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America's Army: Game To Be Released July 4th

By some homeless guy in Op-Ed
Tue Jul 02, 2002 at 05:03:36 AM EST
Tags: Politics (all tags)

The Army is releasing their own game, on the US's Independence Day - an interesting campaign to get kids into (sucked into? brainwashed?) the Army. It is called America's Army , and on the 4th, it can be downloaded from www.americasarmy.com -- It uses the latest Unreal engine.

This was only brought to my attention recently, although I understand press releases were issued as early as May 21st (and I was informed that a story submission --link at bottom-- had been made late May), but since it is soon to be released, I think it is pertinent:

The Army is releasing their own game on July 4th, The United States' Independence Day. I don't know whether to be amused or frightened. Supposedly, there was a stink about the army investing in games, instead of weapons of war -- and how much of a waste it is. Which is reasonable, considering that the price for creating the game is the 7 million dollar range (as stated by article on CNN, link below).

Hey, any money they're not spending on fucking up peoples lives, sounds like a good thing to me. But I'm not sure whether to laugh, or cry, or care at all. Just seems really sick - It reminds me of cigarettes being marketed towards children.

The press release posted by Yahoo, states that:

[The game, America's Army is] an innovative, realistic computer game providing civilians with an inside perspective and a virtual role in today's premier land force, the U.S. Army

The press release goes on to say that the Army is "anticipating large-scale distribution this summer".

In my opinion, this seems a very smooth move, marketing wise. Selling the product that is "The Army". No longer are they just using the "Uncle Sam wants you for the US Army" posters - now they're trying to rope you in with games. I don't know if i agree with it philosophically, however... Sure, it promises to be entertaining, but does this worry anyone else? Is it acceptable to make a game, with taxpayers money, to sell the Army, likely to children? While we're being told that violence in TV and in games is harmful to children, and will make them prone to wreak violence, the Army creates a game, simulating warfare. No, I don't believe that games/movies with violence cause kids to do stupid things -- just saying what we are told, and thinking of possible discussion points. No matter how you look at it, it's funny, at least, IMHO.

Despite me ragging on it, I probably will download it, for the heck of it (quite honestly, I can't imagine me not downloading it) -- I mean, I like games, might as well try out another one. The main issue people seem to be having with it (example, CNN article), is the money aspect. 7 Million Dollars for a game the Army will release free seems a little unreasonable to most - especially, and mainly, because they will be paying for part of it. Do you think this is a reasonable use of US's taxpayers money? Do you think its philosphically reasonable; should the Army be marketing warfare, through games, to kids? Are they even doing that? Maybe not warefare, but they are surely marketing themselves, a fact which they readily admit - it's purpose is propaganda. An obvious fact, but at least they arn't trying to conceal it. Quoted in the CNN article, is Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, who says: "I think it might be too much money, but it's the right approach" ... "I applaud that they're thinking outside the box."

Again, I don't believe this will be "harmful" to children, except for the possible propaganda-influence, what I do disagree with, is using taxpayers money to attempt entice future (or current) taxpayers into joining the Army.

Will you be downloading their game on July 4th?


Article on cost, from CNN
America's Army, Official Website
Press Release @ Yahoo
Preview from Game Revolution
Preview from PC Games @ IGN
Cartoon from Penny-Arcade
Article from Penny-Arcade

Discovered story submission by AmberEyes (didn't realize there was a story posted prior to this, but not a real suprise -- this is more of a update/reminder anyway, and since it contains my opinions, I believe it is sufficiently different)


Voxel dot net
o Managed Hosting
o VoxCAST Content Delivery
o Raw Infrastructure


Related Links
o Yahoo
o www.americ asarmy.com
o Army
o Article on cost, from CNN
o America's Army, Official Website
o Press Release @ Yahoo
o Preview from Game Revolution
o Preview from PC Games @ IGN
o Cartoon from Penny-Arcade
o Article from Penny-Arcade
o Discovered story submission
o Also by some homeless guy

Display: Sort:
America's Army: Game To Be Released July 4th | 97 comments (86 topical, 11 editorial, 0 hidden)
Record development time (3.00 / 3) (#3)
by Alias on Mon Jul 01, 2002 at 04:12:29 PM EST

The game was annouced less than six months ago and it's already out? Are you sure it's not July 4, 2003?

Maybe they just acquired one of the realistic UT mods and redid the skins.

Stéphane "Alias" Gallay -- Damn! My .sig is too lon

it will be released this july 4th (none / 0) (#4)
by some homeless guy on Mon Jul 01, 2002 at 04:16:38 PM EST

This July 4th their "Recon" edition of the game is to be released, which is basically the whole game, minus the extras that will be released later in the summer -- but for all intents and purposes, the full game is to be released the 4th

[ Parent ]
Typical military skunkworks (5.00 / 1) (#14)
by jabber on Mon Jul 01, 2002 at 04:51:14 PM EST

The B2 and F-117 were 'announced' shortly before they made their debut. Just because the game was announced 6 months ago doe not mean it was not in fevelopment prior to then.

Then again, it could suck very badly, or be a reskinning of UT, much like Urban Terror is a reskinning on Quake 3 Arena. :)

[TINK5C] |"Is K5 my kapusta intellectual teddy bear?"| "Yes"
[ Parent ]

in addition (none / 0) (#15)
by some homeless guy on Mon Jul 01, 2002 at 04:55:01 PM EST

To make sure they'd get the widest audience, they eliminated enough gore to make it "T", meaning, theres no dismemberment, and only sprays of blood when targets are hit. So now they have practically all ages as a target-base

[ Parent ]
Ok ... (4.72 / 11) (#6)
by Bad Mojo on Mon Jul 01, 2002 at 04:18:39 PM EST

"Again, I don't believe this will be "harmful" to children, except for the possible propaganda-influence, what I do disagree with, is using taxpayers money to attempt entice future (or current) taxpayers into joining the Army."

Then I assume you have problems with the Army running television ads or attending job fairs?

There are two ways to keep people in the military. 1) Make it mandatory or 2) make it volunteer and promote it. I would rather have the choice AND have a military than not have a choice or a military.

-Bad Mojo
"The purpose of writing is to inflate weak ideas, obscure pure reasoning, and inhibit clarity. With a little practice, writing can be an intimidating and impenetrable fog!"
B. Watterson's Calvin - "Calvin & Hobbes"

I agree (4.00 / 1) (#8)
by some homeless guy on Mon Jul 01, 2002 at 04:22:35 PM EST

But paying 7 million dollars more, for enticing recruitment, is what I do not agree with.

