Front-line tank crews in Ukraine are spending their down time waging war in the video game ‘World of Tanks’ – DIGIWIZ CENTRAL

Front-line tank crews in Ukraine are spending their down time waging war in the video game ‘World of Tanks’

A company of tanks from Ukraine’s 95th Airborne Brigade, including captured Russian T-72 and T-80 tanks, in forest in the Donetsk Region on February 21, 2023.

Scott Peterson/Getty Images

Front-line soldiers in Ukraine are spending down time playing video games in which they battle tanks, NYT reported.
One soldier who made headlines for his expert command of a tank said he plays World of Tanks “when I have a bit of free time.”
The games help soldiers cope with boredom, and some credit gaming with helping them develop real-world fighting tactics.

When Ukrainian soldiers aren’t operating tanks and artillery and fighting on the front lines, many are apparently turning to video games, including one in particular in which they battle tanks.

That’s according to The New York Times, which reported that playing World of Tanks, a multiplayer tank-shooter, is an increasingly popular way for Ukrainian tank crews, as well as other troops, to take a break from the chaos of being at war with Russia.

“I’m playing from time to time, when I have a bit of free time,” Lt. Nazar Vernyhora told The Times. Vernyhora made headlines last year because of his expert command of a tank in a battle against Russian armor.

Another soldier in a front-line tank company said they “love” World of Tanks. And a sergeant said that for some front-line troops, the game is “kind of an addiction.”

It’s not the first time Ukrainian soldiers have talked about playing video games while being at war. Indeed, one soldier told Reuters recently that he credits his video game obsession for his ability to effectively strike Russian targets using drones.

Another soldier told The Guardian in an interview that an exercise, which involved the use of a VR headset and a joystick, was “like playing a computer game.”

And it’s not unheard of for games, some of which are more simulation-oriented, to be used as training tools for militaries. Early on in the COVID-19 pandemic, when soldiers couldn’t pile into a tank or simulator together, some US Army tank crews used the free online multiplayer game War Thunder for training purposes.

In World of Tanks, “you are kind of learning to work in a team and developing tactics in the game,” a Ukrainian soldier told The Times. He added that he is often “trying to use the same maneuvers as in real life.”

But for many tank operators and other troops fighting on the front lines, playing World of Tanks is less about learning real-world skills and more about taking a break from operating tanks and other weapons in real life by operating them virtually.

That news came as a shock to soldiers in a Ukrainian drone unit, however, with one soldier asking The Times, “Why would we play World of Tanks when it’s right here?”

Read the original article on Business Insider
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