ACLU Criticizes Military Recruitment, including America's Army Game

May 14, 2008 -

A report issued yesterday by the American Civil Liberties Union criticizes US miltary recruitment practices, including the use of the popular America's Army game franchise as a tool to attract potential recruits.

In Soldiers of Misfortune , The ACLU maintains that the US has:

...failed to uphold its commitments to safeguard the rights of youth under 18 from military recruitment and to guarantee basic protections to foreign former child soldiers... U.S. military recruiting practices... target children as young as 11...

The ACLU's claims submitted to the United Nations' Committee on the Rights of the Child. the group oversees compliance with a U.N. protocol which requires countries to shield those under 18 from military recruitment. The ACLU's Jennifer Turner said:

Military recruitment tools aimed at youth under 18, including Pentagon-produced video games, military training corps, and databases of students' personal information, have no place in America's schools...

Of America's Army, the ACLU report says:

The Army uses an online video game, called “America’s Army,” to attract young potential recruits at least as young as 13, train them to use weapons, and engage in virtual combat and other military missions... According to Army personnel testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee, the goal of the then-new recruiting effort that included the “America’s Army” video game was to penetrate youth culture.. the Army’s video-game development team found that about 60 percent of recruits had played... more than five times a week, and four out of 100 said they had joined the Army specifically because of the game.

The full ACLU report is available here.


Comments

Re: ACLU Criticizes Military Recruitment, including ...

The freedom of speech is a wonderful thing, it lets us voice our film izle discontent about politicians, governments, and policies, however it also carries a heavy responsibility. That is why things like libel, 'clear and present danger', sinema izle and slander are not covered by the first amendment.

Re: ACLU Criticizes Military Recruitment, including ...

http://www.vizyonfilmizle.net  my opinions are for fool .. everyone can make these things easily i think..

Re: ACLU Criticizes Military Recruitment, including ...

film izledizi izle

AA is easily one of the worst FPS's ever made.

Re: ACLU Criticizes Military Recruitment, including America's

Thanks good job;

Btw, I think Atari and Midway will drop out too, but mostly travesti because  these guys have done nothing travesti or little and need to start saving costs. and dizi izle

YES.

Now I don't have to get off my ass for the important shit anymore!

Whats next, ordering pizza from Xbox live?

Wait... I think that sounds like a good idea.

But I think voting should MAKE you get off your ass, and see outside or a second while you go vote. I mean, your picking the president of the United States of America for God's Sake... least you can do is drive down there and punch out a card.

Re: ACLU Criticizes Military Recruitment, including America's

I'm all for freedom of ttnet vitamin speech and allowing rent a car game makers to put whatever they want in games, but there's one thing about this app that has me scratching my head.  Correct me if I'm wrong, but from araç kiralama the previous article araba kiralama on this I gathered that players can use Google maps in-game to find the other (real-life?) dealers in their area.  If this is the case, has travesti anyone considered what's stopping someone from using this app to actually move drugs between hands for reals?

But majority araba kiralama of their outrage araç kiralama stems from what it could DO TO children, not the content itself.  Talk to one of these people and you'll find they don't think any books kiralık araba should be banned from children.  Mention American Psycho and they talk about kiralık araç the redeeming value of using imagination to construct a story.  Reading, no matter what the content, is largely viewed as a consequenceless activity for people of any age.  The reason why I mention American Psycho is because of the content itself.  Gaming never has and likely never will have any scenes where someone has sex with a severed head.  Not gonna happen.  Yet despite this, they'll fight tooth and nail to protect their children from two boys kissing in Bully but whatever they read is harmless... yeah.

The entire arguement is kiralık oto based upon a social normality inflicted by luddites who can't figure out the controls for Halo so it's frightening and terrifying and obviously the cause of youth violence on the rise even though, in reality, it's in decline (which is actually a HUGE suprise given minibüs kiralama the economies status).  In  a perfect world, we would have parents that actually parent.  The idea of sales restrictions on media on oto kiralama any form to accomidate parental unwillingness to get involved with their child's life is the real problem to me.  Here I am, 32 years old, and being held up at a self-scan rent a car needing to show ID before I can buy a $10 M rated game all because Soccer Momthra can't be bothered to look at the crap Billy Genericallystupidson does in his free time.  It's too hard for her, so I have to suffer?

They're partially correct

America's Army is a simulation.  It does teach about guns in the way you can learn a lot about cars from Forza but not so much Ridge Racer.  I do think the ACLU is incorrect in their interpretation of this UN rule, though.  It doesn't seem to ban promoting the military to those under 18, only actually signing them up.

