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Seven Arrested After Protesting Army Video Game Recruiting Center

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the you-mean-there's-more-to-the-army-than-halo? dept.

The Military 433

GamePolitics writes "Seven anti-war protesters were arrested in Philadelphia on Saturday during a protest rally and march which targeted the Army Experience Center, a high-tech recruitment center which uses PC and Xbox games and simulations to attract potential recruits. GamePolitics was on hand to cover the protest, and took video of the arrests. A local news station also reported on the rally, and the Peace Action Network released a statement saying, "In its desperate approach to meet recruiting numbers, the military is teaching the wrong values to teenagers. Sugarcoating combat experience with virtual war is a dishonor to those with real war experience."

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fp! (5, Interesting)

CheshireFerk-o (412142) | more than 5 years ago | (#27828161)

i for one have played America's Army for years, and i would love to play in the vehicles and huge screens with other ppl! sure its a recruitment tool but take it for what it is, a great team-based shooter.

This is America (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27828257)

This is America. What the hell do you think gives you the right to peacefully assemble and protest? Only terrorists do that. Now bow down before our magnificent leader. You must go and die for his glory.

Shutup you commie (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27828359)

We don't need your kind exploiting our genuine(tm) freedoms so you can boast your anti-American soapbox in our country when such is not allowed in your own. Err, you're an American oh sor$% I mean shut your mouth you armchair US'ian! Fat ass people like you can't argue facts(tm) without insulting someone of their physical and mental limitations. Go back to, er#$) San Francisco where you are all backwards! And you can quote me!

Re:Shutup you commie (5, Interesting)

tacarat (696339) | more than 5 years ago | (#27828519)

I found it ironic that as a service member, I had less freedoms available to me. The freedom of speech, needing to ask for permission to get married, etc. Throw in the the base clubs weren't allowed to have "offensive" music (and of course the sensitive types wouldn't have the decency to stay home). /sigh. Buy all the liquor, tobacco and bibles you want, but no porn!

Re:Shutup you commie (2, Funny)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#27829067)

What now, Bibles or no porn? Or did they censor the parts where the people in the Bible fucked like rabbits (or was it with them?)?

Re:This is America (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27828529)

You can't continue to protest on private property once the owner asks you to leave or you are trespassing. Trespassing is an arrestable offense.

So simple a caveman would get it.

Re:This is America (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27828641)

A recruitment office is not private property, it is government property. So simple a dipshit should get it.

Re:This is America (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27829161)

Oh I get it now. The government is leasing some space in the mall so now they own the mall. Glad you cleared that up for me.

Keep smoking whatever it is you're on.

Re:This is America (4, Insightful)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 5 years ago | (#27828653)

Then the army oughtn't be able to open a center there. Frankly, this whole "hide behind public property" that the government uses is wrong. It is basically circumventing the first amendment by using technicalities. Whether you or I agree with the protest, citizens should be free to peacefully protest their government.

Re:This is America (-1, Flamebait)

OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) | more than 5 years ago | (#27829139)

Wanna bet the "protesters" were doing more than just standing there with placards ?

I mean I'm not saying they were "peace protesting" [boston.com] like at the G20 meeting with firebombs and axes, but protesting means standing in the street peacefully with as many placards as you want. (the picture is protestors "protesting" the G20 summit in London. Full article here [boston.com] .

You don't get, as a protestor, to deny anyone access anywhere. You don't get to damage cars, or any other type of private property and, of course, a protest takes responsability for all protestors. If the police thinks the group is damaging property or denying people access to a location, they do not only have the right to end the protest, they have the duty to do so.

Besides, peace protesting in the united states is a farce. Someone who hides in a territory that's defended by the biggest guns on the planet is not a peace protestor. A real "peace protestor" would demonstrate in a lawless region without police forces present. You know, like Southern Darfur. You don't see many peace protests there, of course, for good reason. It doesn't make peace protests in America any less hypocrite.

Just a thought ...

Re:This is America (4, Informative)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 5 years ago | (#27829245)

They have the right to peacefully protest. They did, in fact, peacefully protest. But, the moment they stepped on private property, they were trespassing. I know, why don't I come over to your house and protest your stupidity by taking over you living room. After all, you should not be able to hide behind public property either.

Re:This is America (4, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 5 years ago | (#27829105)

A lot of protesters really want to get arrested or teargassed or whatever. Because they are not fully protesting any particular issue but feel the government is corrupt and if they get hurt somehow it makes the government look bad, and them look good.

I remember in a college someone was planning to go to a protest on some silly policy. And she was looking into finding a bullet proof vest. So in other words she was planning on harassing the authorities and the people they are protesting against to a point where someone on the other side will cross that line and make them victims.

I don't have a problem with people protesting, and it should be legal. However a lot of protesters are really Stupid and do it the wrong way.

Here are some Stupid Protests I have seen.

A Silent protest on something... (I don't know what it was about because they wouldn't tell me)

A huge Anti-War (I think) protest in the state capital. I saw a lot of people protesting, however I was busy setting up new computers for the Government Higher Ups (who can actually make some fuss) on the 19th and 20th floor. While most of the people up there were focusing on their work. No one could be heard, and if you did look down and see all the people even their biggest signs looked like smudges.

Protesters in groups less then 15. Small groups are not really effective and can easily be seen as just a fringe group who just hates everything.

Playing folk music. I am a fan of folk music myself, however for protests it is way to corny.

Personal attacks, Are you willing to open a fair dialog with someone caring a poster of you looking like the devil or Hitler?