[ Parent ]
It's not all about recruitment (3.00 / 1) (#11)
by Torgos Pizza on Mon Jul 01, 2002 at 04:33:27 PM EST

I don't think the Army is really after fat, lazy kids who can barely move a mouse around the screen. Is it propaganda? Perhaps. The Army in this case sees this as a tool to see what military conflict is really all about. That's it's not just some Counter-Strike scenario where you can reload in two seconds and get shot five times before falling to the ground.

I don't know how effective this marketing campaign will be. From what I've read about this, I think that depending how well it is designed in regards to missions and objectives, this could be a good thing.

I intend to live forever, or die trying.
[ Parent ]

Maybe not (none / 0) (#12)
by some homeless guy on Mon Jul 01, 2002 at 04:47:26 PM EST

But they said the intended purpose of the game is propaganda. That's its purpose. Maybe it won't be successful-- but its intention is propaganda. We know they want physically fit kids -- and a goodly percentage of kids who play computer games are. But whether or not its propaganda isn't an issue -- we know it is propaganda.

It may still be a fun game, in fact, since it is propaganda, I'd be suprised if it isn't.

[ Parent ]
Gotta get the word out somehow (none / 0) (#55)
by andrewhy on Tue Jul 02, 2002 at 02:50:59 AM EST

Kids today don't read propaganda posters. They don't play with toy guns and GI Joe figures (I would be amazed if this was not a recruiting tool). They use the web and play video games. And this is hardly the first war game or even the first game endorsed by the Army (a war sim based on an official Pentagon training program is in stores now).

If "Noise" means uncomfortable sound, then pop music is noise to me -- Masami Akita, aka "Merzbow"
[ Parent ]

7 Million dollars (4.50 / 4) (#16)
by Xeriar on Mon Jul 01, 2002 at 04:59:28 PM EST

But paying 7 million dollars more, for enticing recruitment, is what I do not agree with.

Assuming you are on the average in the tax chain in the U.S., your total contribution to this developement was three cents.

I feel confident that this was, at the very least, worth my three cents, and then some. If you want your money back, I could probably arrange mailing you a check if you like :-p.

When I'm feeling blue, I start breathing again.
[ Parent ]

You have no idea what you're talking about. (5.00 / 4) (#33)
by yankeehack on Mon Jul 01, 2002 at 06:58:18 PM EST

The Army is having recurring recruiting problems. It's been like this for several years now (especially excerbated by the booming economy of not so long ago) and not exactly getting better, even with the renewed sense of purpose.

Believe me, the economy was one of the overriding reasons why my SO (and a good chunk of his fellow JMOs left).

And if you think about it this way, 7mil is not that much money. My SO was in charge of equipment for a Company (about 300 men) worth well over 1mil dollars. And no, it was was just regular groundbanger stuff--no tank or helicopter.

"K5 is like slashdot without all of the dumbasses." Sarcasmo on FARK
"Clinton got in trouble for getting a hummer? I thought it was for lyi
[ Parent ]

Americas Army website is evil I tells ya (3.25 / 4) (#18)
by hovil on Mon Jul 01, 2002 at 05:04:39 PM EST

Crashes mozilla 1.0 and makes netscape navigator do some funky flickering and borked rendering, I wasn't even able to load it up in links either.

Communism! (4.00 / 1) (#22)
by Nickus on Mon Jul 01, 2002 at 05:15:19 PM EST

Mozilla does not conform to the capitalistic standards of the US army. Please be a good citizen and use Internet Explorer to view our pages. You can then play the game and kill some of those commie bastards.

Oh, and did everyone see the nice irony-tags around that last paragraph?

Due to budget cuts, light at end of tunnel will be out. --Unknown
[ Parent ]
Works for me (5.00 / 1) (#23)
by damiam on Mon Jul 01, 2002 at 05:16:22 PM EST

Galeon 1.2.5 on Debian unstable, rendering with Gecko 1.0 and Flash 5.0, seems to work fine. The site is evil though, simply due to flash overuse.

[ Parent ]
Funky Redirect (none / 0) (#83)
by halfwatt on Tue Jul 02, 2002 at 08:11:46 PM EST

I'm using Moz 1.0 and couldn't see the site either. I have never set up flash and have no intentions of doing so. You wouldn't believe how much more enjoyable and faster my surfing is without flash and blocking offsite images (no waiting for ads.doubleclick and such crap to load).

The code for the page has a flash sniffer that is supposed to re-direct you to a page without flash but instead it just endlessly loops. You would think that if they could pay 7 million bucks for a video game they could pay a programmer a few hundred bucks to write a decent browser/flash sniffer. Or hell, there are literally hundreds of them on the internet, just copy/paste for crying out loud. And this is our new high-tech army?

Any first year hack can look at the code and see the problem. They probably grabbed the first guy of the bus and said "Hey you, you got glasses, you're now a programmer. Make us a website."

[ Parent ]

Thanks for the update (3.00 / 3) (#20)
by Fon2d2 on Mon Jul 01, 2002 at 05:11:49 PM EST

They're releasing it on the 4th? That's awesome. What's even better is the 4th is a holiday. So's the 5th. 4-day weekend. Plenty of time to play and get sick of the stupid army game.

Recruiting (4.25 / 8) (#21)
by PresJPolk on Mon Jul 01, 2002 at 05:15:17 PM EST

The Army has recruited since the Civil War, where they'd *pay* you a bounty up front just to enlist.

Sure, question recruitment if you want, but this computer game isn't the first time money has been spent on recruitment.

I'd even suggest that a computer game is cheaper than television advertising.

Nice release date. (3.50 / 4) (#24)
by acceleriter on Mon Jul 01, 2002 at 05:21:18 PM EST

Maybe it'll help keep the uninformed masses occupied enough that they don't buy Warcraft 3 from the jack-booted, DMCA-wielding, open-source programmer suing thugs at Blizzard/Vivendi.

It's odd, but innovative. (4.80 / 5) (#25)
by aitrus on Mon Jul 01, 2002 at 05:24:37 PM EST

In an economy where the primary form of good is knowledge based, organizations like the Army have a tough time giving people incentive enough to sign up.

Signing up for Infantry can net you $16-19k dollars, and being an Arabic linguist can get $20k as well as an Associate's degree and a higher rank.

In an age where kids are quickly hopping onto things like Counter-Strike, Quake, and Tribes 2, this is just another ploy to get their attention.  If they can latch on to the fantasies of teenagers, then they'll have more inquiries in ROTC and at the local recruiter.

I don't see anything wrong with it.  It will get the kid thinking about the Army, perhaps even seriously, and the choice to sign up is entirely their own.  As for the $7 million dollar price tag, it's not as bad as you may think.  If this can bring in people to join on its own, then it will pay for itself in the long run.

Besides, it's better than government funded studies on why cow's have gas.

So? (4.33 / 6) (#26)
by Raunchola on Mon Jul 01, 2002 at 06:06:40 PM EST

Again, I don't believe this will be "harmful" to children, except for the possible propaganda-influence, what I do disagree with, is using taxpayers money to attempt entice future (or current) taxpayers into joining the Army.

So what if the Army uses a video game? The Navy used to have a Flash game on their site a while back. I wouldn't be surprised if the Marine Corps or the Air Force did something similar. It's a new way of reaching out to potential recruits, and like Grover Norquist, I also applaud the Army for thinking "outside the box."

Besides, who do you think ultimately pays for those TV commercials and magazine ads you see for the Armed Services? Yeah, that's right, you do (I guess?). Would you rather be "enticed" into joining the military via these commercials and ads, or forced to?

It's a video game people, it's not like the military is contaminating your drinking water (conspiracy nuts, don't respond). Nothing to see here, move along.

Who cares? (4.20 / 5) (#27)
by andrewm on Mon Jul 01, 2002 at 06:13:24 PM EST

Enough other games have the "we had a military advisor!" as part of their marketing (although in the few post-mortems I've seen, usually it turns out that the advisor was mostly ignored, because the reality wasn't enough fun). The idea of marketing a military game as 'authentic' is hardly a new one. And cashing in on 4th of July is an American tradition, isn't it? (Remember 'Independance Day'? The release date for that was an amazing coincidence, right?)

So the US army took an existing game, modified it a bit, and slapped a US army logo on it? If that's the worst thing they've ever done, then there's not much at all to worry about.

Even if you're worried about taxpayer money being spent on this, 7 million is actually a very small portion of what the US spends on the military each year - there's bigger issues than some silly game.

Somewhat relevant quote . . . (none / 0) (#77)
by Lemur on Tue Jul 02, 2002 at 04:08:46 PM EST

Even if you're worried about taxpayer money being spent on this, 7 million is actually a very small portion of what the US spends on the military each year - there's bigger issues than some silly game.

"A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you're talking about real money." -- Everett Dirksen

[ Parent ]
Erm... marketing? (none / 0) (#86)
by Eater on Tue Jul 02, 2002 at 09:15:47 PM EST

Sorry to burst your bubble, but they're not selling the game... It's obviously not created for that purpose. It's created as a recruitment tool, nothing more, nothing less. And it's not really an existing game either. If they're using the Unreal engine they still have to make their own contents. This means they need artists for the models and textures, sound artists and musicians. The only thing they save on is programmers, but they need a few of those too, just not as many as they would for a game made from scratch.


[ Parent ]
Yes, marketing (none / 0) (#93)
by andrewm on Thu Jul 04, 2002 at 12:22:26 AM EST

Other games have marketing related to generating sales/income. This just has marketing related to getting it out there being played - for whatever they think it'll achieve.

But whether you object to the word 'marketing' or not, the concept of an FPS game being promoted as "realistic" isn't new, and that's even allowing for the fact that I doubt this one will be any more realistic than the typical hollywood movie. (You'll have a hard time convincing me that movies are realistic.)

It would be kinda cool if it was realistic, though - various Enemies Of Freedom(TM) could just download a copy and train to defeat the US army, using a US taxpayer funded game. Ok, so it depends on your definition of cool. If you prefer, substitute 'perverse' for 'cool'. (That's another reason I doubt it'll be exactly realistic, anyway.)

[ Parent ]

Heh... realistic games... (none / 0) (#95)
by Eater on Thu Jul 04, 2002 at 01:08:57 AM EST

I recall that a while ago, I saw a comment on a PC game discussion site (and it was a good gaming site too - not the usual flame war board - which is a rare thing indeed) regarding what a REAL realistic game would be like. Although I don't have the address, I do have the exact wording of the comment:
"We would ask you to try the game on its most difficult setting where if you die once, it uninstalls the game from your hard drive. In the real world you only get one life."
On a more serious note though, it's very difficult to create a realistic infantry simulation, because a lot of the aspects of infantry training (as opposed to, say, training aircraft pilots) and very physical - you need to be USED to holding a gun and firing it. You need to be USED to being able to handle the recoil, have good aim, etc. Considering this, some of the modern "realistic" games (and no, I'm not talking about Counter-Strike) do a pretty good job to simulate the experience of running with a big, heavy rifle, getting shot, and shooting back, for a person sitting behind a monitor and a keyboard. Although I do agree with you in that I doubt this will be one of those games. Probably another cheap Counter-Strike ripoff...


[ Parent ]
We don't have Hitler Youth (2.90 / 10) (#28)
by Jonathan Walther on Mon Jul 01, 2002 at 06:16:39 PM EST

Instead we have a state of the art, addictive, adrenalin-pumping, fast-action video game to indoctrinate and train the kids into blind loyalty to the state machine.  Sheesh.  As if all the military history propaganda documentaries on A&E and the Discover channel, and yearly big-budget Hollywood movies glorifying Americas military aren't enough!

Has noone learned from the Spartans, the price of slavery is not just the vigilance that freedom requires, but eternal fear of slave uprisings, and dedication to martial thoughts, actions, and deeds?  Sure doesn't sound like "freedom" to me.

(Luke '22:36 '19:13) => ("Sell your coat and buy a gun." . "Occupy until I come.")

"State machine." *groan* (4.00 / 2) (#32)
by gblues on Mon Jul 01, 2002 at 06:48:14 PM EST

That was a bad, horrid, uncalled-for pun. :)

... although in retrospect, having sex to the news was probably doomed to fail from the get-go. --squinky
[ Parent ]

Ugh (2.94 / 18) (#29)
by TunkeyMicket on Mon Jul 01, 2002 at 06:30:53 PM EST

What the hell is so wrong with the Army. It seems that many of the people posting comments have something against the men and women that serve in our Armed Forces. I for one am very appreciative of the part that they play in America. Is there something wrong with joining the Armed Forces? I think not. Is it a bad thing to join the Armed Forces? No. Will society look down on you because of this? Some people in society will, but they're merely the ignorant. Being in the Armed Forces is no more a reason to spit on someone than if they were a Democrat. (And boy would I love to spit on a Democrat, but I hold myself back)
Chris "TunkeyMicket" Watford
There's nothing wrong with the army... (4.80 / 5) (#41)
by Trollificus on Mon Jul 01, 2002 at 08:28:36 PM EST

...but there IS something wrong with the crooks who lead them off into pointless battle after pointless battle for the sake of securing some form of natural resource or installing a mock government to serve their own self-interests.
But, you can expect that from a draft-dodging politician, can't you? :p
They are the real insult to the people who serve the country.

Soldiers are only following orders, afterall.

