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.
 
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MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/04/18/playstation-99-cent-sale-discounts-tokyo-jungle-super-stardust/ Weekend long PSN flash sale. So much stuff is 99 cents for the rest of the weekend.04/18/2014 - 5:59pm
Adam802http://www.polygon.com/2014/4/18/5627928/newtown-video-game-addiction-forum04/18/2014 - 4:14pm
Matthew Wilsonit is a video talking about why certain games/products/consoles do well, and others do not. he back it up with solid research.04/18/2014 - 3:56pm
Andrew EisenI'm not keen on blind links. What is it?04/18/2014 - 3:45pm
Matthew Wilsonthis is worth a whatch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MyXcr6sDRtw&list=PL35FE5C4B157509C904/18/2014 - 3:43pm
MaskedPixelanteNumber 3: Night Dive was brought to the attention of the public by a massive game recovery, and yet most of their released catalogue consists of games that other people did the hard work of getting re-released.04/17/2014 - 8:46pm
MaskedPixelanteNumber 2: If Humongous Entertainment wanted their stuff on Steam, why didn't they talk to their parent company, which does have a number of games published on Steam?04/17/2014 - 8:45pm
MaskedPixelanteNumber 1: When Night Dive spent the better part of a year teasing the return of true classics, having their big content dump be edutainment is kind of a kick in the stomach.04/17/2014 - 8:44pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.giantbomb.com/articles/jeff-gerstmann-heads-to-new-york-takes-questions/1100-4900/ He talks about the future games press and the games industry. It is worth your time even though it is a bit long, and stay for the QA. There are some good QA04/17/2014 - 5:28pm
IanCErm so they shouldn't sell edutainment at all? Why?04/17/2014 - 4:42pm
MaskedPixelanteNot that linkable, go onto Steam and there's stuff like Pajama Sam on the front-page, courtesy of Night Dive.04/17/2014 - 4:13pm
Andrew EisenOkay, again, please, please, PLEASE get in a habit of linking to whatever you're talking about.04/17/2014 - 4:05pm
MaskedPixelanteAnother round of Night Dive teasing and promising turns out to be stupid edutainment games. Thanks for wasting all our time, guys. See you never.04/17/2014 - 3:44pm
Matthew WilsonAgain the consequences were not only foreseeable, but very likely. anyone who understood supply demand curvs knew that was going to happen. SF has been a econ/trade hub for the last hundred years.04/17/2014 - 2:45pm
Andrew EisenMixedPixelante - Would you like to expand on that?04/17/2014 - 2:43pm
MaskedPixelanteWell, I am officially done with Night Dive Studios. Unless they can bring something worthwhile back, I'm never buying another game from them.04/17/2014 - 2:29pm
PHX Corphttp://www.msnbc.com/ronan-farrow/watch/video-games-continue-to-break-the-mold-229561923638 Ronan Farrow Daily on Video games breaking the mold04/17/2014 - 2:13pm
NeenekoAh yes, because by building something nice they were just asking for people to come push them out. Consequences are protested all the time when other people are implementing them.04/17/2014 - 2:06pm
Matthew Wilsonok than they should not protest when the consequences of that choice occur.04/17/2014 - 1:06pm
NeenekoIf people want tall buildings, plenty of other cities with them. Part of freedom and markets is communities deciding what they do and do not want built in their collective space.04/17/2014 - 12:55pm
 

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