MCCS - News and Events

First to Fight: Video Game Simulates War Scenarios While Educating Marines On The Effects Of Drugs

Release Date: 2/28/2006

First to Fight video game puts players in realistic combat situations while delivering a strong drug education message and was the result of a joint collaboration between Marine Corps Headquarters and Destineer Studios. The video game demonstrates how substance abuse impacts on not only the individual that uses illicit drugs, but also his or her fellow Marines, the unit, and ultimately the mission.

First to Fight, a "first person shooter" video game that simulates a four-man fire team performing authentic Marine Corps tactics in an urban environment. Developers consulted with over 40 Marines who had recently returned from combat tours in the Middle East and served as the subject matter experts. The video game delivers realistic combat situations with believable characters.

First and foremost, First to Fight is a drug education video game. "We are always looking for new and inventive ways to educate the service members on the dangers of drug use. First to Fight graphically shows Marines that who use illicit drugs, put not only themselves, but also their fellow Marines, and ultimately the mission in jeopardy," said Ms. Caroline Graham, Drug Demand Reduction Specialist.

"Traditional drug education approach is based on the idea 'you are hurting yourself if you use illicit drugs.' If the person using illicit drugs has not yet experienced any negative effects, the message may be lost on them," said Graham.

The video game goes beyond educating the dangers of illicit drug use to oneself. First to Fight also combats ambivalence about other Marines using drugs. "The perception of 'its not hurting me' or 'that is their own personal business' is not in line with Marine Corps values. The game demonstrates how illicit drug use has the potential to be deadly to all members associated with that Marine. Because the players are put in combat situations, they (Marines) will see first hand how drug use actually degrades team effectiveness, instant obedience to orders, and individual performance," stated Graham.

Because of the realistic combat situations that players face while playing the game, First to Fight can be used in a variety of training applications, and used as a tool that can enhance mission readiness.

Marines all over Camp Lejeune will get their chance to try the game a Base-wide Drug Free "Close Combat: First to Fight" Open House which will be held at the Camp Lejeunes French Creek Recreational Center on March 8, 2006, from 11 A.M. till 2 P.M. Marine teams from all over the base are invited to take part in four-on-four fire team battles conducted in cyberspace. Commands will also be able to pick up games for use as part of their units Substance Abuse Prevention Plan. Command Leaders are invited to drop by for refreshments and see the game in play.

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