America's Army Boosts Recruitment Numbers

Many think that, if they can do it in the game, they can do it in real life as well

By on November 18th, 2009 11:50 GMT
With America sticking its nose in pretty much every conflict that's present on the face of the Earth, you can bet the one thing it needs is soldiers. America has a vast experience with public relations and catchy phrases, but one of its best must be the "Uncle Sam wants you" recruitment slogan. So, America knows how to convince young men that it's either profitable, fun or simply the "right thing to do" to join the army, but some of its more unorthodox methods seem to be more successful than the classic ones.

For the past seven years, one of the most funny projects the US Army ever developed has been bringing in more recruits to join its ranks than anyone might think. And, when we say funny, we mean funny as in entertainment, not the "biological warfare leading to human mutations" kind of funny. America's Army, the free online first-person shooter developed by the US Army, has a lot of gamers interested in the real life of a USMC trooper.

The Army has recently delivered to the US Congress a report put together by the MIT in 2008 that states that, "30 percent of all Americans age 16 to 24 had a more positive impression 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."

Video games have usually been accused of making people less effective in common-day society, especially when it comes to communication skills, not to mention unproductive at the workplace, but the military has had a far more objective view on the matter. Games have been credited with developing better pilots for unmanned aerial vehicles, but they've also been accused of some things as well.

An Air Force Colonel, the Commander of a Predator drone squadron, praised the gamers for their flight agility, but also said that, "The video game generation is worse at distorting the reality of it [war] from the virtual nature. They don't have that sense of what [is] really going on. It [a video game] teaches you how to compartmentalize it." As such, they don't prioritize threats properly and have been found to act carelessly on the front line. Gamers have also been found to be unaware of their entire surroundings, drivers focusing solely on the windshield of their Humvee, most likely regarding it as a monitor, ignoring threats from the side, even when picked up by their peripheral vision.
A gamer would just calm down and wait for the respawn
   A gamer would just calm down and wait for the respawn
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