How Games Misrepresent Tanks: Introduction

Hello and welcome!

This is my new series of Articles, that I’ll be releasing on average, twice a month. In it, I will be touching on how games can misrepresent tanks in comparison to reality. Each article in the series will detail a particular area regarding tanks and tank combat that isn’t clearly demonstrated in games and might lead to misconceptions on the part of gamers who have not had the opportunity to really study these vehicles without a virtual environment to colour their perception. This is not a criticism, really, about people who enjoy tank games or are in general, tank enthusiasts. Rather, it is about how games might mislead and otherwise misrepresent what some of the realities that involve tanks and how this can lead to issues in both game development and in the end-user experience. I’ll cover a number of topics and a range of games for comparison, and where I can, I’ll try to apply images and other visual media to help demonstrate my point or otherwise support the particular article.

It’s my hope that with this series, gamers (and perhaps any game developers or modders) might gain some additional perspective and find ways to incorporate deeper gameplay elements or otherwise improve the representation of tanks in their games. I will, when I am bringing up a particular game, keep in mind how it was initially designed and not try to go beyond the scope of what it represents.

As an example, it’d be rather irrational to recommend that World of Tanks become a hyper-accurate World War II tank simulator with full logistics and combined arms systems and combat. That’s simply not what World of Tanks was designed or intended to do. Rather, I might offer my own personal views on how a game like World of Tanks can better educate gamers about the fascinating vehicles and history that the game has. While I hold few if any illusions regarding what might actually be implemented, it will at least give people something to think about and hopefully, provide a measure of appreciation for what are often ignored aspects of tanks and tank combat in many modern games that have them.

The series will cover, in no particular order, the following topics:

  • Logistics
  • Weapon Systems
  • Visibility and Situational Awareness
  • Maintenance
  • Communications
  • Combined Arms Warfare (modern)
  • Combined Arms Warfare (historical)
  • Vehicle crews and training
  • Camouflage and concealment
  • Armor and protection
  • And anything else that comes to mind or might be suggested by readers.

While somewhat ambitious in scope, perhaps, I’m hoping between this series and my ongoing research into the camouflage and tactical markings of various vehicles will permit me to continue writing on a subject I greatly enjoy.

If any of my readers have actual, real world military experience with armored vehicles, in either their operation, deployment, or maintenance, I’d love to have your views and experiences so that I can incorporate first had experiences into the articles. Just be aware, I will probably ask a fair number of questions! Just contact me through the Contact the Author page on this blog, and we’ll make whatever arrangements necessary.

As a side note, I’ve gathered enough materials now to move forward with the US, though if any of my readers have materials, resources, or just advice that they wish to bring to my attention, I’d be very grateful for the assistance and input. :)

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