military.

The Danish Armed Forces are searching for gamers to fill the country’s need for military pilots, flight commanders, and radar operators. The Danish defense forces understands that gamers have a well developed capacity for learning, strategic thinking, quick reflexes, and an aptitude for teamwork. These valuable traits are all highly applicable in the armed services.

“Gamers have certain skills in being and remaining calm under pressure, having faster reactions compared with average young people, quick decision-making, good teamwork skills, orientation and a strong ability to visualise,” Major Anders Bech of the Defense Ministry’s personnel agency told Danish Radio. “In addition, they can multitask,” expands Thomas Koed director of E-Sports Denmark, the country’s gaming federation, “they typically sit at home with two, three or four screens when they play. They have an extremely large overview of what is going to happen.”

The Ministry of Defense has reached its conclusion regarding the future of gamers as possible military personnel after running several trials. Gamers, including the Danish e-sport team Astralis, went through various trials that recreated the real-life recruitment process for military programs such as the flight leader program, which is considered one of the more difficult ones. According to Bech, the gamers made positive impressions in the trials although he does state that being a gamer is not the only sufficient factor necessary to becoming a good soldier. “They have some core skills which we are interested in, but there are also other requirements with regard to being able to function as a soldier. We can’t say anything for certain about that yet.” reports that the Danish Defense forces are planning to start a partnership with E-sport Denmark, in an attempt to increase the number of applicants for military programs.