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Lines of dialogue from a test version of the First Person Cultural Trainer, a computer game developed by a research team at the University of Texas at Dallas. The game will be used to teach U.S. soldiers how to interact with civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Something has gone wrong somewhere. Things should not be like this.
Are we animals to live like this, surrounded by trash?
Look at this village! Flies are the only things that thrive here.
Finally! Here is someone to take care of this terrible situation.
You have no manners, American.
What does it matter?
There is nothing to tell.
The days of our glory are long ago.
Times were once good here, but outsiders have destroyed everything.
Many are falling ill or starving. Please help them.
The only thing our government knows how to do is squabble and fight like roosters.
You can help us by giving us protection and not making empty promises.
If you’re not going to help us, you should go.
Do I look like a terrorist? I am an ordinary person.
Please don’t ask me anything else.
Please leave before someone sees us talking.
Get out of my face!

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September 2010

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