The essential objection here is that they are trying to get people to get people to sign up for the military because it's cool without really thinking about the implications.  If you saw the police trying to recruit kids in high schools, maybe they'd object to that as well.

CAPTCHA sucks by the way, it took me multiple tries to get the characters right

To correct somone before,

To correct somone before, you can join the military before 18 (seeing as there were 17 year olds in my tech school) And i loved AA, for the simple fact that they A) made you do boring ass training to get to do anything other than basic grunt work and B) realistically showed how boring the training can be (have you ever done the medical training in the game? it's actually educational) My only problem when i played AA, was that you had to use the iron sights to be able to shoot accuratly. Unlike most other FPS's that the crosshairs are usually quite accurate, AA actually would show the correct way to use a weapon (not that, that means you'd be actually able to hit anything with a real one)

Idiots

You gotta love the garbage that comes out of the American Communist Liberties Union.

"i do not think it means what you think it means..."

I have been an member of the ACLU for well over a decade now, and I am a little bothered by some of the posts here. IMO, "sorvin," you've edged out contenders like "JimK," "thefremen," and "GryphonOsiris" for the most ignorant, backward, anti-ACLU comment on this board so far. (And considering the competition, that's really saying something!)

It may be different where you live, but where I am from, using "communist" as a general insult became passé back when we won the cold war. Like, 20 years ago. McCarthyism just isn't as funny as it used to be to some of us, I guess.

Much more importantly, the ACLU is about as diametrically opposed to the tenants of communism as possible. Communism is about serving the community's wants and needs, even at the expense of the individual's rights. The ACLU is about protecting the individual's rights from the wants and needs of the community. If you are actually against communism, and not just using it as a blanket insult, you should love the ACLU.

Yet I do encourage you (and all the other ACLU bashers here) to object to this report, and to the  ACLU in general, as strongly and as actively as your conscious demands, so long as you are honest and truthful. If you resort to ignorant, off-the-cuff insults, however, or insist on propagating your own misunderstandings of what the ACLU does and stands for, someone ought to call you out on it.

Re: "i do not think it means what you think it means..."

Anti-ACLU, not really. Anti-short sightedness maybe, a firm believer that "freedom isn't free" without a doubt, and convinced that "A soldier, not a lawyer gave us our right for free-speech." Not to mention that "The price of freedom is eternal vigilance."
 
Mind you, I've been bothered by things like supporting the rights of a Nazi group to parade through a neighborhood of holocaust survivors, as that IMHO falls under the clear and present danger clause on the first amendment. It's also cruel and sadistic, and qualifies to me as being emotional and psychological torture to the victims of intolerable crimes against humanity. But that's a tangent to best be avoided.
 
The freedom of speech is a wonderful thing, it lets us voice our discontent about politicians, governments, and policies, however it also carries a heavy responsibility. That is why things like libel, 'clear and present danger', and slander are not covered by the first amendment.
 
As you probably know, opinions are based on observations on past actions of an individual or group. So when I say that my opinion of how some people may/or may not view our servicemen is what it is, it was founded upon how they've treated them in the past, as well as how they are treating them now. After all, opinions are based on how someone perceives the data before them, and are based on objective perception. Making them neither right, nor wrong.

"The Good, the Bad, and the Videogame" Reviews on the best, worst, and controversial issues of Videogames. gryphonosiris.blogspot.com/

"Freedom of Speech...just watch what you say..."

I am grateful that there are soldiers who protect our country for foreign attacks. I am also grateful that there are lawyers who protect our First Amendment rights from people like you.

Re: "Freedom of Speech...just watch what you say..."

Lawyers like "First Amendment Expert" Jack Thompson, perhaps?

"The Good, the Bad, and the Videogame" Reviews on the best, worst, and controversial issues of Videogames. gryphonosiris.blogspot.com/

Re: "Freedom of Speech...just watch what you say..."

All lawyers are Jack Thompson, just like everyone in the military is Lynndie England?

A-Com-L-U?

The ACLU might be misguided in some cases, but it sure as hell isn't "Communist". It helps a great deal in a few things that even we video game nerds care about too.

Game training

I'm so glad that all you have to do to fire a gun is press the aim button, put the floating aiming reticle over the target, and press R1.  -GRIZZAM PRIME(c)is property of the U.S. Marine Corp. Wetworks Dept., and also The Incredible Hulk-GRIZZAM PRIME is not to be associated with GRIZZAM 512 or any other GRIZZAM entity under penalty of law, so sayith ZARATHOS.
Reality/////////////////////////////////////Fantasy. Seems like a pretty thick line to me...