"The separation of church and state is a fiction. The nation is the kingdom of God, period."
--Bishop Harold Calvin Ray of West Palm Beach, FL
[ Parent ]

Here here! (none / 0) (#65)
by TunkeyMicket on Tue Jul 02, 2002 at 09:18:14 AM EST

I completely agree. The military could use a little bit less politiking and a little more ass kicking, imo.
Chris "TunkeyMicket" Watford
[ Parent ]
Ugha Ugha Ugha!!! (2.33 / 6) (#48)
by M0dUluS on Tue Jul 02, 2002 at 01:00:11 AM EST

What the hell is so wrong with the Army?
Ummm...it consists of a body of young boys who are willing to murder people so that they can get an inadequate education.

It is responsible for murdering hundreds of thousands of Iraqis.

It is possible the most authoritarian institution in existence?

Finally what are you doing posting here in this cess-pool of libertarianism? Morons like you should be shinin' up dere boots.

Do something useful: go spit on a Democrat, lick a Republican and polish Nader's knob.


"[...]no American spin is involved at all. Is that such a stretch?" -On Lawn
[ Parent ]
Murder (4.50 / 4) (#64)
by TunkeyMicket on Tue Jul 02, 2002 at 09:16:17 AM EST

"Young Boys" ages 18 and older serve in the armed forces, 17 and older with permission. They can vote, they are no longer "boys". Well murder is another story. If you're in any sort of situation in which someone is shooting at you, I highly doubt, that if you have a gun you would refrain from shooting back. My sense of survival would kick in and I would start shooting anything shooting at me. Take this to a court of law and you have "Self Defence".

I will concede on points where "Self Defence" was an excuse for murder, but this is no different than a civil case, and under can be tried as a War Crime.

As for being the most Authoritarian institution in existance? I would think not. Most of the countries in Africa are more "Authoritarian" than the US Military. Besides, try running an army in any other fashion...it just doesn't work.

There are only a few real liberatarians at K5, the rest just like to whine.

I'm willing to wager that the dumbest man in the freshman class at Annappolis, West Point, the Citadel, or VMI is atleast on par with your intelligence, or is smarter. Besides, there is nothing wrong with not graduating high school and getting a job at one of the largest employers in the world. Its good money and they make you into an effective person.
Chris "TunkeyMicket" Watford
[ Parent ]
Ummmm.... (none / 0) (#53)
by FuriousXGeorge on Tue Jul 02, 2002 at 01:56:11 AM EST

Well, I for one am against joining the army because of...


[ Parent ]

Wouldn't it be funny if.. (3.33 / 3) (#30)
by sypher on Mon Jul 01, 2002 at 06:39:45 PM EST

These 'games' somehow, gradually become the interface between weapons and the battlefield?

When we get the drone troops e.t.c, we can all have a go, piloting bombs or juggling resources.

The Japanese have arcade games I saw somewhere where the player simply operates a digger on a construction site, moving things around and digging holes.

Imagine if the program could remotely pilot such a vehicles basic systems, with the proven players getting control of tanks and shit without even knowing they have.

I dreamt of it once, now I fear it dreams of me
Imagine? Someone already did (4.66 / 3) (#31)
by joecool12321 on Mon Jul 01, 2002 at 06:45:30 PM EST

It's called "Ender's Game" by Orson Scott Card.


[ Parent ]

Really (none / 0) (#34)
by sypher on Mon Jul 01, 2002 at 07:02:44 PM EST

Never heard about this, i will go look into it.

Whilst i am doing so, could anyone offer a synopsis of this book? How is the remote piloting distributed, and do the remote piloters know they are controlling 'live' automatons?

I dreamt of it once, now I fear it dreams of me
[ Parent ]
Spoiler (4.00 / 1) (#36)
by joecool12321 on Mon Jul 01, 2002 at 07:18:12 PM EST

Although I guess it's already spoiled. The main character is playing a game to practice his leadership capabilities. It turns out he wasn't play a game, but actually giving instructions to ships light-years away (they mastered faster-than-light communication, but not travel). Through playing the game, he leads to the (supposed) extermination of an entire race.


[ Parent ]

I see (none / 0) (#37)
by sypher on Mon Jul 01, 2002 at 07:25:45 PM EST

Sounds like the guy who wrote that kids movie 'The Last Starfighter' had his nose in this somewhere along the line.

Thanks for the heads up, is it worth tracking down the book?

I dreamt of it once, now I fear it dreams of me
[ Parent ]
Definitely. (5.00 / 1) (#38)
by Cluster on Mon Jul 01, 2002 at 07:38:23 PM EST

This book left me dazed for the whole day after I finished it -- the ending was shocking and powerful.
"Ender's Game" is the first book in a series but does not rely on the forthcoming books to complete it, and I strongly suggest reading it.

[ Parent ]
Soon to be a major motion picture (5.00 / 2) (#39)
by joecool12321 on Mon Jul 01, 2002 at 07:47:45 PM EST

Ender's Game is going to be a move, by the way. Screenplay by Orson Scott Card, directed by Wolfgang Petersen, produced by Chartoff Productions, Fresco Pictures, and Warner Brothers.

The titles for the Ender side of the story are: Ender's Game, Speaker for the Dead, Xenocide, Children of the Mind. Speaker for the Dead onwards, the books differ greatly from Ender's Game.

The titles for the Bean thread are: Ender's Shadow, Shadow of the Hegemon, and soon-to-be-released Shadow Puppets (August 19th). If you liked Ender's Game, you'll like the "Shadow" series much more than the follow-ups to Ender's Game. You can easily read only Ender's Game and then jump to the "Shadow" books. It may even be possible to simply read the Shadow series, as well.


[ Parent ]

probably not a good one (4.00 / 1) (#40)
by Delirium on Mon Jul 01, 2002 at 07:51:06 PM EST

Though I'd love to be proven wrong, I doubt it'll be a good movie. For me anyway, the best part of the book were the various psychological components. The science-fiction story was just a plot to put the psychology onto. IMHO the story would've worked just as well with a non-sci-fi plot; Card just used a sci-fi plot because that's his background.

And I'm guessing the movie will concentrate more on the relatively unimportant plot.

[ Parent ]

Ender's Game (none / 0) (#43)
by some homeless guy on Mon Jul 01, 2002 at 08:49:02 PM EST

Indeed, there is much argument in his websites' forums (or was, last i checked, his site is www.hatrack.com) as a lot of the powerful psychological key scenes in the book most likely will not be present in the movie (such as the scene with the playground bully, it will most likely not be in the screen play) -- Since most fans of the novel(s), including me, feel that that was a key scene, as were a few of the others, there is a lot of strife in his fan-base.

I don't have much hope for the movie, but I do strongly urge anyone who hasn't read the book to read it -- it's a great thinking piece, and a lovely tale, well-presented. The sequels, and the later novels en parallax are quite good as well. Possibly my most favorite book and series

Whoa, was that off-topic -- i attribute it to my tiredness.

