War Games: The Army’s Teen Arsenal

“America’s Army” and more government shooter game lures.

Illustration: Courtesy America's Army

Facts matter: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter. Support our nonprofit reporting. Subscribe to our print magazine.


1 in 4: Proportion of males between 13 and 24 who have played America’s Army, the 7-year-old shooter game that launched its 3rd version in June. The free download has 10 million registered users; players are 29% more likely to be interested in military service.

14,500 square feet: Size of the Army Experience Center, an arcade with banks of shooter games, Black Hawk and Humvee simulators, and free wifi that opened in a Philadelphia mall in August 2008. Staffed by 20 Army recruiters, some in civvies, it’s open to visitors of all ages.

$1.3 million: Amount the Army spent to sponsor the hit Xbox game Halo 3. At a launch event at a New Hampshire gaming store, an Air Force recruiter explained, “Our target market is identical to that of video game stores.”

5 miles: Amount of data cable inside the Virtual Army Experience, a “virtual test drive of the United States Army” that tours fairs and festivals around the country. Visitors can participate in a simulated attack on a “genocidal faction in the notional city of Nradreg,” all under a giant inflatable dome.

145,000: Questions per month answered by Sgt. Star, GoArmy.com’s virtual tour guide. Asked about his taste in music, the camo-clad avatar replies, “I like everything from the classics to hip-hop to the occasional show tune.”

THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

payment methods

THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate