US Army's Game-Shaped Recruitment Tool Is Finally Going MIA
All over the world, people worry about violence in video games. Some countries understand that the problem is not the violence but the intent behind it and let it go; some others try to combat it to invariably hilarious results. A very rare case, however, is that of the United States, a country that sometimes blames Mortal Kombat for the mass shooting of the day but has its tax-payers funding America's Army, a game developed by the army itself to hopefully entice kids to go kill non-Americans overseas. The good news is that America's Army had been steadily losing popularity to superior tactical shooters like CSGO or Fortnite, and is about to shut down. The bad news is that it was out there doing its thing for 20 god damn years.
While we can't precisely pinpoint just how effective the game was in actually recruiting kids, Game Developer found a damning MIT study that revealed that "30 percent of all Americans aged 16 to 24 had a more positive image of the Army because of the game, and even more amazingly, the game had more impact on recruits than all other forms of Army advertising combined." That's pretty damn scary for a game that cost only $3.8 million a year -- a measly sum compared to the Army's then $8 billion annual recruiting budget.
You shouldn't be too happy at the demise of this game, however, because this sure isn't the end of the army's attempts at luring kids in. They're just shifting their focus away from games and into probably even more shady stuff, like having the women of the Air Force streaming on Twitch.
Fans who miss the game can find solace in knowing that they'll still have access to the level editor and private servers. Think of it as creating a militia or a private military. Really cool.
Top Image: US Army