[ Parent ]
Movie... (none / 0) (#50)
by Danse on Tue Jul 02, 2002 at 01:27:01 AM EST

I'm sure /. will have a review up about 5 minutes after the movie is released. I'll just have to use that and others to decide whether it's worth blowing 8.50 to see it. I'm tending to agree that it will probably be pretty disappointing though.

An honest debate between Bush and Kerry
[ Parent ]
Do you like being manipulated? (4.50 / 2) (#73)
by georgeha on Tue Jul 02, 2002 at 12:40:16 PM EST

It would be hard to write a more manipulative book, or one more likely to be eaten up be geeks.

While it's a good read, it has just about every stock hack in it to manipulate you; the unwanted scrawny but very smart protagonist, the institution dedicated to attacking and harassing him, endless hours of grueling classes and drills, computer hijinks, and oh yeah, saving humanity. Predictably, the fanboys at /. eat it up.

It would make a good handbook for a fascist attempting to raise an immoral army of cruel children.

[ Parent ]

Toys too! (none / 0) (#46)
by kerinsky on Tue Jul 02, 2002 at 12:13:31 AM EST

Remember that movie "Toys" with Robin Williams? They did the whole video games interface to real combat thing too. And it was funnier than Ender's Game =)

A conclusion is simply the place where you got tired of thinking.
[ Parent ]
Ender's game (3.00 / 2) (#45)
by strlen on Mon Jul 01, 2002 at 09:24:15 PM EST

A book I've read, actually detailed just that. The 'student' was convinced it was merely in simulation, and was told to simply love the game and was pressured into accepting the game as some sort of an exam. What turned out late though, is that the seeming computer game he was playing, he was in actual command of a fleet. One command he gave, destroyed an entire planet, civilian population and all.

[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]
Great reference for you. (none / 0) (#49)
by LukeyBoy on Tue Jul 02, 2002 at 01:09:11 AM EST

How about the old Matthew Broderick movie Project X where they train a bunch of monkeys to deliver nuclear warheads using computer simulations. Sorry, I had to get that one out.

[ Parent ]
I think you misunderstood Project X. (none / 0) (#62)
by Ranieri on Tue Jul 02, 2002 at 08:38:01 AM EST

The idea behind Project X was to see if pilots could deliver nuclear armaments to Russia while under the effects of ionising radiation. The reason for the simulation is simply to see if the monkeys were capable of performing adequately while being irradiated. No actual warheads deployed, if i remember correctly.
Taste cold steel, feeble cannon restraint rope!
[ Parent ]
Oh yeah (none / 0) (#70)
by LukeyBoy on Tue Jul 02, 2002 at 11:35:29 AM EST

I had partially forgotten. That's probably a good thing ;-)

[ Parent ]
Densha De Go! (none / 0) (#63)
by j1mmy on Tue Jul 02, 2002 at 08:58:49 AM EST

The translation is something like "Train Go!". It's a train simulator. You get to drive trains all across Japan. Also, it's fucking hard.

You have to stop within a meter of the end of the train stations. If you too far from the end, you're penalized. If you stop even a fraction of a millimeter past the end, you're penalized. If you're late, you're penalized. If you're early, you're penalized. If you speed in a residential area (and make lots of noise), you're penalized. If you accelerate or decelerate too quickly, your passengers fall down, and you're penalized.

It's the most nit-picky game I've ever played. You even get a special controller for it with a train-like speed-control lever, the only control you actually use in game play. Your entire interface to this game is this one control for speeding up or slowing down. You push the lever forward or you pull it back. That's it.

There are a bevy of console and arcade versions out in Japan. I don't think they've ever been released in any other market.

[ Parent ]

Interesting Game (none / 0) (#90)
by sypher on Wed Jul 03, 2002 at 09:44:44 AM EST

Sounds hyper boring though.

Wonder what they are trying to teach people with this kind of 'game'.

Sounds like discipline and fine control of machinery.

I dreamt of it once, now I fear it dreams of me
[ Parent ]
Boring doesn't even begin to describe it (n/t) (none / 0) (#91)
by j1mmy on Wed Jul 03, 2002 at 10:14:47 AM EST

[ Parent ]
Reminds me of... (none / 0) (#89)
by Int0h on Wed Jul 03, 2002 at 05:47:25 AM EST

the bofh episode where the boss, I think, gets to play a computer game where you control a wheelchair... of course it was a real wheelchair remotely controlled :)

[ Parent ]
Modern agitprop (4.66 / 9) (#35)
by joecool12321 on Mon Jul 01, 2002 at 07:16:12 PM EST

The powerful word's greatest risk is overuse. "Bloody" becomes meaningless, and thus only racial slurs shock and jar society. "Freedom" beckons to all, and so becomes trite: a cliché phrase used by those in power to bedazzle and wow, but it's capital is spent quickly with every usage. Words in the service of propagandists loose form, become meaningless, and die - the pundits quickly move on to the new phrase du jour.

How does the political machine change "old beggars under sacks, / Knock-kneed, coughing like hags" into the merry "band of brothers" so that those who are not present for glorious battle will "hold their manhoods cheap"? According to Lawrence LeShan in The Psychology of War, agitprop must make a distinction between the "sensory" and the "mythic" perceptions of war. For example, the United States' involvement in the Somalia conflict quickly became a "sensory" war, with images of "our boys" being dragged through the streets, when we were "only there to help." It lost its mythic proportions, and became all too real.

Much better for the propagandist to move war into the abstract, into the realm of pixels and far-off lands; in galaxies far, far away. LeShan argues that government must maintain rights to the "final cut". If the government looses this control, allowing journalists with their own interpretation of events to spread the news, it can no longer change the war into a mythic battle of good versus evil. Instead, the conflict becomes mired in the all-too-harsh realities of starving children and a desperate populace.

It is my opinion that this game is simply an attempt to re-vivify support for the war in a student population where 37% of students would dodge the draft, were it reinstated. The government must use their propaganda to mask the sensory, and create the mythic. Will they succeed? I doubt it. Students are too smart for such simple tricks. I hope.


Isn't propaganda supposed to be enticing? (2.60 / 5) (#42)
by blankmind on Mon Jul 01, 2002 at 08:45:30 PM EST

From americasarmy.com:

AMERICA'S ARMY: SOLDIERS is a game that mimics life. You must guide a computer generated soldier through the US Army and help him or her to develop a career, get an education, and climb up in rank. You'll be able to not only visit the recruiter and sign up but also progress through the Army and see for yourself what a rich life experience the U.S. Army offers.

