Blackwater: The Game dropped on October 25th, and Complex recently received an opportunity to interview former Blackwater Operator and game consultant Frank Rincon, a former Reconnaissance Marine with 27 years experience in the personal security business.
Though not a gamer himself, Mr. Rincon recognizes the value of Kinect as an entertainment device and as a training tool.
“I’m hoping that as the technology improves and the game develops, we may someday get a good training simulator. Right now, for somebody who doesn’t have that tactical skillset, this is a good introduction to it,” Rincon said.
Former Blackwater CEO Erik Prince had a hand in game development, making sure that the game reflected the realities of what Blackwater actually does.
“What Blackwater does is get our people, our assets, from A to B safely, securely, and without incident.”
I asked Mr. Rincon where the “Blackwater tactics” came in when you’re dealing with what is, essentially, an on-rails shooter. As a former infantryman, I was able to point out that after kicking in a door (an action that’s physically required of the player) the player then stands in the doorway engaging targets, something that contravenes every close-quarter battle tactic that I was ever taught, but Mr. Rincon’s perspective highlights some of the differences between real-life Blackwater operations and your typical shooter: “There are times that you’ll be standing on the other side of the door looking in, and you don’t need to go through that door. [Blackwater operatives] don’t do search and destroy, we don’t clear buildings unless we’re securing an asset…Then our mission is basically search and rescue.”
B:TG even goes so far as to reward players for selectively engaging targets; identify and take out the leader of an armed group, and the rest will withdraw, resulting in more points for the player. This kind of less-violent approach makes Mr. Rincon optimistic about changing the public perception of the PMC.
“I hope so. It’s about asset protection, personnel protection, not about killing a bunch of different guys…Most of the guys I’ve worked with in Blackwater are ex-military, and while we don’t fall under UCMJ anymore, we still fall under the laws of the country we’re working in. ”
Blackwater: The Game is available in stores now for Xbox 360. Read on for our full interview.