Re:This is America (4, Interesting)

jav1231 (539129) | more than 5 years ago | (#27829207)

Something tells me these protesters will be reported more favorably than the Tea Party protesters, who were of course bigots and fanatics.

At least they are protesting (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27828185)

Where were all these protesters during the last 8 years when Bush was acting like an idiot?

Re:At least they are protesting (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27828225)

Where were all these protesters during the last 8 years when Bush was acting like an idiot?

Acting?! He most certainly was not acting!

Re:At least they are protesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27829123)

He wasn't even from Texas, most of his retarded antics was defiantly an act!

Re:At least they are protesting (-1, Flamebait)

OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) | more than 5 years ago | (#27829185)

Look, are we blaming Bush for "not doing enough to prevent 9/11" or for "doing too much to prevent another 9/11" today ?

You see, I get confused. I know my network equipment has a feature called "fast-switching", but sometimes I wonder why cisco installed that feature on the democrat party.

Re:At least they are protesting (2, Insightful)

pnuema (523776) | more than 5 years ago | (#27829407)

I know it is hard for you to understand, but it is possible for people to believe Bush did not do enough and did too little at the same time. For example, I believe security at our ports is abysmal. If someone wanted to sneak a nuke into the country, they could through our port system. Bush did not do enough to secure those. On the other hand, he went completely overboard when he had people waterboarded. We have executed people for doing the same thing to our soldiers.

This can't be summed up in a 5 second soundbite, so most Republicans can't pay attention long enough to grasp it. Which is sad, really. The Democrats are going to have to be their own opposition party, because the remaining Republicans are all incompetent.

Re:At least they are protesting (2, Insightful)

Beezlebub33 (1220368) | more than 5 years ago | (#27828229)

Maybe they figure it's safe to protest again, and won't be waterboarded now that Bush is out of office?

Seriously, this is a non-story. A bunch of people make a protest (good for them, right of free speech) and then block the entrances after being asked to move (preventing expression of other people's rights) and get arrested. So what?

If there is a story here, it's whether or not the games are interesting, actually improve recruitment, and are worth the $.

Re:At least they are protesting (4, Informative)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 5 years ago | (#27828305)

Where were all these protesters during the last 8 years when Bush was acting like an idiot?

800 of them were arrested [wikipedia.org] at and around the 2008 Republican Convention.

Re:At least they are protesting (2, Informative)

itsme1234 (199680) | more than 5 years ago | (#27828575)

Well and that ain't the whole story. To quote from wikipedia:

During the convention's first three days, more than 300[50] individuals were arrested by police,[51] including journalists (AP photographer Matt Rourke was one),[52] health-care workers and lawyer observers.[53] Some were released, but nearly half received felony charges.[53]

It was more or less the same at 2004 RNC: people (1800 accordingly to wikipedia) were arrested, many just just for being in the wrong place. Not only reporters/lawyers/health care volunteers were arrested but also people completely unrelated to the protests that were going about their business (delivery men, people just going/coming to/from work, etc). I thought at that point this is something realy massive and NYC will be sued to oblivion, Bush will lose a lot of popularity and maybe resign and so on. But no, nothing like that...

Re:At least they are protesting (4, Informative)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 5 years ago | (#27828903)

Well and that ain't the whole story. To quote from wikipedia:

During the convention's first three days, more than 300[50] individuals were arrested by police,[51] including journalists (AP photographer Matt Rourke was one),[52] health-care workers and lawyer observers.[53] Some were released, but nearly half received felony charges.[53]

It was more or less the same at 2004 RNC: people (1800 accordingly to wikipedia) were arrested, many just just for being in the wrong place. Not only reporters/lawyers/health care volunteers were arrested but also people completely unrelated to the protests that were going about their business (delivery men, people just going/coming to/from work, etc). I thought at that point this is something realy massive and NYC will be sued to oblivion, Bush will lose a lot of popularity and maybe resign and so on. But no, nothing like that...

Maybe there were not lawsuits because no one had a case against the city. I was in NY during the RNC (on non-related business) and got to see first hand what was going on. First, the police did an awesome job. They pretty much let people do what they wanted and were there to maintain the peace. They maintained a pretty light hand. Right in front of a couple of police officers, I was spit and threatened on by a peace protester who didn't understand the irony of his actions. The police did nothing. I asked them why and they basically told me that they had bigger fish to fry. Sadly, I agreed.

I saw people block entrances to businesses, block the bus routes for delegates, hurl objects such as fake blood, urine, and dirt at delegates, try to "release" protesters that had been arrested and partake in other activities that went far beyond their right to peacefully assemble. No one can deny that their attempt was to disrupt the RNC, meaning that their goal was to strip the rights of the RNC members. Those that resorted to illegal means were arrested.

The only bystanders that I saw arrested who were at the wrong place at the wrong time were given fair warning. For example, if a bunch of protesters were blocking a bus route and a reporter was in the mix interviewing them, that reporter was also arrested for helping to block the bus route. They were given ample warning to move.

What does this have to do with the recruiting center protests? When you block a legal activity in protest, you can count on getting arrested. These people crossed the line and were no longer "peaceably assembling". They were breaking the law.

Re:At least they are protesting (1)

just_another_sean (919159) | more than 5 years ago | (#27829183)

Where were all these protesters during the last 8 years when Bush was acting like an idiot?

I'd say a lot of them were a bit scared off by the "Protesting the war? That's terrorist talk. Why do you hate America?" rhetoric so popular since 9/11.
It seems we are again seeing an attitude that doesn't automatically paint you as a potential threat to America just becasue you don't agree with the
Republican party.

So... (4, Interesting)

will_die (586523) | more than 5 years ago | (#27828193)

Are the games any fun?
If so, can you play if you are older than recruiting age?