Wow, this sounds like oodles of fun. I'm sure the recruitment offices are going to be packed after this one is released, so you better sign up now fellow USians.

I have been trolled.
On the contrary (4.00 / 1) (#61)
by j1mmy on Tue Jul 02, 2002 at 08:37:15 AM EST

I'm sure the recruitment offices are going to be packed after this one is released

Sarcasm aside, I wouldn't be surprised if this slows recruiting for the Army. Why risk your life fighting in a desolate country halfway around the world when you can do the same sitting in your own living room?

[ Parent ]

What about the other half (none / 0) (#88)
by FlipTopBox on Tue Jul 02, 2002 at 11:15:33 PM EST

Actually, the second game looks like it's primarily targetted at female gamers.

It sure seems an awful lot like The Sims...

I think they've done their research, and are targetting these to hit the two biggest markets they want to claim.

Regardless of moral approval or disapproval, I have to respect the strength of their plan.

[ Parent ]

I wonder... (3.00 / 1) (#47)
by kerinsky on Tue Jul 02, 2002 at 12:24:49 AM EST

What would the response be if some pirate got this up on their 0-day warez site on the 2nd? Forced enlistment as a private until you work off the $7 million?

Yeah, Yeah. I know the game is gonna be free but still it'd be funny to see the Army go crying to Congress in support of the DMCA II...

A conclusion is simply the place where you got tired of thinking.

I for one think it's time to reflect... (4.50 / 2) (#52)
by outlandish on Tue Jul 02, 2002 at 01:52:29 AM EST

I'm a libertine. I'm not going to argue that they aughtta outlaw Doom or any of it's predecessors.

However, I will say this: these games can be addictive and don't really foster good feelings in people. Back in my angsty high school days (the late '90s) I went through a phase of playing a lot of Doom. I would listen to NIN and shoot demons with a shotgun after school for hours. It was fun.

I don't think it's coincidence that that period of my life was also not one of the happiest, one in which I managed to (intentionally) hurt myself a number of times. I'm not drawing a causal link between Doom and my own depression, just noting that they might be correlated.

As such, isn't it possible that we as a community aught to stand up for some kind of standard? I mean, there are games (GTA 3, which I love but which has forever altered my experience of driving, and maybe not in a good way) that probably aught not to be played excessively by impressionable people. I'm not going to try and say who impressionable people are because I'm not trying to talk about getting a law passed (far from it), but I bring that kind of loaded language in to point out that saying the forms of entertainment you consume have no effect whatsoever on your life outlook is clearly poppycock.

The question is what can we do about it? I for one think that videogames as a means of interactive storytelling and shared expereince are perhaps the most exciting art form to come out of the digital age. A lot more innovative than Pixar, you know? But reading about people getting real excited to use the sniper rifle in a US Army simulator makes me... nervous somehow.

I know Gabe isn't going to go out killing (or joining up), but the truth is a lot of socially isolated and lonely young men/boys (and probably even a few women/girls) are going to play this game too, and I don't know if that's best for us as a society. It's certainly a brilliant marketing move for the Armed Forces though... Probably be bigger than GI Joe. They've got funding for seven years of development and network maintinance I hear. Gonna be a big one.

remote-hosted soapboxing, mindless self-promotion, and salacious gossip -- outlandishjosh.com

Correlation (4.00 / 1) (#56)
by Cloaked User on Tue Jul 02, 2002 at 03:23:22 AM EST

I suspect that the correlation is the reverse of what you skirt around implying - ie, I suspect that it was your depression that caused you to listen to NIN and play Doom, not the other way round.

Why do I say that? Because I went through a similar period, but I still play Doom-like games (Q3 and UT, mostly, plus other genres, of course) and listen to NIN and NIN-like music. Also, the depression most certainly came first - I was like that for a couple of years before I even had a PC, or easy access to one.

Additionally, I dispute the assertion that these games don't foster "good feelings". At work, a few of us have the occasional game of UT, and it's great fun. Despite killing each other in the game, we're still all the best of friends, whether the games are close or a complete thrashing. Hell, I don't even have any additional bad feelings towards the one guy that I don't like, despite also not liking his tactics (camping in the shadows with the rifle.. lamer :-) )


"What the fuck do you mean 'Are you inspired to come to work'? Of course I'm not 'inspired'. It's a job for God's sake! The money's enough and the work's not so crap that I leave."
[ Parent ]

Very Possible (none / 0) (#68)
by outlandish on Tue Jul 02, 2002 at 11:29:17 AM EST

Good point. I think the saving grace of a lot of the online FPS games these days is the teamplay aspect. I've had some really good times at lan parties and playing via the internet (I've been into online gaming since Netrek).

While you're probably correct in that the correlation between my adolescent depression and my doom-playing, nin-listening ways is likely the reverse of what I was suggesting, though in retrospect I still don't think the games and music helped me out all that much. It did keep me off the streets and sober, but at what cost? Later in my career I would get into partying and despite doing many medically unhealthy things, I turned into a much happier (psychologically happy) camper. Strange, that. Through it all, I had some really good friends (even in the midst of the fire and the blackness) so I never really got all that lost, but I wonder what might have become of me if I hadn't had those friends.

remote-hosted soapboxing, mindless self-promotion, and salacious gossip -- outlandishjosh.com

[ Parent ]

It cost them 7,000,000 bucks???!!! (3.00 / 1) (#54)
by pyramid termite on Tue Jul 02, 2002 at 01:57:06 AM EST

And they didn't even have to come up with their own game engine??!! For Pete's sake there are people who've done mods and adaptations and original games as a damned unpaid hobby - what in the world is costing so much money?

Might as well download it - I've already paid for it, haven't I?
On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
6,000,000 donation to the black budget (none / 0) (#57)
by harryhoode on Tue Jul 02, 2002 at 03:30:05 AM EST

Of course, there is no such thing as the black budget anymore.

[ Parent ]
Yup... (none / 0) (#66)
by speedfreak2K2 on Tue Jul 02, 2002 at 10:27:25 AM EST

It's now "Homeland Security"...
You! Take that crown off your head, I'm kicking your ass!
[ Parent ]
$7M = many years funding + online network (none / 0) (#69)
by outlandish on Tue Jul 02, 2002 at 11:32:04 AM EST

I believe that the funding figure is to further development for a few more years, research what the kids respond to, and to keep high-quality army regulated online game servers running through the whole shebang.

Really does smack of ender's game, though. Don't it? I could see in the future the Army has a series of games, and they keep demographics on the players and use it as a recruiting tool for ROTC and such.

remote-hosted soapboxing, mindless self-promotion, and salacious gossip -- outlandishjosh.com

[ Parent ]

Is Spyware included? (3.00 / 1) (#58)
by harryhoode on Tue Jul 02, 2002 at 03:33:46 AM EST

After all, it would be in the best interests of the military to know who the top players are in the USA.... and elsewhere for that matter.

