What’s the key? What makes a combat scene really “authentic?” Pain. There’s an old saying in the Recon community: “Recon ain’t fun.” It’s pain and agony and suffering, only faced with the grit and perseverance to get through it and survive, to kill the enemy before they kill you. Over on Tom Kratman’s wall on FB, the subject has come up of a young woman on a panel at Life, The Universe, And Everything 2017. She claimed at one point that “gamers can write good action scenes, because we’ve experienced that.” No. No, you haven’t.
I got talking action movies with a buddy recently, and we got on the subject of where the line of realism versus entertainment lies. We’re both combat veterans, and we’ve both seen long periods of mind-numbing boredom and moments of chaotic weirdness that happen in combat. There are often comments on action movies, and action novels, about how “realistic” they are. And while some things are easy to quantify, some elements aren’t so much. Including the question, “Just how ‘realistic’ should a piece of action entertainment be?”