ROFL @ ACLU

everyone knows America's Army is supposed to be a recruiting tool...it just ended up being a really good game too. I've pumped in nearly 1,000 hours of the game and I have no intentions to join the army once I turn 18.

Hmm.. Does this UN protocol

Hmm.. Does this UN protocol really ban advertisement though? I've not read the thing yet, but from the ACLU's own description, it sounds kinda like it only bans having 16 year olds sign a recruitment contract. Someone correct me if I'm wrong here.

But, yea, if this so-called civil right really is meant to "protect" the children from pro-military speech and/or propaganda, does this mean we need to ban parades with military bands, history books, Air Force and Navy air shows, recruitment posters and TV spots, T-shirts, action figures, etc..? And even if it weren't taken to that extreme, wouldn't censoring minors' acesss to the game still violate their Constitutional right to view it (plus the subsequent penumbral right to formulate their own ideas)?

Either way, you couldn't ask for a better demonstration of newspeak than the ACLU trying to squash an American civil liberty in favor of enforcing a UN edict..

If these games are supposed

If these games are supposed to draw me into the military, they aren't working. America's Army is shit, and it sure as hell doesn't make me wanna get shot at in real life.-PRIME
Reality/////////////////////////////////////Fantasy. Seems like a pretty thick line to me...

And what if people actually do want to serve?

I've always wondered what these groups that cry foul about people recruiting for the military. It is, after all, a job that one willing chooses to take, just like a fireman, policeman, lawyer, burger flipper, janitor, ect. If they don't want military recruiters to talk to high school and college students they they must also ban colleges and job recruiter from also attempting to recruit people on school grounds. Do they exclude the military because it's a dangerous job? Perhaps, but isn't also a fire fighter, police officer or a Paramedic a dangerous job? Maybe they should stop those groups from trying to recruit people as well. Maybe it's because they think people who join are locked into a contract, but aren't many actors, musicians, and government employees locked into contracts?

Personally, I think that the ACLU thinks that American GI's are a bunch of mouth breathing rednecks who were given the choice of either Army or Jail, or worse yet, think it is like the brutal conscription on the Russain military, and that anyone who goes it will either end up dead or a sadistic murderer.

And this is why I think the ACLU can kiss my 4th generation military... family.

R u serious?

Don't you think it's wrong that tax money goes to creating a propaganda tool directed at children which aims at turning them into soldiers(killers). Yes killers, soldiers are killers as in they kill, you might say they do it for the greater good. I say whatever i still don't want my kids running around gunning down muslims and communists in rl. I don't want my child to be a killer. Don't disregard me as the typical hippie, trust me i hate ethics and morals, it really hurts to write this but.. Some things are just plain wrong, please think of the children. Wow, I really hate myself for writting that.


Good thing the game is so crappy that it will most likely fail at recruiting a single kid.

Bottom line: make games not propaganda. Let kids be kids, and soldiers be soldiers.





Re: R u serious?

Point to be made. Police officers have been known to kill people in self defense and to defend others, does that make them killers? Should one stop recruiting for police officers because we don't want people to become 'killers' as you say.
 
As many have pointed out, this is an "M" rated game, not "E" or "T", so be design 'children' should not be playing it at all. And considering that the game is no where near as violent as, say, Halo, Crysis, Gears of War, or even the Call of Duty series it barely even meets the requirements for "M". There are also no Muslim or Communists in the game, as you called them. There are OPFOR, as in Opposing Forces, who have covered faces, wear generic fatigues and speak a language akin to Simish. The only thing they have in common with the two groups you mentioned is that they use AK-47's, but they again, there are over 3 million AK's out there, at a street value of $65 - $125 each in most third world nations.
 
Is it a crappy game? Probably, I did like the fact that in order to use certain equipment or talents you had to go through training and take some rather informative tests (the first aid one mirrored the one I took many years back). It's not some multi-million dollar blockbuster designed to sell hardware, that's for sure.
 
And FYI, as a matter of courtesy and fair play I will enlighten you on this. Never call a soldier a killer or murderer to their face. It's rude, cruel and is a good way to find out exactly what the limit of their patience is.

Re: R u serious?

Sorry for the double post, something snafu'ed.

