Arrested protesters question use of video games as Army recruitment tool


That police arrested a bunch of protesters at an Army recruitment center doesn’t really concern us per se, but there’s one element of the story that may interest you. The protesters were there—“there” being the Army Experience Center at the Franklin Mills Mall in Philadelphia—to protest the Army’s use of video games to recruit soldiers. Which leads us to: is it appropriate for the Army to use things like America’s Army in its effort to recruit soldiers? Does seducing young kids of 18 or 19 years of age with flashy video games make sense? Is it moral? Or, should I (we) shut my (our) dumb mouth and let the Army do what it wants, and let people, of their own will and volition, sign up for whatever they want?

The libertarian in me says, hey, so long as I’m not directly, and negatively, affected by the Army’s recruitment policy, who am I to complain about its policies? But then the bed-wetting liberal in me says, well, maybe we shouldn’t be teaching our young men and women that war is “cool” or whatever. (I played America’s Army for like 10 seconds when it first came out so many years ago and wasn’t impressed.) Perhaps we should instead be showing prospective soldiers the rubbish conditions of Walter Reed?

I don’t know, I’m not even remotely an “Army guy,” so I feel terribly uncomfortable even discussing this.