June 4, 2006

Exploiting Children - US Military Using Unethical Video Games to Recruit Kid for War

America's Army is one of the most popular computer games on the planet and like many games, it is a shoot-em-up, get-the-bad guys kind of affair.

But unlike other games, America's Army is truly a product of the US military. The Army first released the game a few years ago as a recruiting tool. - from a BBC article on the unethical military recruiting video game

Given that the US military is using video games to recruit children, how is it possible that the government wants to protect children from violent video games?

Are the only quality violent video games ones that help guide kids toward signing up to die in a real war?

Last month, Sgt. 1st Class Alvin Martin, one of two recruiters at the Army's Woodinville office, rented a computer-gaming business called LanWerX for the tournament. The same day, recruiters hosted a parallel event at another LanWerX branch 12 miles away in Bellevue.

Martin put up fliers and made phone calls to offer free food and a day of free America's Army gaming to any interested boy, girl, man or woman over age 13 no commitments required. A khaki Humvee was parked outside.

"The Army games are particularly objectionable because they also include an indoctrination component, deepening the ideology of war," Boyle said. The games are "preying on [teenagers'] natural interest in affiliation all Madison Avenue stuff." - Seattle Times Article about America's Army


Wired published an article stating the military has a whole studio for creating these games.

The only type of violence that is appropriate for children to see is real life killing in far off lands. Hopefully they are not the ones dying, though.

More in depth coverage at Wikipedia and Justin Beck wrote a great essay about video games as military recruiting propaganda.

Posted at June 4, 2006 5:15 AM
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