US marines use Metal Gear Solid cardboard box trick to avoid detection

Metal Gear solid boxKonami

Real US marines have hidden under cardboard boxes to hide from their colleagues and AI systems while out on tactical maneuvers – a bit like Snake from Metal Gear Solid.

Anyone who’s played Metal Gear Solid and its various sequels may fondly remember being able to hide in a cardboard box to try and trick guards. The ruse rarely ever works, but even so, has become a classic Metal Gear moment. Now, according to a new book called ‘Four Battlegrounds’ by author Paul Scharre, actual US marines have been using the cardboard box trick to hide from military AI systems.

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The story was originally picked up by the Economist’s Defense Editor, Shashank Joshi, and shared on Twitter. While Joshi added a Star Wars reference to the surreal passage of Scharre’s book, it didn’t take long for gamers to compare the trick to Solid Snake’s exploits in the Metal Gear Solid series.

Snake doesn’t usually use the trick to hide from AI, mostly just enemy soldiers, however, he does sometimes use it to hide from AI-controlled robots – who fall for the trick even less than their human commanders.

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According to the book, the box trick apparently worked when applied in real life, tricking AIs into thinking US Marines were simply inanimate objects rather than professional soldiers.

Metal Gear fans were quick to jump on the story and point out the similarities to Hideo Kojima’s epic series, including its silliest moments – such as hiding inside a cardboard box.

It remains to be seen if the US Marine Corp. will use this trick in actual combat zones though. If they do, let’s hope those they’re hiding from haven’t played Metal Gear Solid.

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