Re:So... (5, Informative)

smchris (464899) | more than 5 years ago | (#27828589)

Dude, that's like 43 these days.

Re:So... (1, Redundant)

swillden (191260) | more than 5 years ago | (#27829091)

can you play if you are older than recruiting age?

Dude, that's like 43 these days.

The maximum enlistment age is 42 [google.com] .

Re:So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27829131)

I'm sure it's a fun game! I wonder if you score high enough you get a better rank upon joining the army.

And I'll bet sportsmanship is not a factor, so feel free for the obligatory teabagging of enemies after a thorough victory.

Recruitment tool probably steps over the line (5, Insightful)

nysus (162232) | more than 5 years ago | (#27828219)

After watching the video, that "Army Experience" store, set up in a mall, strikes me as a little twisted. It seems pretty clear this place was set up to resemble a video game center to "lure" high school kids to it so recruiters would have an opportunity to talk to them about joining the Army. I'm not very comfortable having my government treating its kids this way.

Re:Recruitment tool probably steps over the line (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27828251)

I go here sometimes...I go in play baseball or madden..they dont bother you about that shit unless you ask..

Re:Recruitment tool probably steps over the line (5, Interesting)

American Terrorist (1494195) | more than 5 years ago | (#27828275)

Glorifying deadly combat is more than a little twisted. Senseless violence is against the basic principal of civilization. If the army's goal is to build a civil society in Iraq it should be teaching its soldiers more about civility and less about headshots.

I have a cousin who went to a military academy high school in Virginia where the students were encouraged to chant "kill 'em all" repeatedly. Now he wants to join the marines or rangers and go to Iraq and shoot as many people as possible. He is 18, and thoroughly brainwashed by militarism.

Re:Recruitment tool probably steps over the line (-1, Troll)

American Terrorist (1494195) | more than 5 years ago | (#27828405)

How is my post above offtopic? And the GP is overrated? Is the NSA modding this page?

Re:Recruitment tool probably steps over the line (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27828567)

Simple: The story is about military use of video games to recruit and an associated protest against that activity. Your post is bitching about your cousin who went to a private "military academy" (the U.S. military does not operate high schools) and has a desire to go kill people, which the U.S. military had nothing to do with nor (based on what you said) did video games.

See how your post isn't on-topic?

Parent is NOT Offtopic (-1, Offtopic)

donatzsky (91033) | more than 5 years ago | (#27828439)

Eh, Offtopic? Seems like there are some mods that need to learn the meaning of that word.
Offtopic != Disagree

Re:Recruitment tool probably steps over the line (5, Insightful)

tacarat (696339) | more than 5 years ago | (#27828487)

Which video game is it that teaches suicide bombers or their handlers such anti-social activities?

As far as your cousin is concerned, sorry. Maybe he'll smarten up eventually, but it'll probably have to wait until he finds out there's more to life than beer, bullets and bitches. I'd take more issue with the military academy high school than the US military, though. If he doesn't know about LOAC and the Geneva Convention, he may be in for a bit of surprise.

Hopefully he's not so far gone that he doesn't think that, unlike movie bad guys, his opponents can actually think or aim...

Re:Recruitment tool probably steps over the line (0, Troll)

American Terrorist (1494195) | more than 5 years ago | (#27828581)

I do mostly blame the Military Academy, but this "Kill 'em all, let God sort 'em out." [bewild.com] culture seems quite [armynavydeals.ca] pervasive [soldiercity.com] in the military culture. The motto/battle cry sums up the suicide bombers' philosophy quite well.

Re:Recruitment tool probably steps over the line (4, Insightful)

Firethorn (177587) | more than 5 years ago | (#27828959)

And your source for this is three commercial t-shirt sites, sites with no actual ties to the army?

They look crafted to sell to military wanna-bes. I'm not going to say that NO military member wears those shirts, because the military IS drawn from the population, and there's over a million in uniform between all the services, and you do have the occasional gung-ho type.

Thing is, the Army only wants you to be so gung ho, and a few who wear those shirts do it as a sort of exageration of their position, or to 'look tough'.

If the Academy had him chanting 'kill 'em all', then there's a serious problem with the academy. Especially today, the army wants a very discriminating killer.

No highschool graduate is going to know exactly what they're getting into when they join the army, but then, they aren't going to know what they're getting into with college or anything else. Still, joining the army, the recruit is generally going to know(if they paid attention), these important items:
1. You may be called upon to kill somebody
2. You may come under fire and even be killed
3. The standard contract is for 8 years, of which your 'active' commitment may vary. All bets are off during wartime/combat operations.
4. You will serve the needs of the Military, within the terms of the contract. You may get your preferred career field, assuming you pass the training, but that doesn't mean they can't cross train you later to a different field

In return:
1. Average to sucky pay compared to your civilian equivalent
2. Free training
3. Free medical care, if with the occasional bureaucratic nightmare or incompetent doctor
4. Tax advantaged income
5. Retirement eligible, with pay and benefits, after only 20 years

The game center is an excuse to get people in to see the recruiters. That doesn't mean that the recruiters are stuffing them into burlap sacks and shipping them to boot camp. They still have to cross all the ts in regards to paperwork, contracts, eligibility, ASVAB results, etc...

Re:Recruitment tool probably steps over the line (2, Informative)

American Terrorist (1494195) | more than 5 years ago | (#27828627)

Oh, and I forgot to add, Geneva Conventions only matter if you get caught. [abc.net.au]

A US veteran recalls his commander telling him to machine-gun a group of about 50 refugees. "I said, 'we can't kill all these people,' and he pulled out his handgun, a .45, and pointed it at my head, he said, 'Kill 'em, you're directly disobeying a direct order in combat'."

