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

The report is about

The report is about recruiting people younger than 18. I don’t think it is making a case that the game trains anyone how to effectively use a rifle or jump out of an airplane. I think its point is that the game shows under-aged players how actual army equipment is used in actual army activities, for the purpose of convincing them to actually join the army as soon as they turn 18.

@GrimCW <blockquote>if they

@GrimCW

<blockquote>if they joined because of a vid game than that right there explains why theres so many whiners in the military these days.</blockquote>

Personally I'm skeptical of that. I doubt the game would cause anyone to join that wasn't already seriously considering it. I could easily see it serving as the final straw that made someone decided, but not the sole or main reason.

...

its called propoganda

wow

if they joined because of a vid game than that right there explains why theres so many whiners in the military these days.

When i was in we actually had a guy do nothing but complain and say he wanted out.

he literally got by on a "Barely legal" basis for what he did until his 4 year contract was up...

also explains the all to high level of PTSD.... sheltered kids who think life is a clean trip really need to be kicked around a bit more. (not to say most cases aren't legit, but there is a guaranteed number that are bogus idgits whining just to get free benefits and out of the military)

Jesus....

You cannot 'train someone to use weapons' through a fecking videogame!!!
Jesus Christ!
Ive played pretty much every violent videogame under the sun, fired everything from a BFG9000 to a Gears Sniper Rifle to an M4 Carbine in COD4, hand me a real weapon and I wouldnt have a clue where to start.

Seriously!*

That's exactly what I think all the time!These meatheads know nothing of games.Don't they realize that the person you're playing as are PROGRAMED to shoot like professionally trained soldiers?


I've played tons of violent FPS's,and I suck at shooting,gosh dammit.*

Sick

The point of the whole matter is not if it's possible to train youth at shooting and killing, it's that the game is clearly made for the purpose of turning kids into soldiers. Regardless of it's success it's still pretty sick that they are actually trying to prepare and recruite children for war.
 
Forgot your password?
Username :
Password :

Poll

How do you feel about Amazon buying Twitch?:

Shout box

You're not permitted to post shouts.
SleakerTo even discuss or bring up these issues at a cultural level to begin with. Going straight for games to many probably feels like a huge overstepping given that it's interactive story in many cases, and when you're telling a story why can't you use tropes.08/29/2014 - 12:21pm
SleakerI think a large part of the controversy stems from the idea that games aren't culture setters, but culture reactors, and simply depict what is already in culture. So people don't care that games use tropes or are blind to them because we've failed ...08/29/2014 - 12:20pm
AvalongodBesides, what better way to make her point for her than to respond to her opinion by behaving like a misogynistic asshole. Sure, it may be a troll account, but that doesn't make it "ok"08/29/2014 - 12:19pm
AvalongodWhether Sarkeesian is "right" or "wrong" is not relevant, neither she nor any other woman should have to expect that her opinion will be met with death threats or even just sexist language.08/29/2014 - 12:18pm
Andrew EisenOh, may as well. Zip, I challenge you to cite three specific examples from the TvW videos (use direct quotes and time stamps) and explain how/why they ring hollow or are over exaggerated.08/29/2014 - 11:56am
Andrew EisenZip - Bullies on both sides? What both sides? And of course bullies are worse than people who aren't bullies.08/29/2014 - 11:23am
Neeneko(2) yes, male tropes also have problems and gender studies looks at those too. But this highlights a privilage problem, the idea that if male issues are not brought up too female issues should not be discussed.08/29/2014 - 10:42am
Neeneko@ZippyDSMlee - jumping back (1) one can acknowledge systemic problems without requiring every male be a Neanderthal.08/29/2014 - 10:42am
MaskedPixelanteI don't like the new 3DS, mostly because it means there's a good chance future 3DS games won't be compatible with the current models.08/29/2014 - 9:30am
ConsterI don't get why Amazon decided to buy this "Twitch" fellow, really. It took him ages to beat Pokemon.08/29/2014 - 8:31am
ZippyDSMleeIt goes without saying that we need to et rid of the bullies on both sides that are far worse than Sarkeesian or Quin will ever be.08/29/2014 - 8:24am
ZippyDSMleeI'm talking more about the genreal movement and how silly it is, as for Sarkeesian half of what she is says rings hollw while the other half tend to be over exsagerated.08/29/2014 - 8:22am
Avalongod@Papa, agreed. I think people are reluctant to get involved if they're not the target. But I think we need to take responsibility as a community to confront harassing behavior, whether on gender or race.08/29/2014 - 7:23am
E. Zachary KnightSo Nintendo has given gamers what they want and have fractured the 3DS user base at the same time. http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/224476/Nintendo_reveals_the_New_Nintendo_3DS.php08/29/2014 - 7:12am
Papa MidnightI could say the same about race. I certainly enjoyed being on the receiving end of this while playing StarCraft II this past week: http://i.imgur.com/mIZA1QB.png (and this is actually mild compared to what I usually see). Report players? What a joke...08/29/2014 - 12:29am
AvalongodWhether you approve of Sarkeesian's view or not, no woman deserves to be the target of that kind of harassment and it won't stop until men tell each other it's not appropriate under any circumstance.08/28/2014 - 8:44pm
AvalongodI'm guessing the twitter account was a troll, but come on, I'm sorry, it's just disgusting someone is saying those things to Sarkeesian whether serious or a joke.08/28/2014 - 8:43pm
ZippyDSMleesocial movement that is bringing most of these issue to the spot light to be nothing but trend mongering white knighting bullies who are not much better than the hateful moronic bullies on the other side.08/28/2014 - 5:20pm
ZippyDSMleereflects the world we live in while the rest is the worst stuff that should be focused on. Leaving whats reflected in the same boat as everything else that's exaggerated and skewed by media/fiction and happliy consumed by current society. I find the socia08/28/2014 - 5:20pm
ZippyDSMleemales live off the power fantasy but once you realize as a male you will never reach what fiction or media calls perfect it demoralizes you just the same. And I would not call female negative stereotypes rampant and out of control not when 70-80% of it re08/28/2014 - 5:19pm
 

Be Heard - Contact Your Politician