"The Good, the Bad, and the Videogame" Reviews on the best, worst, and controversial issues of Videogames. gryphonosiris.blogspot.com/

Re: R u serious?

Point to be made. Police officers have been known to kill people in self defense and to defend others, does that make them killers? Should one stop recruiting for police officers because we don't want people to become 'killers' as you say.
 
As many have pointed out, this is an "M" rated game, not "E" or "T", so be design 'children' should not be playing it at all. And considering that the game is no where near as violent as, say, Halo, Crysis, Gears of War, or even the Call of Duty series it barely even meets the requirements for "M". There are also no Muslim or Communists in the game, as you called them. There are OPFOR, as in Opposing Forces, who have covered faces, wear generic fatigues and speak a language akin to Simish. The only thing they have in common with the two groups you mentioned is that they use AK-47's, but they again, there are over 3 million AK's out there, at a street value of $65 - $125 each in most third world nations.
 
Is it a crappy game? Probably, I did like the fact that in order to use certain equipment or talents you had to go through training and take some rather informative tests (the first aid one mirrored the one I took many years back). It's not some multi-million dollar blockbuster designed to sell hardware, that's for sure.
 
And FYI, as a matter of courtesy and fair play I will enlighten you on this. Never call a soldier a killer or murderer to their face. It's rude, cruel and is a good way to find out exactly what the limit of their patience is.

Re: R u serious?

America's Army is rated "T" (not "M").

(And there you go again, telling people what they can and can't say....)

There is nothing wrong with

There is nothing wrong with the Army advertising the Army with a videogame.  An armed forces is essential for any modern nation to protect the country and the country's interests elsewhere and it's their job to attract recruits to carry out that purpose.  And the game is not targeting children.  It's targeting people at ages 17 or older, people who are close to enlistment age.  Besides, anyone who has played this game and joined the Army had probably seriously considered joining long before even touching the game.  No one would be stupid enough to join the Army because of a game.

"it really hurts to write this but.. Some things are just plain wrong, please think of the children. Wow, I really hate myself for writting that."

I really hate you for writing that too.


"Bottom line: make games not propaganda. Let kids be kids, and soldiers be soldiers."

You seem to be forgeting that most gamers age anywhere from 18 to 45 years.  The game isn't targeting kids.

 

civil liberties...?

This is why I find the ACLU so repulsive...they are more concerned with their own agenda than "liberty"


In this case they're basically saying people should have the "liberty" to not have the option to be exposed at all to a video game. Is that really a civil liberty?


I know people think it's different because it's the military, but why doesn't this apply to any other game as well? Shouldn't my kids have the liberty to not have other kinds of violence advertised to them as well? If you take this logic to its full end, then no game developer would be allowed to advertise their violent products anywhere that a child might see it. This is not civil liberties, folks.

So basically..

So basically, they're claiming that people have no free will and therefore, the army isn't allowed to advertise for recruitment. And honestly.. 4 out of 100 joining the military just because of a mediocre shooter? That sounds a bit high.

I thought....

I thought that the ACLU was all about freedom of speach. Am I wrong?

A game is the smallest concern...

I am a lot more concerned about the fact that kids which are caught Smoking weed are denied financial aid while being welcomed by the army... That seems like a far worse recruiting tool...

As for computer games, they seem way down at the bottom of the list of evil recruiting practices...

So what?

I don't see what's the big deal here.  So the Army is using a videogame to attract recruits.  It's their job.  Isn't this game rated Mature?  Anyone who would be playing this game is probably at the enlistment age of 18 or older anyway.

Why is this a civil liberty?

I thought the ACLU was supposed to safeguard "civil liberties". Is "Freedom from Advertisement" now a civil liberty? Seems like the ACLU is suggesting that if you don't like what someone is saying, you have the "civil liberty" to be free from hearing it. Or is there a more reasonable explanation? Can someone please explain how the AA game suppresses anyone's civil liberties?

It's not about advertising

It's not about advertising to private citizens by a private company, it's about recruiting underaged people by the state. You may see a difference between these two, or you may not, but if you are serious about wanting an explanation, please read the report.

Wait, people under 18 have

Wait, people under 18 have the right to be protected from military recruiters?

Damn, if only I'd known that ten years ago.

Oh screw the ACLU. They are

Oh screw the ACLU. They are running to tattle on the Army to the UN? Children should know about the military and all of their options before they are 18. In a country where college or other specialized training can cost over 100k, high school children coming from bad families should know there is hope. Sure the hope is not as easy  as using your parents cash to join a frat, but it still is hope.