Re:Recruitment tool probably steps over the line (4, Interesting)

khallow (566160) | more than 5 years ago | (#27828573)

Glorifying deadly combat is more than a little twisted. Senseless violence is against the basic principal of civilization. If the army's goal is to build a civil society in Iraq it should be teaching its soldiers more about civility and less about headshots.

I assure you the violence makes a lot of sense. You just aren't trying to understand. Making a civil society in Iraq is not the US Army's goal. The US Army's goal is to discourage violent alternatives to peaceful cohabitation and negotiation. That often requires the civility of a headshot.

I have a cousin who went to a military academy high school in Virginia where the students were encouraged to chant "kill 'em all" repeatedly. Now he wants to join the marines or rangers and go to Iraq and shoot as many people as possible. He is 18, and thoroughly brainwashed by militarism.

By all means let him join assuming they'll have him. The disease is the cure when it comes to militarism. My bet is that the Marines or Army don't like militarism any more than you do. It gets people killed unnecessarily.

Re:Recruitment tool probably steps over the line (4, Informative)

Epsilon Moonshade (108853) | more than 5 years ago | (#27828863)

"My bet is that the Marines or Army don't like militarism any more than you do. It gets people killed unnecessarily."

Not sure about the Army, but based on my time in the Marine Corps, militarism was encouraged. "One shot, one kill", the fact that ever Marine (in theory) can shoot a rifle and shoot it well whether they're a cook or a grunt, the good old "Napalm sticks to kids" running cadence... although that starts to cross the line into good old-fashioned violence.

If you've watched the first half of Full Metal Jacket, that's pretty close to the USMC Boot Camp experience that I remember. They want killers who don't get remorseful.

Militarism definition (4, Insightful)

Firethorn (177587) | more than 5 years ago | (#27829029)

It looks like you have a different definition of militarism than khallow was using, or at least are looking at a different meaning.

I'd describe your definition as 'military skills' - If you're going to have a military, best to have it be as effective as possible.

On the other hand, Khallow's 'militarism' is a philosophy of using the military in the most offensive way possible, of looking at the military as first and last solution to any international problem.

They're substantially different things. Even the Marine Core wants their Marines to be violent only when the situation calls for it.

As for Cadences, didn't you figure out that they're supposed to be dirty/politically incorrect?

Re:Militarism definition (1)

pnuema (523776) | more than 5 years ago | (#27829289)

Yes, but any situation that requires marines requires violence. You don't send the marines on peacekeeping missions. You send them places any sane person would run away from. We want the marines crazy. It's what they are for.

Re:Recruitment tool probably steps over the line (1)

subreality (157447) | more than 5 years ago | (#27829101)

The US Army's goal is to discourage violent alternatives to peaceful cohabitation and negotiation. That often requires the civility of a headshot.

The US Army's goal is to discourage violent alternatives to peaceful cohabitation and negotiation. That often requires the civility of... violent alternatives to peaceful cohabitation and negotiation?

I think the doublespeak just wrapped around.

Re:Recruitment tool probably steps over the line (1)

MartinSchou (1360093) | more than 5 years ago | (#27829243)

The US Army's goal is to discourage violent alternatives to peaceful cohabitation and negotiation. That often requires the civility of a headshot.

I'm not going to argue that you are incorrect on the army's goal. But the means to get there (headshot) probably works a lot better in our culture (western) than in one where blood feudes [wikipedia.org] are a cultural norm.

See, A kills B. Now B's family has to go a kill either A or someone from A's family. So now someone from A's family has to go kill someone from B's family. Repeat ad nauseum.

We keep trying to push our cultural norms onto other cultures. And I'm not talking about US Cultural Imperialism (movies, music, McD etc) but just very basic things. We want democracy in big countries. Their country is made up of hundreds of tribes who've never really gotten along in the first place (see most African nations in civil wars, Iraq with Sunni, Shi'a and Kurds etc). Try something similiar in our culture and things break down as well (see Catholic vs Protestants in Northern Ireland, Basques in Spain).

In Iraq and Afghanistan violence begets violence. It doesn't stop it until one party is completely dead. If you don't believe that, then look at the Israeli conflict. Democratic nation whose answer to violence against it has been to level entire housing blocks. Obviously that worked out extremely well - not like we've seen any kind of retaliation from the Palestinians since Israel started doing that.

Hell, look at the US during the civil rights movement and before then. What happened if an African-American family moved into a white neighbourhood in say ... Mississippi? I'm sure they were greeted with flowers and bunt cakes, right? And while I'm no expert on the matter, I'm fairly certain you'd be able to find areas in the US where you're on the brink of civil war as it is. If gangs are big enough, couldn't you classify gang wars as civil wars? They do seem to be very preoccupied with territory.

In fact, the US is one of the very few (if not the only) Western cultures that still practices "An Eye For An Eye" ... i.e. the death penalty. Yet the same USA expects these "less civilised" nations' citizens to just roll over and play dead when US soldiers kills their family members? And if you think they care why they were killed, look up blood feud again. I linked to it higher up.

If these issues were present in the US less than 100 years ago, what makes you think that a culture that was dragged from essentially the middle ages into the 21st century won't have those problems?

When honor matters more than life, killing doesn't help.

"Let's shoot all the violent people!" (1)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 5 years ago | (#27829285)

The US Army's goal is to discourage violent alternatives to peaceful cohabitation and negotiation. That often requires the civility of a headshot.

What a great way to lead by example!

