Did you ever play Portal? Yes? That's not how you run an autonomous wormhole research facility, is it?
Did you ever see Dr. Strangelove? That's not how it would work in real life, is it?
The point of Windmillls is to make you question everything you take for granted as a Freespace 2 pilot. Why am I blowing up this cargo depot? Why are there eight wings of Hercs jumping in to guard this ship? Aren't there people over there flying those bombers I'm mercilessly vaporizing?
Officer training is in no small part aimed to make sure you're appropriately brainwashed (just like any other kind of training.) Windmills...isn't. But come on. You read Ender's Game, right? The Giant's Drink? Psychological assessment?
I think what probably bothers you is that this isn't a simulation of an insane, dysfunctional GTVA military. The simulation voice certainly is. But the choices you make in the simulation are totally accurate to what Command does in nearly every mission. The 'Simulation' character just draws your attention to that.
And I think it's painful to examine those choices and realize exactly how amoral Command has to be.
Windmills adds a kind of realistic moral weight and complexity to the Freespace 2 experience that can be downright uncomfortable. It can be frightening. How many of us weren't shocked by that brief flash of the desperate pilot yelling for Command? We've all heard it a hundred times in other missions...but here it meant something.
Oh, now you had to bring up Ender's Game. It's on
That, too, is a simulation of an insane, dysfunctional military, in the business of turning out pyschotics and sociopaths. The book is horrible. Ender is deeply delusional or not actually human, if you accept the authorial fiat to, as an essay I'm fond of put it, "Create the innocent killer."
And that's the problem. As I observed, it doesn't really matter
whether this is an accurate depiction of Command or not. If it is, then there is no mystery as to why the GTVA loses wars. Many people struggle, it seems, to cast the GTVA as composed of competent, able officers. This is "timeframe not specified" so I can't necessarily point out that in the wake of the Second Shivan Invasion there would undoubtedly be massive shakeups in the GTVA's military culture, producing a leaner, more effective officer corps. But at the same time, I can point out that we are not experiencing a peacetime GTVA military in FS2. They have eighteen months of wartime operations under their belts. They would know
exactly how dangerous this sort of officer is. They have experience during the T-V War and the Great War too. GTVA forces have always demonstrated relatively high morale and a willingness to engage the enemy consistant with that. If they were being commanded by people like this, that would not be the case.
The purest example of this is the frequently-repeated "choose who lives and who dies" thing in this thread. No. That's not how it works. A service academy will drill this into your head; a good commander never knowingly sends men to their deaths. As for the enemy, that's another issue. If they wanted to survive, they should have stayed home.
Now, given what we know of the NTF and its taste for summary courtmartials and other symptoms of a force with poor discipline, this is perhaps an effective training tool for those attempting to gain entry into Aken Bosch's inner circle. It teaches Magnificent Bastardy