Yeah, because.. (4.00 / 1) (#72)
by Kwil on Tue Jul 02, 2002 at 12:37:05 PM EST

..we all know some fat-ass, sweaty 15 year old geek who drinks 4 litres of coke a day and thinks downloading the latest head-shot cheat-mod from "www.W4R3Z4133TZ.com" is 'da bom' is just the sort of person we want in our military.

That Jesus Christ guy is getting some terrible lag... it took him 3 days to respawn! -NJ CoolBreeze

[ Parent ]
wedding (2.28 / 7) (#59)
by gromgull on Tue Jul 02, 2002 at 03:39:13 AM EST

...and you get to bomb weddings in afghanistan.
If I had my way I'd have all of you shot

Weddings, huh? (4.00 / 1) (#67)
by countzro on Tue Jul 02, 2002 at 10:59:43 AM EST

So if this game was "The Taliban Army", you would get to bomb American commerce centers?

Get off your high horse and remember that there are five thousand very good reasons we are in Afghanistan right now.

[ Parent ]
Taliban Army (1.00 / 1) (#71)
by gromgull on Tue Jul 02, 2002 at 12:17:08 PM EST

Personally I would find it quite good fun, in a sick and twisted sort of way, to crash planes into buildings in a game. A bit like the suicide bomber flash game (can't remember what it's called now)

I am sure every single one of the people killed at the wedding were personally involved with crashing those planes...

That is like bombing your wedding, then claiming there are 504 very good reasons for doing so. Get a fucking grip...

If I had my way I'd have all of you shot

[ Parent ]

Please (4.00 / 1) (#76)
by countzro on Tue Jul 02, 2002 at 03:19:13 PM EST

>I am sure every single one of the people killed at the wedding were personally involved with crashing those planes...

And I'm sure everyone in the World Trade Center towers was personally involved in sticking it to Afghanistan.

Civilian casualties are a fact of war. Any argument about how these people never did anything to the US is pretty well countered by mentioning how nobody in the WTC ever did anything to Afghanistan. They started a war, now we're finishing it. If a few civilians happen to die, well, that sucks but it's neither the first or last time it will happen.

[ Parent ]
re: please (none / 0) (#80)
by gromgull on Tue Jul 02, 2002 at 05:15:00 PM EST

In my book the difference is made by the attacks on the WTC being made by a few nut-cases, and the nation of the US retaliated by attacking  Afghanistan, which as far as I know there is still no proof they were involved.
You could argue that the Taliban was supporting Bin Laden, and he might have been behind it, but the Taliban is long since overthrown and what the fuck are you still doing there bombing weddings?
If I had my way I'd have all of you shot

[ Parent ]
I'm going to download it (5.00 / 2) (#60)
by morkeleb on Tue Jul 02, 2002 at 03:58:43 AM EST

Because I am really curious to see what kind of morality engine they use. I mean in some games - you get penalized for doing things that in the real world would be morally wrong but in the game you are playing are considered acceptable. Like in the first Wing Commander...it was okay in the game to shoot the moronic pilots you were with as long as you were in combat. But if you weren't in combat, they would call you a traitor and then everyone would come after you to blow you out of the sky.

And then there are games like Kingpin - were since your goal is to become a crime lord over a city - the moral code to get ahead in the game is iffy. Beating innocent people to death sometimes results in them having things you can use - like money. But you have to be careful your're not killing a character that could provide you with valuable information.

I'm betting since the government is behind it - the game will be totally PC and probably kind've lame, with a very wholesome morality engine. Shooting prisoners, your officers, or civilians is bad. But we'll see. Maybe the avatars in the game will come with 8 DIFFERENT PAIN SKINS (from moderately wounded to blown into chunky bleeding bits) - which I remember being one of the big selling points of Kingpin when it first came out.

Anyway.....maybe it will be interesting. I'm not expecting anything from the darkside of mind control however. But one can always hope =)
"If I read a book and it makes my whole body so cold no fire can ever warm me, I know that is poetry." - Emily Dickinson
Or Quake II (none / 0) (#94)
by vectro on Thu Jul 04, 2002 at 12:53:41 AM EST

where killing prisoners gives you ammo or health, and never has a detrimental effect.

“The problem with that definition is just that it's bullshit.” -- localroger
[ Parent ]
Penny Arcade said it best (3.75 / 4) (#74)
by avdi on Tue Jul 02, 2002 at 01:35:38 PM EST

I read that Penny-Arcade article when it first appeared, and it's still the best counterpoint to the predictable knee-jerk anti-military response.  Excerpt:

Are you this dramatic when you buy a gallon of milk? Because I'd like to see that. You're not being rational. The market is up to its ass in military themes. The fact that this one is "free" or "authentic" just ends up bullet points on some feature list to gamers, a great percentage of whom have very firm opinions about their hobby. We've been pretending to be soldiers all our lives, in one way or another, in the woods or at ten twenty-four by seven sixty-eight. Wanna stick it to the man? Download it, play it, and then don't join the military. It'll be like installing Linux on your Xbox, man. I'm talking about some hardcore shit.

If you're worried about America's Army hurling youngsters into lives of military service, there are a couple points I'd like to make. For one, if games are as efficient at "snaring the young" and "committing them to life choices" as you seem to fear, just think how much worse it could be. I mean, shit, nobody in the Army runs around with fake fangs, hanging out with a cape on in the park. Count your Goddamn blessings. For two, thank Christ on the cross these pitiful creatures fell victim to an organization that will feed and clothe them, because a young adult who consults videogames as some kind of elaborate day-planner is in desperate need of guidance.

Whenever someone starts talking about The Military-Industrial Complex, it's like a switch gets thrown in my head and then I hear only music. I don't find arguments that seem memorized particularly evocative. Oratories that stem from an absolute, fundamental, all-purpose hatred of the military as a concept - without any reasonable concession to its modern necessity - strike me as intellectual preening. I'd like very much to hear why the America's Army games are dangerous and other games are not.

The whole article is worth reading.

Now leave us, and take your fish with you. - Faramir

Yeah, they're ornery bastards... (5.00 / 1) (#75)
by Khedak on Tue Jul 02, 2002 at 02:23:23 PM EST

Whenever someone starts talking about The Military-Industrial Complex, it's like a switch gets thrown in my head and then I hear only music. I don't find arguments that seem memorized particularly evocative. Oratories that stem from an absolute, fundamental, all-purpose hatred of the military as a concept - without any reasonable concession to its modern necessity - strike me as intellectual preening. I'd like very much to hear why the America's Army games are dangerous and other games are not.

