It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


US Military Using Video Gaming Centers To Lure Young Recruits- Morally Right Or Wrong?

page: 1

log in


posted on Jan, 14 2009 @ 04:31 PM
Army Invades the Mall with video game recruitment station

That's the latest come-on from the U.S. Army, which continues to refine its approach toward engaging teens and twentysomethings. Having seen amazing success with recruiting thanks to its America's Army home computer game, the military is now taking the pitch to the mall. Specifically, to the Franklin Mills shopping center in Philadelphia, where it has set up 60 gaming PCs, 19 Xbox 360s, plush couches, and "rock music" for potential recruits to enjoy.

There's even a real Humvee that players can shoot from installed as part of a 15-foot-high projected battle simulation and an Apache helicopter simulator that recruits can fly.

Sounds like a killer gaming setup... but of course there's a not-so-ulterior motive at work. It's all part of a plan to get younger kids interested in signing up for service, thinking that shooting terrorists in active combat is all part of a day's work.

Naturally, critics are out in full force, including a former Army staff sargeant, Jesse Hamltion, who accuses the Army of misleading kids with deceptive, unrealistic scenarios. Hamilton notes that recruits are unlikely to see active combat and that "the only way to simulate the heat is holding a blow dryer to your face."

Still, the move of course comes at a good time for the Army, which has struggled to fill its ranks for several years thanks to some overwhelmingly bad press. But with civilian unemployment skyrocketing and the situation in Iraq looking better than it has in ages (particularly with the prospect of troops coming home), the Army's high-tech mall paradise may actually be more than it needs to woo the young and impressionable.

Let me first say that I do realize that the military is entirely a needed and necesarry part of our society, and yes I do realize that recruiters have to change with the times in order to fill the killing machine with fresh new bodies.

However something really troubles me about this particular tactic. It seems a bit sinister and underhanded that our tax dollars are being used to pay for high dollar gaming centers, virtual Humvee's and Apache helicopter simulators that are being used to draw out young and unsuspecting kids into a lifestyle that these recruiters know full well is not what is being advertised.

This is what I like to call "chickenhawking" lure in teens and tweens with the allure of video games and fancy simulators. Using something as harmless and enticing as video games to pounce on these kids in order to try and recruit them for military service where they will likely be forced to kill real human beings and possibly die.

Is that not morally wrong? These military recruiters are known to say and do almost anything to fill their qutos, but doesn't this seem like hitting below the belt? Of course a 17 year old is going to be enticed by virtual warfare and loud rock music. I suspect that many are being enlisted with having no real idea of what they are getting themselves into.

Maybe I am seeing this wrong? If I am please let me know.

I understand that when searching for new recruits you have to appeal to what they are attracted to, but IMO this is sort of like a pedophile using candy bars to lure kids in only for them to be taken advantage of and exploited.

It just seems wrong.

posted on Jan, 14 2009 @ 04:36 PM
I wish the U.S would start recruiting foreigners.

They should set up a recruitment centre here in Melbourne, i'd sign up in a second!

posted on Jan, 14 2009 @ 04:39 PM
That's what a lot of teens are interested in. That's how they are going to have to hook them.

"Sinister and underhanded"? Why do you think that? I think it's probably going to say, "US Army Recruiting Service" on the front door, not "Bozo's Playland".

posted on Jan, 14 2009 @ 05:02 PM
Let's look at it this way.
Have you seen a US Army recruiting commercial? Yes or No?
Now compare it to a Navy, Airforce or Marine Corps commercial and you see how crappy the Army commercial is. The Navy commercials themselves are pretty incredible.
Of course I went Army anyways.

I would just call this the next step in recruiting tactics. As we all know television is on the way out along with newspapers as major advertising for anything.
The internet and videogames are on the rise currently so the Army is seizing the opportunity to get ahead of the competition(the other military branches). The simulators are actual training simulators the Army uses for the troops, and they are fun.

posted on Jan, 14 2009 @ 05:13 PM
Seems they took a page from Orson Scott Card's novel "Ender's Game". Please tell me that you are speaking tongue and cheek and that you really are not surprised at anything that your government would do. Disappointed maybe but surprised?

posted on Jan, 15 2009 @ 08:15 PM
If people are stupid enough to get lured in by simulators and crappy government made video games, I say let them go and have fun playing in the sand.

Anyone who is dumb enough to sign up for the army after playing a video game and saying to yourself "Wow, that was fun, sign me up!" without any further research deserves what ever happens to them.

posted on Jan, 15 2009 @ 08:22 PM
they should just log onto COD4 and get old mate headshot from there

there are some well quality, sneaky and accurate peeps on there that would make for good training

posted on Jan, 15 2009 @ 08:26 PM
reply to post by BlackOps719
War games: Military training goes high-tech

It reflects a larger Pentagon mandate to use technology to train the video game generation now entering the service.

I think it has been heading that way for awhile.
Surfing Arcades for recruits is just wrong considering these are usually filled with young teens who can’t make a commitment anyways. However I think if anybody wants to join they'll join regardless of whether they play video games though

posted on Jan, 15 2009 @ 08:27 PM
Nothing new here. When I was kid the local recruiters would come in to talk and play a few games of Pac-Man and Galaga. We knew one of them by name because he would also come to the High School. The cops would come in to talk also. No one ever made a big deal out of it. Think of it as keeping in touch with the teens.

posted on Jan, 15 2009 @ 09:08 PM
Morally wrong, not surprising, and why would we need recruits if the armed services were as exciting and prestigious as they advertise. resist the temptation to serve a ruler. What happened to the enlistment bonus? It seems as if the money to lure is gone but the need for conflict remains.

posted on Jan, 15 2009 @ 09:13 PM
War has always been "glamorized" how else could they get so many young people to sign up.

The sad thing is that when reality sets in, it is too late to rethink your decision.

posted on Jan, 15 2009 @ 09:15 PM
So they use video games to bring in recruits. It just gives the recruiters a captive audience to talk to. That's it.

And they have to make it cool. Remember that SNL skit from years back about the Navy?

Port of Call: Bayonne, NJ!!!

(play cool music to scenes of Sailors swabbing decks, scraping rust, peeling potatoes)

The Navy: It's not a job, it's $2.45 a month.

posted on Jan, 17 2009 @ 01:16 AM
I went into one of these centers and actually forgot that I was enlisted and tried to re-enlist. The recruiter was like "I know our video game center is super cool" and I was like 'you brainwashed me, you scum.' Now every effing time I play x-box I get the urge to drive to the Army RSS and try to enlist. Stupid big brother. Always trying to put me down.

new topics

top topics


log in