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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