Instead of the US peacefully cohabiting the earth and negotiating with Iraq, they invade the country and shoot all the violent people.

You owe me a new irony detector.

Re:Recruitment tool probably steps over the line (1)

qbzzt (11136) | more than 5 years ago | (#27828795)

Senseless violence is against the basic principal of civilization.

True. Militaries are all about sensible violence. That's part of the reason they emphasize discipline so much.

If they truly taught senseless violence as a value, you'd see a much higher rate of veterans become criminals.

Re:Recruitment tool probably steps over the line (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27828853)

Senseless violence is against the basic principal of civilization.

You must be new here, or either are ignorant of several thousand years of "civilization" ... senseless violence is not only part and parcel of civilization, it is one of the reasons for civilization and an integral part of human nature.

Re:Recruitment tool probably steps over the line (1)

physicsphairy (720718) | more than 5 years ago | (#27828953)

Glorifying deadly combat is more than a little twisted.

You could certainly call it "wrong;" I don't see how you can call it "twisted", however, as far from being deviant, the glorification of deadly combat has been a historical norm.

Even today, King Arthur and the Knights of Round Table, or The Three Musketeers, are still instilled as childhood heroes. And gaining glory and honor through deadly combat is pretty much their entire theme.

Senseless violence is against the basic principal of civilization.

I think the violence in "Smash Bros." is rather more senseless than the violence in "America's Army."

Re:Recruitment tool probably steps over the line (1)

FishAdmin (1288708) | more than 5 years ago | (#27828967)

If the army's goal is to build a civil society in Iraq it should be teaching its soldiers more about civility and less about headshots.

When was the last time you saw a game called "America's Civility" being all the rage amongst gamers?

Re:Recruitment tool probably steps over the line (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27829233)

When was the last time you saw a game called "America's Civility" being all the rage amongst gamers?

I don't think I have enough imagination to play a game like that.

Re:Recruitment tool probably steps over the line (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27829229)

Who says they are glorifying combat? In my opinion the game is a very neutral representation. It sounds to me more like you live in fear of violence and can't bear accepting its reality. Here's news for you, violence will never go away so you best hope someone be prepared to wield it to protect your reality of displacement and denial.

Also, I'd argue the opposite that "senseless" violence is in fact one of the primary foundations of "civilized" society as it, being the sum of its imperfect human parts, historically shares their need to aggressively assimilate any and all resources while making up any excuses necessary that the other competitor deserved what it got. In other words, most people and especially the resulting sum of civilization are extremely ignorant, irrational and hypocritical.

I also disagree about your building civil society in Iraq comment. Soldiers are taught at great length how to be civilized. There are endless mandatory courses in what is considered civilized. In fact, I'd put forward that your average US soldier is better educated in civilized matters, more mature and far more responsible that most civilians. By the way, accuracy matters a lot too as it helps one civilization assimilate another by eliminating resistance more effectively. One can have intelligent, caring, civilized troops who can cry "kill em all" and score 7 out of ten hits up to 400 meters.

As for the Virginia military academy you mention, a violent and militaristic attitude is necessary but the military also tempers this with discipline and integrity. But yes, I guess it is as much "brainwashing" as the pacifistic, be an easy to manage interdependent, specialized slave of the bureaucratic managerial elites collective, syllabus coming from our "education/brainwashing" system and "entertainment/brainwashing" industry that astronomically crowds out our military "brainwashing". One knows we can't have well educated, fully empowered and enlightened individualists running amok among the sheeple. They just might decide to think for themselves, go climb a bell tower or mix racing fuel with fertilizer or worse, teach other sheeple to think for themselves Baaaaaaaah... oooooh nooooo...

Stop living in fear, free you mind and be an individual not a slave.

Re:Recruitment tool probably steps over the line (5, Insightful)

inviolet (797804) | more than 5 years ago | (#27829327)

Glorifying deadly combat is more than a little twisted. Senseless violence is against the basic principal of civilization. If the army's goal is to build a civil society in Iraq it should be teaching its soldiers more about civility and less about headshots.

The army does not use "senseless violence". They are very clear on the importance of shooting only the bad guys, and Iraq demonstrates that they have a good success rate at doing so, at least compared to the whole rest of the history of war.

Your argument is a straw man, and not even a clever one.

Incidentally, one of the basic principles of civilization is "Keep a lot of violence ready for when the barbarians attack." Any civilization that fails to do so will end soon after. Don't let the current Pax Americana, the product of the West's skill with violence, lead you to believe that barbarians aren't still knocking at the gate.

Re:Recruitment tool probably steps over the line (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27828343)

That's why I'm waiting for these games to appear on bittorrent.

Re:Recruitment tool probably steps over the line (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27828723)

How dare you question the brave men and women in uniform! Show some patriotism! Those men and women are willing to give their lives to ensure the prosperity of the ruling class! That deserves respect! Do you not respect these brave men and women in uniform? Do you also molest little children?

Gotta love patriotism. Always good for a laugh :D

Re:Recruitment tool probably steps over the line (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27828725)

If there kids you have nothing to worry about they can't get commitments from 17 year olds

Re:Recruitment tool probably steps over the line (1)

mokus000 (1491841) | more than 5 years ago | (#27829241)

17-year-olds have this funny tendency to become 18-year-olds...

Re:Recruitment tool probably steps over the line (2, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 5 years ago | (#27829429)

Sorry to be a little harsh here, but any kid stupid enough to sign up for the military based solely on some videogames he played in a recruiting center and the bullshit spiel of a recruiting officer is probably no big loss anyway. There are plenty of people who actually do join the military for good reasons (there are some serious advantages to military service), but morons who stumble into a recruitment center and sign up after being enthralled by some videogames are most definitely not among them.

