Run! Shoot him! Shoot at him! Don’t just stand there! Get down! Yes! I killed him! O no wait! He shot me! GAME OVER. These phrases may sound familiar from playing some type of war video game or at least witness someone play. War video games have been produced for years for the enjoyment of teenagers and as well as adults and these types of games are still popular today and have actually been top sellers. For instance, games such as Battlefield and Call of Duty are games people are needing to preserve in order to receive their copy of the game, demonstrating there popular demand. Not only are there games fit for console systems but they have also war games downloadable for computers. However, what people don’t know is that these games are no longer just for entertainment, but the Army uses these games to help recruit more individuals. Recently, the military has successfully used these video games to recruit young soldiers and has been succeeding in doing so. War video games are being used as a recruitment tool because it will show individuals what to expect, will help them acquire and improve necessary skills, and last but not least, will prepare the individual mentally.
To begin with, war video games are useful because it will help people know what to expect. Video games have been programmed to give players a sense of what it is like to be in the MIlitary. In the Washington Post on March 27, 2005, Casey Wardynski states that the military “wants the kids to come into the Army and feel like they’ve already been there”. The video game should let the player experience for themselves what really happens during war. When playing the games players are being placed in positions or in situations similar to those of soldiers. In most games they, “feature a module that walks recruits through many of the elements of basic training courses” says the U.S. Naval Institute on April 2009. Players learn various steps to become a better soldier like learning to shoot, aim, and play as a team. Players who successfully complete tasks receive benefits such as reviving wounded companions or moving on to other missions. These games are no different to reality so players are treated as real soldiers, meaning they must face consequences for bad decisions such as shooting at the drill instructor or shooting at a friend. The game Operations: Recon is “so realistic that if you shoot a teammate, the screen fades to black and you wake up in a virtual jail cell” quotes The Salt Lake Tribune on July 16, 2002. They are punished because their actions are viewed as “criminal mistakes” comparable to those of real soldiers.
The games are designed to give players an inside view on essentials of being a soldier and to give a sense of fulfillment. When players began to realize that becoming a soldier is something they might be able to do, that is where it helps recruiters. On January 14, 2009, Elmore from CNN News states “ It helps them recruit people, but it doesn’t force them. You come to play video games, and your eye starts to wonder what the Army does have to offer, and maybe its something for me.” Although there are no statistics showing how many have joined the Army after playing these video games, Army officials are definitely not opposed by this idea. For Army recruiters, it isn’t just about getting as much people to join the Army, however “if you come and decide the Army’s not for you, but you leave understanding the Army better, then from our perspective that’s success” says Maj. Larry Dillard on CNN. One of the Army’s goal is to help overcome misconception that the army isn’t just about fighting, killing, or dying, but it is also about learning new skills and values.
Moreover, war video games are a great source to recruit from because it has given or bettered players skills. Many parents might think that they are a bunch of video games and they are of no use and non educational but the fact is that...