Uguu~ ACLU is pulling a Jeremiah Wright, oy.

They're stomping into a minefield, oy. And their statement about "4 out of 100" is going to ricochet back in their faces.

TV

They should criticize the TV commcials i see on TV.

Remember when the ACLU represented Mrs. Loving...

In Loving v. Virginia and were able to help her stay married and outlaw those stupid anti-integration marriage laws?


WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED TO THE ACLU?!
They used to defend free speech but now they're just apparently run by a bunch of liberal jackasses with an axe to grind. They need some serious reform.

Finally!!

It's about time somebody said something about all these military games out on the market, I like the historical feeling of some of them, but not the Modern Warfare ones though. All they are saying is it is ok to join the military to die for your country. One of my friends is in the marines, so I respect the military and some of the stuff they do, but I don't like their recruiting practices.

I don't get it...

I don't see whats the problem with the Military using video games for recruitment purposes.  It can just as easily make someone NOT want to join the military, then it can make them want to.


I mean, lets say your averaging a .5:1 kill death ratio, do you think it would be good to join the military if you sucked at the game?


It can be just as much of a deterent as it can a motivator.

What about plastic soldiers

Now is the ACLU also claiming that those little green plastic soldiers are really a recruitment tool by the military. Sure they are not directly created by the military, but they wouldn't exist if the military didn't exist.

E. Zachary Knight
www.editorialgames.com

I'm all for the ACLU, but

I'm all for the ACLU, but you can't protect people from their own choices.  If people really join the army because of a video game, it's their choice, for good or bad.  If you don't do your research it's your own fault for getting into something you didn't want to.

EULA

I could be wrong on this, but I could almost swear that you have to confirm click an agreement in the EULA that says that a user must be +18 to play.

Regardless, I'm not sure AA could really be considered what the ACLU is claiming. Because no matter the age of any given AA game player, the actual recruitment age for the military is still minimum 18.

More importantly, if AA is branded by the ACLU and the courts as being a violation of UN protocol, how are Posters, TV commercials, and Magazine adverts any different. And in those cases, isn't AA a preferred tool, as it is entirely voluntary to visit the Army's website and voluntarily download their game?

Just another reason I

Just another reason I stopped financially and morally supporting the ACLU.  They've gone too far into anti America and as anti Americans.  They used to be about protecting the Bill of Rights - unless it's that pesky Second, which they disavow.  Now it;s a blatant attempt to destroy any and all institutions in this country that don't fit their political mold.



AA exists primarily as a

AA exists primarily as a recruiting tool and always has. While I agree that as far as FPS games go, it's a pretty poor one, it does allow the military to gather various types of contact information etc. for "potential recruits."

So how would you do it then?

Someone has to join the military.  No one is putting a gun to anyone's head and saying "You must join us now!"  I don't know, maybe I don't see a problem with any of this because I come from a military family.  The fact remains that the United States cannot remain a sovern nation without a military.  So, ironically, the ACLU wants the army to stop targeting those under the age of 18 even though those same people will be the ones who join the military and protect their ability to have the rights they cherish at all.

"Volume helps to get a point across but sharp teeth are better."

I have to agree 100% with

I have to agree 100% with the ACLU on this one. As a gamer I have been very troubled that the entertainment medium and sometimes even art form I enjoy so much is being used as an underhanded recruiting tool by the military. I've felt that way ever since they started doing this. I think we have bigger problems to worry about than this, but it's still troubling to me.

Yeah, I have been troubled

Yeah, I have been troubled that they would use my favorite artforms of television and posters to recruit as well. Why do they have to abuse such wonderful art for these nefarious purposes.

E. Zachary Knight www.editorialgames.com

troubled

It's as if the american military is dependant on voluntary enlistment through it's own citizens, or something. It boggles the mind.

I'm a reservist, and I

I'm a reservist, and I gotta say I don't know anyone who joined because of AA.  In fact, I don't know anyone in the Army who even thought AA was a good game, much less had even heard of it.  Which makes sense, AA is easily one of the worst FPS's ever made.

I find it odd that the ACLU

I find it odd that the ACLU would claim training by video game. There is no proof that a video game, especially one played with a keyboard and a mouse, is able to traing someone to use a weopon.

E. Zachary Knight

www.editorialgames.com

 
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MaskedPixelanteOf course it's improved. At launch, Origin was scanning your entire hard drive, but now it's just scanning your browsing history. If that's not an improvement, I dunno what is!07/29/2014 - 8:59pm
 

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