Weird... (2, Informative)

srlapo (1210476) | more than 5 years ago | (#27828231)

The twitter feed was boring as usual, but it has an interesting observation...

# A few in crowd have donned plain white masks... Not sure but they seemed to come from inside the aec

And later...

# Wow, about a half-dozen of the protesters in the white masks just got arrested. Hooked up with plastic cuffs and led away by police.

# I think they planned to get arrested for symbolic reasons... Leader just announced that 7 were arrested. All in plain white msks

So it was a publicity stunt? And why the people arrested came from within the army recruiting facility?

Re:Weird... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27828267)

Sounds like some agent-provocateur work.. sketch

Re:Weird... (1)

neonenergy (888041) | more than 5 years ago | (#27828287)

from wikipedia:

"Traditionally, an agent provocateur (plural: agents provocateurs, French for "inciting agent") is a person employed by the police or other entity to act undercover to entice or provoke another person to commit an illegal act. More generally, the term may refer to a person or group that seeks to discredit or harm another by provoking them to commit a wrong or rash action."

Re:Weird... (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27828325)

It's good that you understand how to use Wikipedia to find a reference to give credence to someone else's post, was that what you were going for? Because arrests are often illegal... Not saying that these were, but you don't know they aren't.

Did anyone actually watch the vid? (1)

ipX (197591) | more than 5 years ago | (#27828239)

GamePolitics was on hand to cover the protest, and took video of the arrests...

All I saw was a line of cops in front of the Army XP Center and some protesters mingling about.

Re:Did anyone actually watch the vid? (3, Informative)

ipX (197591) | more than 5 years ago | (#27828259)

Argh, it's too early in the morning. Here's a deep youtube link [youtube.com] to the footage of the arrests.

from an old soldier (4, Interesting)

tazanator (681948) | more than 5 years ago | (#27828295)

I have played AA for 6 years it's a great game, on the flip side I served as Infantry for 12 years. The AA game simulates the battle side of the army but nothing about the other phases (book training, guard duty, and cleaning the base) AA tends to glorify the battle side. I entered in 1989 and served till 2001 (medical discharge) I volunteer to go anywhere I could, but was never deployed outside the US. while the war training was fun it wasn't a common ordeal during my service time. on a final note http://www.pvtmurphy.com/Prints/Any%20Luck.htm [pvtmurphy.com]

In Norway (5, Interesting)

KarlIsNotMyName (1529477) | more than 5 years ago | (#27828323)

In Norway we have semi-obligatory military service for males (basically a 1 year training program to be prepared in the event of an invasion. After that it's possible to join the army full time. Semi-obligatory because it's not that hard to get out of. So the following could be considered a recruitment event). All males of around 18 years old (and I think they've made attending this obligatory for females too now, just not obligatory for them to serve) are called in for a "Sesjon" (Session?) to determine physical and mental abilities, as well as a minor health checkup.

One of the first things they did was show us a movie, to spark our interest, I suppose. But all it was were kids driving around in tanks, climbing stuff and being out in nature. Not a single image of what war actually is. Not even a drop of blood.

Truth in advertising should be much more prevalent and mandatory when we're dealing with the worst of all things, war.

Re:In Norway (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27828371)

Actually, that's probably quite close to the real thing for the Norwegian Army.

I think you're actually disappointed they didn't lie and show soldiers getting blown to pieces (since they don't... see?).

Re:In Norway (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27828393)

I'm sorry you have to live in a slave society. Why doesn't everyone just refuse to join?

I come from Spain and reached maturity just as the mili was being phased out. Had it not been basically unenforced, I'd have willingly gone to jail to avoid service. Then left the country.

Re:In Norway (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27828597)

I also came from Spain and in contrast with your opinion, did my military service and now after so many years believe those were some of the best months of my life: plenty of sports and outdoors life, clear rules and not a single responsability. Some shooting fun too!
I whish my daily work days were as simple as the 'mili'

Re:In Norway (-1, Troll)

American Terrorist (1494195) | more than 5 years ago | (#27828395)

Truth in advertising should be much more prevalent and mandatory when we're dealing with the worst of all things, war.

But then only idiots and psychos would want to go to war. Oh, wait a sec....

Re:In Norway (4, Interesting)

Vintermann (400722) | more than 5 years ago | (#27828503)

Well, to defend our glorious military (which I opted out of the non-easy way, by becoming a CO), there probably isn't much blood involved in conscripted Norwegian military service. No conscript is shipped abroad, even on the most sleepy peacekeeping mission, without applying for it himself.

Support for conscription would plummet if it did.

CO meaning... (2, Interesting)

16Chapel (998683) | more than 5 years ago | (#27828629)

...which I opted out of the non-easy way, by becoming a CO

Conscientious objector

or Commanding Officer
? :-)

Re:In Norway (4, Interesting)

Krneki (1192201) | more than 5 years ago | (#27828541)

It was the same in our country (Slovenia), until too many people realized how stupid war is. Eventually too many treated the army as a joke forcing the state to employ soldiers as professional. Now we have very few soldiers, but they are all motivated professionals. Luring teenagers into the army is a dirty trick that eventually will backfire. P.S: We do not have a military court, all soldiers mistakes are judged by the civil court.

Re:In Norway (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27828559)

Here in Spain they even have games for your mobile!

http://www.soldados.com/actualidad/juego/index.htm

True that they are very peacekeeping and humanitarian help-oriented games.

Re:In Norway (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 5 years ago | (#27829391)

What no GAL death squads :)

Re:In Norway (1)

gerddie (173963) | more than 5 years ago | (#27828561)

Truth in advertising ...

