A Ukrainian Soldier Thanks His Combat Skills To Video Games

In Reuters’ daily podcast series, 25-year-old Mykhailo told his story.


The war against Ukraine, launched by Russia, began almost a year and a half ago. The two sides have lost at least 70,000 of their troops, according to the US, and the conflict had claimed more than 40,000 civilian lives by May. Add to this the number of war refugees; we are quickly talking in the millions, even tens of millions. However, the Ukrainian army is holding out, and Mykhailo, a Ukrainian drone pilot (who runs under the call sign Joker), is a notable example.

The twenty-five-year-old soldier jokingly recalls his mother telling him that video games would not do him anything good (how many of us have heard that, peppered with the “you’re on the computer all day” cliché…). Still, since he now controls drones from a first-person viewpoint (FPV), he says he’s not sure his mother’s prediction was accurate. Mykhailo says his gamer experience helped him control the drone well enough using a VR headset and a controller with a joystick on it.

Currently operating in the Zaporizhzhia region (south-eastern Ukraine), the soldier is also designing FPV drones. But it’s not the only place where the gaming industry is linked to what’s happening in Ukraine, as this spring, the Ukrainian army used the Steam Deck in a slightly different way than usual, not to run PC games on Valve’s portable PC, but to remotely control heavy-caliber machine guns so that the operator is less exposed (not having to be next to the weapon).

Mykhailo’s case is, therefore, not to be dismissed because if he has indeed learned to operate the drone with gaming knowledge (even if it is not at the same level as, say, a high-tier flight simulator, which requires more powerful equipment), he has still acquired a skill that he can use in real life, and it follows that sitting in front of a PC is not necessarily a waste of time; it is still possible to do productive, creative work!

Source: GameRant

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Anikó, our news editor and communication manager, is more interested in the business side of the gaming industry. She worked at banks, and she has a vast knowledge of business life. Still, she likes puzzle and story-oriented games, like Sherlock Holmes: Crimes & Punishments, which is her favourite title. She also played The Sims 3, but after accidentally killing a whole sim family, swore not to play it again. (For our office address, email and phone number check out our IMPRESSUM)

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