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United States Entertainment Games

Army Sets Up Videogame Studio 36

Ralph Lee writes "Is it time to enlist? Wired News is reporting that the US Army has set up a video game studio to model training and recruit soldiers on the heels of the successful America's Army title: 'The America's Army Government Applications office was quietly opened in January in Cary, North Carolina, with a team of 15 video-game creators, simulation specialists and ex-Army personnel. Many of the studio's employees come from local video-game companies like Interactive Magic, Timeline, Vertis, SouthPeak Interactive, Vicious Cycle Software and Red Storm Entertainment.'" It's also noted that "the office is working with a team of 24 video-game creators in Monterey, California, on the latest edition to its main franchise, America's Army: Overmatch, which will be released in March 2005."
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Army Sets Up Videogame Studio

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  • by GeckoX ( 259575 )
    It is truly amazing that the organization that gave us the America's Army video games...wait for it...now has a video game studio!

    Holy shit! Who would have thunk that releasing a Game like America's Army would lead to building a game studio?

    Do you catch the hint of sarcasm yet?
    WTF, like really. Of course they have a freaking game studio...somebody had to build the freaking game in the first place.
  • Am I alone...? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SimianOverlord ( 727643 ) on Monday June 21, 2004 @11:45AM (#9484878) Homepage Journal
    Am I alone in feeling somewhat disquieted in the military in this country associating itself with the entertainment industry? Is this the thin end of the wedge?

    The apparatus of state is separated from the church, because it is harmful. It should likewise be seperated from the entertainment industry, because of the propaganda possibilities, shaping the next generation of Americans.
    • They've been at it for years. The pentagon is probobly the most skilled crowd of propagandists there is.

      What worries me is that "traditional" propaganda has always been subject to (some) constraint. You couldn't run around screaming "YOU'VE GOT TO KILL OUR ENEMIES!!! WHAT ARE YOU!!?!?! YELLOW!?!?!" without someone calling a halt.

      However video game propaganda is more subtle. Because the player is so involved, they will be more succeptible to whatever you throw at them. On top of that, they are immerrsed, a propagandists dream.

      I wouldn't be surprised to find that in 10-20 years time these games will have affected a generations outlook and attitudes towards patriotisim and the army in general.

      Why else would the pentagon invest so much money and then give it away for free?
      • Re:Am I alone...? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by LGagnon ( 762015 )
        I agree with you on everything except your question of why it is free. It's free because our tax money was spent on it. You and I already own it, because it was created with our money (whether we like it or not).
      • Eh? It's a recruiting tool for the U.S. Army. They never claimed it wasn't, so anyone who chooses to play it is willfully submitting themselves to "propaganda".
    • Re:Am I alone...? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by gl4ss ( 559668 )
      well, think about it.
      clubs for boys have been usual in getting people to join up for the military later on in their lifes, when they're young it's easy to put some 'ideas' into their heads or at least push them to 'right direction' so that their lives can 'have a meaning'.

      yvan eth noij

      there was this one club in germany once that was more than effective.

      I'm not saying that armies are useless and so on, just that if you're fighting conquering wars you need to have some kind of extra motivation for the lads
    • Re:Am I alone...? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Draxsr ( 790126 )
      Perhaps your right in saying that we should leave entertainment to the entertainment industry. Yes, their propaganda is much more palatable and should remain in the household. I'm glad to only have subjects like auto theft, murder for hire, drug wars, drug use, adultry, rape, and all the other topics that keep the entertainment industry guiding our moral compass. Seriously now, it's a shame that a message of 'Serve your country' is pigeonholed as propaganda.
      • Re:Am I alone...? (Score:3, Interesting)

        by ooby ( 729259 )
        propoganda is political advertising [wikipedia.org]. A message such as 'Serve your country' is propoganda. As are your former examples. With that said, I doubt that America's Army is promoting joining the military much more than Counterstrike or Battlefield 1942 are. First person shooters have been around for over 10 years and if they inadvertantly promoted enlistment, as the poster to which you replied suggests, the military would probably not be in such a need of soldiers as they currently are.
    • In the end, it's all just good marketing. Just like any business, the Army needs to market itself in order to get a steady stream of customers. And let me tell you, they are quite serious about it. The America's Army game is a tool that they use to teach something of the Army way of life. I haven't played the most recent versions of the game, but the last time I played, it didn't seem preachy or anything, so I'm not really sure if it could even be called propaganda. It's basically a FPS that follows Army ru
    • Re:Am I alone...? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Planesdragon ( 210349 ) <slashdot@castlesteelst o n e .us> on Monday June 21, 2004 @02:01PM (#9486407) Homepage Journal
      The apparatus of state is separated from the church, because it is harmful. It should likewise be seperated from the entertainment industry, because of the propaganda possibilities, shaping the next generation of Americans.

      Wrong. I mean, wrong from the get-go.

      Seperation of church and state is to protect the church from the state, not the other way around.

      The military is entirely withing their fair and right avenue of action to try and influence the attitudes of the next generation of Americans. If they weren't, they wouldn't have a recruiting program.
    • The propaganda has always existed, and may even be necessary, and this is just a new way of doing it. I for one am looking forward to America's Army: Torture!, but I just hope they can get better models than this [thememoryhole.org]. She's no Lora or Samus, that's for sure.
  • Didn't the Tom Cruise character (Vince? Vinnie?) in The Color of Money talk about this as a possible future for his video game prowess? That he'd work for the military as a video game specialist, since all the training and then the action will be done like computer games? Was that before or after "Ender's Game?"

    And then there was that movie Toys...

  • by Nyhm ( 645982 ) * on Monday June 21, 2004 @11:57AM (#9485033)
    America's Army looks, plays, and runs great ... except for the parts that aren't the Unreal engine. All of the software around the engine needs some serious work. Here's hoping the new development team can whip this software into shape! Huah!

    Warning, rant follows:

    This is not the forum for complaining about the shoddy software (that Americans probably paid collective millions in taxes for), but here are a few of the simplest pieces of functionality that are miserable failures:

    - Server can't cycle maps, causes client GP fault

    - Client menu layout is incomprehensible

    - Whether you're online or offline is some kind of mystery

    - Plenty of 'Error connecting' messages with no information

    - Connecting to a so-called LAN game requires opening the command console

    - There was talk of 'admin mode' and the only documentation for logging in as an admin is in the FAQ (if it's so frequently asked, then how about making it part of the login dialog?) Then once you log in as admin, are you a player with admin ability, or some non-player observer. How do you get back to being a regular player? Others don't see you logged in, but your personal user name appears in the admin list of online players....

  • by silicon not in the v ( 669585 ) on Monday June 21, 2004 @12:10PM (#9485176) Journal
    It's a front to get more recruits for the war. You'll get deployed! (I'd better put in this ;) or I'll need to search for my asbestos underwear.)
  • Calling Rockstar! (Score:1, Flamebait)

    by metamatic ( 202216 )
    Maybe they're gonna hire the guys from Rockstar Games who developed Manhunt, team them up with the developers of the Silent Hill series, and put them to work on a Guantanamo/Al Ghraib interrogation simulator...

When you make your mark in the world, watch out for guys with erasers. -- The Wall Street Journal