Sounds like an interesting concept, care to elaborate ...?

Re:In Norway (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27828571)

Since when has any government told the truth about war? I reckon if they did, there wouldn't be many recruits. The difference between a soldier who's never seen the horrors of war, and one who has, is like night and day. For one thing, the new recruits don't have nightmares and contemplate suicide.

Re:In Norway (1)

physicsphairy (720718) | more than 5 years ago | (#27828679)

One of the first things they did was show us a movie, to spark our interest, I suppose. But all it was were kids driving around in tanks, climbing stuff and being out in nature. Not a single image of what war actually is. Not even a drop of blood.

In Norway we have semi-obligatory military service for males (basically a 1 year training program to be prepared in the event of an invasion

So how often is Norway invaded that that video is not a fully accurate depiction of what they should expect?

Re:In Norway (1)

KarlIsNotMyName (1529477) | more than 5 years ago | (#27829421)

A quick estimate says once every 50 years. We're almost two decades overdue by now, though.

But I was more aiming towards the overall purpose of the military, and what they will actually be involved with in a real situation. Despite our government avoiding involvement with the worst conflict areas, Norwegian soldiers (as a part of NATO) are being killed, kill, and have to deal with those who have suffered wars. Beyond that, we are allies of the USA and do share intelligence, exchange or trade equipment, etc. It's not only about where our own soldiers put their feet.

Pretending that it's all fun and games, doesn't do us any good. And it doesn't do those who suffer any justice.

Re:In Norway (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27828941)

So you see national defence as something you feel it's OK to "get out of"? Some good national pride going on there, though I guess you expect others to defend your property when the tanks come rolling in :)

Re:In Norway (1)

Peter La Casse (3992) | more than 5 years ago | (#27829165)

when we're dealing with the worst of all things, war.

War's bad, but some things are worse.

Re:In Norway (1)

gerddie (173963) | more than 5 years ago | (#27829427)

Such as?

!Anti-war protesters (2, Informative)

lm317t (971782) | more than 5 years ago | (#27828449)

"Seven anti-war protesters were arrested in Philadelphia on Saturday during a protest rally and march which targeted the Army Experience Center, a high-tech recruitment center which uses PC and Xbox games and simulations to attract potential recruits...

It looks like they meant anti-war ralliers or war protesters, not anti-war protesters. The media in general constantly seems to repeat this phrase incorrectly.

Re:!Anti-war protesters (1)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 5 years ago | (#27828615)

It looks like they meant anti-war ralliers or war protesters, not anti-war protesters. The media in general constantly seems to repeat this phrase incorrectly.

Got to love the double negation :)

Re:!Anti-war protesters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27829239)

thx for that, i'd never noticed that before, i'm sure this will give me many a giggle

Re:!Anti-war protesters (1)

mokus000 (1491841) | more than 5 years ago | (#27829401)

I think "anti-war protesters" is a valid (though ambiguous) way of describing them. They are protesters, who are anti-war.

Wow (no pun intended) (1)

mim (535591) | more than 5 years ago | (#27828481)

I wonder how much of our tax dollars went into that facility, looks pretty state-of-the-art. Anyone remember the movie "Toys," starring Robin Williams?

And now, for context! (1)

Firethorn (177587) | more than 5 years ago | (#27829151)

And, to put said cost into scope, you also need to know how many 'leads' said facility generates, how many turn into recruitments, and the average/median quality of the troops recruited from said center.

Think about the cost of those national 'go army' recruiting TV ads. Recruiting is expensive.

Re:Wow (no pun intended) (1)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 5 years ago | (#27829171)

Yeah, I remember that movie. I also remember it had absolutely nothing to do with reality, let alone this.

What a non-story (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27828617)

This story is boring for one why protest the recruitment of soldiers when you should protest at the office of your representative and senator. The people that send soldiers to war. I suppose if you were trying to hire 18-24 year old people you go after their sense of world responsibly.... Come on! The old method was selling it as a 9-5 job that you got college money when you were done. This method was a lot more false advertising than showing kids video games of people fighting and dying.

Join the Army! (4, Funny)

markbark (174009) | more than 5 years ago | (#27828671)

It's just like XBox -- only you die.

Re:Join the Army! (2, Funny)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 5 years ago | (#27829251)

unless your Buddhist, but then you get an instant respawn!

Just like real life (3, Insightful)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 5 years ago | (#27828709)

Anyone who played an online multiplayer shooter will attest that the experience is very close to real life war. The fresh young recruit steps onto the battlefield, expecting a grand battle the likes of the opening of Saving Private Ryan, only to end up in the scope of a spawn point camping sniper who is only farming headshots on the newbies...

Re:Just like real life (4, Funny)

Veggiesama (1203068) | more than 5 years ago | (#27829097)

You know, they really ought to have specified "camping" in the Geneva Conventions.

I'm always of mixed feelings... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27828765)

On one hand, I have great respect for the military and the sacrifices soldiers are willing to make to protect their fellow citizens, whether fighting somewhere else in the world to preserve democracy (yes, I really believe that's what they are doing, historically and now) or serving at home during disaster relief, helping their fellow citizens directly.

On the other hand war is something to be abhorred and avoided. It's always a last resort. Soldiers are a precious resource that we (as the people ultimately in charge of our political system) are responsible for protecting too. We must not send them into war for questionable reasons, or ask them to do a job that squanders the sacrifice they are willing to make.

Finally, if people are being recruited into the military while being falsely informed about what that really means to do the job, yeah, that is obscene. It deserves some good, old, democratically-principled protest.

