The Marines Put Four Gamers Through Real Combat Training

Even tomb raiders and spidermen need pull-ups

It should come as no surprise that a number of U.S. military branches have begun exploring esports and gaming. So many games are devoted to combat anyway, often to a pretty sophisticated degree (Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Rainbow Six come to mind).

These collabs are so intuitive that you don't even have to leap very far to find interesting synergies. The U.S. Marine Corps, along with Wunderman Thompson, which has managed its advertising since 1947, challenged four major streamers to train like they do over four months.

"Inside the Battle: Battle Tactics" recruited streamers equipped with good decision-making and critical thinking skills, not to mention big, juicy audiences who might be ripe for military careers. They spent four months training on their own, and then three days at the Marine Corps Base in Quantico, Virginia, learning how to aim and shoot automatic weapons, and improve their physical prowess in things we mostly left on the blacktop in our sorrowful PE days—pull-ups, crunches, mile and a half runs.

"Inside the Battle is a strategic opportunity for the Marine Corps to connect with tech-native Gen Z'ers through the world of gaming," says group creative director Alan Whitley of Wunderman Thompson Atlanta. "The gamers' cognitive abilities, such as critical decision-making skills and fast pattern-recognition, are skills Marines demonstrate in real-world training scenarios in Quantico."

Here's how they did.

Melonie Mac, who mostly plays a ton of Tomb Raider, finds out how fit she really isn't. But hey, four months can change a lot!

Strange Rebel Gaming mostly plays Final Fantasy, Uncharted and The Last of Us. There's a lot more interesting detail here, including the full briefing explanation they received. Halfway through, there's also a simulation of a reconnaissance mission.

Is it just us, or have military fatigues taken on a pixelated quality? Is that in case they need to camouflage … inside the internet?

Next up, WhosChaos—who's recently played Spider-Man, Assassin's Creed and Star Wars Battlefront 2—takes the challenge on. He's a lot better at pull-ups than we are. It also triggered our allergies watching him combat pollen in addition to his own physical limitations.

Last up, WarOwl, who plays a ton of first-person shooters, takes his honed skills to the field. Referring to the buildings used in recon training, he muses, "How does real life have worse graphics?"

These round-up videos were also supported by other content that the streamers posted throughout their time in Quantico. You can check all those videos out separately.

"Gamers are uniquely positioned to share the story of the risks Marines undertake each day and help inspire the next generation to serve their country," Whitley says.

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Angela Natividad
Angela Natividad is a founding contributor to Muse. She is also the co-founder of esports agency Hurrah.gg, and co-author of Generation Creation.

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