So he ignores people who he chooses to think are parroting their views. Fine. He says that arguments based on pure emotive hatred of the military are invalid. Agreed. But that's got nothing to do with the military-industrial complex. Most of the people in the Army aren't told "You're being sent in to help install a friendly government that will sell us oil" when these things happen. It's not the military that's evil, it's when the military is abused that is potentially evil. If our military is a force for good and freedom in the world, then who could object to a game about it? There are already police games, right? On the other hand, if the military is being enlarged and sent into combat purely to fuel Industry (e.g., the Military-Industrial complex), then that would be bad, right?

So, unless you have some pretty damn conclusive evidence that our military has been behaving itself abroad, at least accept that some of us are wary. (Oops, did we bomb a wedding? Guess they should've handed over Bin Laden when they had the chance!)

[ Parent ]
Fake fangs in the park (none / 0) (#84)
by Perianwyr on Tue Jul 02, 2002 at 08:54:56 PM EST

I know many people who are in the Navy who do exactly that.

Ho ho.

[ Parent ]

FYI.. (4.00 / 2) (#78)
by cvou on Tue Jul 02, 2002 at 04:22:21 PM EST

Okay, this can probably be garnered from actually reading the links, but these are the most compelling factors to my obtaining the game.

1. It's free. Ok, its propaganda, but it's free. This puts it on the same cost footing as Counter-Strike, which anyone can play since damn near everyone has a copy of Half-Life nowadays. This freedom isn't just to download - you can walk into a PC game store and grab the boxed thing if you so please - I understand it'll be on shelves. Downloading is NOT the only option.

2. You are Americas Army. Conversely to something like CS where you are CT and the other guys are T's, whichever side you play will appear as America's Army to you. This is a more critical aspect than one might think. Everything will be written from the standpoint that YOUR team is the US army and THE OTHER GUYS are bad. If you join team A, you might be told to rescue hostages - but if you join team B, you might be told you have to defend a diplomatic envoy. You'll think they are firing an AK at you, but if you were him, he'd think he's firing a M4 at a terrorist. You NEVER play 'the bad guys'.

Anyway, I figured those points - particularly the latter - would be a good idea to note.

My apologies.. (none / 0) (#79)
by cvou on Tue Jul 02, 2002 at 04:24:35 PM EST

.. I should have read the linked previous Kuro5hin article. It's covered there. My bad.

[ Parent ]
That's kinda cool (none / 0) (#82)
by andrewm on Tue Jul 02, 2002 at 07:41:31 PM EST

America's Army - teaching kids that even the enemy are still people who are defending their own way of life, and that they may be just as justified as the US soldiers.

They actually did that? If so, they're probably counting on the typical game player not being bright enough to even notice. Either that, or they just didn't notice it themselves. :)

[ Parent ]

Hehe... (none / 0) (#96)
by Eater on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 02:01:55 AM EST

Yes, the "your side is always the army" conveys a certain truth about life - your side always seems like the "good guys". Heh. I wonder if they actually had that in mind when they decided to implement that feature. If so, well, I'm impressed.


[ Parent ]
This amuses me (4.00 / 2) (#81)
by theboz on Tue Jul 02, 2002 at 06:10:52 PM EST

I see contradictory statements from the "gaming community" on these sorts of things.

April 20, 1999 - Playing Quake did not cause the kids in Columbine to go out and murder all of their classmates. Besides, video games don't accurately teach how to shoot a gun or kill people. It's all simulated. My friends and I play Quake every day, we have big deathmatches, and it's all in fun. Video games can't brainwash people.

July 2, 2002 - Playing America's Army will cause the youth of the U.S. to become violent and join the military. These games will teach them that violence is necessary to solve all problems and that killing people is good, even though the game doesn't allow friendly fire like Quake does. My friends and I would never play such a violent piece of propaganda, and we detest violence in any form. Video games can brainwash kids.

I am sure it's more complicated than that, and people have other reasons for being angry, but it's stupid to call the game propaganda. It's not any worse than Unreal Tournament, Counterstrike, or Quake.


re: (none / 0) (#87)
by some homeless guy on Tue Jul 02, 2002 at 09:37:15 PM EST

I was just repeating what the quote said, in the CNN post (about it being propaganda)-- all in all, its moot -- it'll end up being another game, and it really isn't so much of a big deal that its purpose is to help the Army recruit. As others said, its better than having involuntary conscription, even though thats at the entire other side of the spectrum... I was just trying to present some of the anti-mil views...

Sorry, this really had no relevancy to your comment... or, I thought it did, when I started, now its just random gibbering... bah, to sleep I go.

As another random point/observation/comment, perhaps (of course?) the game will actually end up being informative, and entertaining, which I imagine it will be, since they're spending that money to create a game that'll be just that. Perhaps it'll be good for its "educational" value alone... in a round-about way..

[ Parent ]
I got it... (none / 0) (#97)
by Eater on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 02:07:46 AM EST

...and friendly fire is in it. If you kill more than 3 or so people on your team, you are kicked with the message "your crimes against humanity have been stopped" (or something to that effect).
Actually, the game is pretty bad. It runs very slow, even with all the graphics options turned down (and my machine can run some of the most system intensive games with the highest level graphics without trouble... usually), and in order to connect to almost any server you first need to play through some training map that is only on one or two server that are near impossible to connect to.
To its credit, the game IS fairly realistic. As in, more so than Counter-Strike, but probably less realistic than the Rainbow Six series (then again, I never really had to run around shooting people with assault rifles, so I wouldn't know).


[ Parent ]
As a Mac user... (none / 0) (#85)
by wbajzek on Tue Jul 02, 2002 at 09:12:14 PM EST

I'd just like to say that this is one game I won't be bitching about not being ported to my platform :)

Actually, I'm interested in trying it. If it has multiplayer mode, it might be good for after-hours gaming at work.

What I'm really offended by is the Army flash-movie ad that occasionally imposes itself on my mp3.com website. I'm taking my stuff off of there when I get a chance.

Conscientious Objector (none / 0) (#92)
by Weakon on Wed Jul 03, 2002 at 01:17:29 PM EST

I think that this game is just one big ploy to weed out all the conscientious objectors in the population. Come the next draft the government will look at the log of everyone that download the game. Everyone that downloaded the game must certainly enjoy war and killing. Therefore, if any person claims to be a conscientious objector but also downloaded the game the government can prove they don't object to killing and therefore they are ripe for the front line. You can probably expect phone calls and mail from recruiters at the very least.

It seems like a cute way to train an entire population in combat and tactics. But then again we have had other games that do pretty much the same thing. I'll stick to Counter-Strike and enjoy being l33t thank you very much.

America's Army: Game To Be Released July 4th | 97 comments (86 topical, 11 editorial, 0 hidden)
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