The only video game that would be realistic would be one where it's "game over" if you are mortally wounded, and where you have to haul your non-mortally wounded buddies out of the battle zone or they die too. I know America's Army is far better than the usual "near-instant respawn" that is typical (it's no "Team Fortress"), but it still glosses over the unreality in the game. Let kids "13 and up" talk to real vets and serving military officers about the upside and the downside of their job, as recruitment has always done, and leave the virtual reality out of it. Glitzing it up too much is misleading.

But you do have to know where to draw the line between protest and obstructing other people's rights to their own decisions on the matter. The protesters should be as loud as they want on public land, but not block the door.

I wonder what would happen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27828829)

If a thousand protesters showed at random times carrying no signs or taking any other attitude that would identify them as protesters, then asked politely the recruiters: "Cool, but may I play on the insurgents side please?"

Recruitment Numbers Way Up (2, Informative)

Slider451 (514881) | more than 5 years ago | (#27828963)

Typical uninformed protestors.

http://www.armytimes.com/news/2009/03/army_recruiting_numbers_031109w/ [armytimes.com]

The military is enjoying a recruiting boom thanks to the poor economy. Enlistment bonuses are getting cut and the military is getting much more selective in whom they accept. This year in particular is a recruiter's wet dream.

All this "experience" does is reach out to Generation Y in a new way.

7.62 millimeter. Full Metal Jacket....... (3, Insightful)

Chas (5144) | more than 5 years ago | (#27829003)

Okay. Films like FMJ, that (rightfully or not) demonize military culture, are okay. But a video game depicting a limited facet of the military experience is horrible evil propaganda?

Cue recruitment center (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#27829169)

Inside one of those centers, a youngster playing for ages, along comes a recruiter.

Recruiter: Hi there, I see you're pretty good.
Young person: Yeah. Bob, can ya snipe that asshole shooting at me?
Recruiter: Well, I'm pretty sure you'd be a great soldier yourself.
YP: Maybe. I see him, in the bushes there! Don't aim, rattle down a belt, dammit!
Recruiter: Maybe you should consider joining the army.
YP: Whatever. Fuck! We're under fire, get over to the bushes and call in some arti!
Recruiter: You can enlist right here, and join that in the reality!
YP (earning himself a headshot): What the...? (turns to recruiter) Could you just shut up or better fuck off, you're ruining it! Can't you go bother someone else or just die maybe?

In other words, who goes there to hear about real war? Real war is boring, tedious, outright dangerous. And the least of your time is spent collecting headshots.

Onoes!!1!!!one11!11 (0, Troll)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 5 years ago | (#27829215)

Some people protested and got arrested!!1one!!! The end of the world is near! Democracy is falling and we are all going to die!!!one!1! Kill all authority figures!!11!one!11!

There was that enough misplaced and misused fear and outrage for you? I hope so because that is all you are going to get.

Why the fuck did this make it on to Slashdot?

What Do You Expect? (2, Insightful)

aquatone282 (905179) | more than 5 years ago | (#27829425)

Military recruiting has never been about truth in advertising. When I recruited for the USAF ('93-'97, 368 RCS OL-FD Reno, NV), I hung the front page of the European Stars and Stripes printed on the first day of the first Gulf War on the front wall of my office, the first thing a visitor saw when they came through the front door. It was a night-vision picture of an F-15E Strike Eagle, fully loaded with death and destruction, refueling from a KC-135 aerial tanker with WAR in a 3-inch bold font above the photo. My superiors suggested I should take it down since it might scare off potential applicants. I left it up - I felt it was important that even those folks joining the "Chair Force" should understand that the ultimate purpose of the military was not to provide job training, college money, or a pay check twice a month; the ultimate purpose of the military was to fight the nation's wars - everything else was secondary to that.

I don't think I lost a single applicant because of that picture. Even though I sold the benefits the Air Force provided (Money, Advancement, Training, Travel, Recreation, Education, Service, and Satisfaction), I made sure the applicant understood that they were applying to join an organization whose mission was to fly, fight, and win. If I was asked "will I go to war?" I told the applicant the chances were slim they would ever be engaged in direct combat (again, this was years before Afghanistan and the second invasion of Iraq and the use of Air Force personnel to run convoys, etc.), but the possibility always existed. Ultimately it was the applicant's responsibility to make the decision whether to enlist or not.

Yeah, there are dirtbag recruiters in all the branches who lie. Some get caught and are disciplined, others don't. But I don't have much sympathy for anyone who enlists because his or her recruiter told them they'd never go to war (and anyone who enlists today, after six years of Afghanistan and Iraq in the news every day, who thinks they'll never go to war is simply a self-deluded idiot and should be discharged at the earliest opportunity). There are a lot of misconceptions about military life propagated by the media and the education industry, but not fighting wars is not one of them. Trust me - the first day of basic training it's made very clear to the recruits (this includes the Air Force) the reason they're there - to fight the nation's wars. And its not hard for a recruit to get kicked out of basic training if that's what he really wants - we'd rather do it then and there than spend the money to train, house, and feed him only to have him start crying "I was told I wouldn't have to go war!" down the road.

Sorry, but any kid who enlists in the Army thinking war is just like a video game is just dumber than dumb. The Army isn't being dishonest or even disingenuous using this as a recruiting tool. The folks who are protesting this aren't upset about truth in advertising and they're not offering an alternative to these kids, many of whom either can't afford or aren't ready for college. There isn't a social program out there that can provide the same benefits military service does. And for every story you hear about someone not being able to find a job after spending four years in the military there are dozens of others like me who used their military experience and benefits as a stepping stone to bigger and better things in life.

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