The idea of Off Duty Gamers came together as a resource for military veterans.
Those involved in the creation of ODG are active or prior service military who recognized that while the world seemed to be filled with military games and military gamers, there was no place on the internet where the military could talk about games in terms we know and appreciate.
- Have you ever been irritated when that ‘realistic’ military game wasn’t realistic at all?
- Do you and your military friends get suspected of cheating when you play an online game and clear rooms in military tactical fashion?
- Do you find it irritating when the weapons are under/over powered?
- Do you appreciate overwatch from your friendly teammate sniper and don’t think of it as camping?
- Do you and your friends utter the word ‘Hooah!’ when you drop an in-game tango?
If any of those made you laugh… you are likely our kind of gamer. ODG brings game industry news and reviews to the internet with that special view that those in and around the military share.
If you’d like to read the story of our creation, read on.
The first question people may ask is what is this site all about and there is two ways to answer it, the short way and the whole story.
The short version:
This site is for all the active duty military and prior service veterans who enjoy video games and the associated hardware but are easily annoyed with throngs of civilian ‘experts’ who seem to know more about the ‘military’ portion of today’s games than an experienced member of the military. This site is about delivering all the same news, reviews and sense of community coupled with our collective bond of service and unique point of view. This site is primarily for veterans, by veterans and aims to support our community.
The whole story:
A couple years ago I was lucky enough to participate during the development of a game called Medal of Honor: Airborne. As a prior service member of the 82nd Airborne and proud paratrooper, I was excited to help the EA development team and make sure they portrayed things as accurately as possible. During a trip to Los Angeles the community leader at EA pondered jumping from the parachute training towers to which I said ‘ok, lets make that happen.’ Jump forward a few months and we pulled members of the development team and key members of the online community down to Ft. Bragg where we threw them all off the 34′ training tower and made them honorary paratroopers. Afterwards the ‘gamers’ got to play the game against some of the paratroopers that worked with them at the towers. Here’s some videos of that trip to set the mood…
‘There’s a ton of military games on the market and yet it seems there is no real outlet for military members to share information and provide input’
I went home and realized that no online community had ever done what we just accomplished, brought members of the community to a real installation, thrown them off real training towers and played a game against some of the very individuals whose tactics are born from the material used in game. With that, Off Duty Gamers (the concept) was born.
As with any ‘side’ project, ideas come quick, execution not so much. Over time this idea has been further fleshed out, discussed and dialed in until you have the site you see before you now.
What’s so unique about a gamer site?
Generally nothing, specifically EVERYTHING… ODG will preview/review games much like any other site online. We’ll solicit input from the military community and we’ll be putting our own spin on reviews like talking about accuracy (historical, weapons, tactics etc) or teamplay but the main idea is the same as countless other sites, review and offer our community insight into games that are ‘in our wheelhouse’ so to speak.
The big difference is that this site aims to bring to the internet is to cater specifically to our fellow brothers and sisters who have at one point or another served his/her country. We will do so in a few ways:
- Provide content, commentary on the industry that is relevant and interesting to our community
- Provide an outlet to active duty and veterans where your military service can be mutually respected and not endlessly questioned or undermined
- Provide the game industry with feedback based on facts, training and real world experience via
- Offer qualified military technical advisers
- Offer military alpha and beta testers
- Offer military liaisons to help facilitate access to real world assets (location visits)
- Give back to those that have and continue to serve by give aways and contests specifically aimed at our community
- Seek to employ veterans by making them available to the gaming industry in short or long term. We hope to access our wounded warriors network and employ a military mind where a body may not be able to continue to actively serve.
- Have a hell of a lot of fun with the amazing array of technology that is intertwined with the jobs and service that we are/were honored to perform.
To conclude, our hope is that this site will be embraced by the military community and honor the men and women who so often get little thanks for a job that can never be thanked enough.
As we say in the airborne ‘ALL THE WAY! HOOAH!’
Enjoy the site