U.S. Army Gets Ambushed Over Gears of War

Can the U.S. Army be faulted for including the uber violent Xbox 360 hit Gears of War in a recruitment-oriented video game tournament?

Raw Story takes the Army to task for adding Gears to the roster of titles for the Army Gaming Championships, a ladder event which kicked off on the 4th of July.

The Raw Story feature makes specific mention of GoW’s chainsaw bayonet:

The Army is sponsoring a tournament featuring one of the most graphically violent video games every produced. Players will be rewarded tens of thousands of dollars in prizes from the military for chainsaw massacres of opponents, whose deaths are stunningly illustrated…

The venture provides the Army another avenue to reach tech-savvy recruits — though participants must be willing to be contacted by an Army recruiter — as it struggles to maintain its ranks in the fifth year of the Iraq war…

Army officials “looked very carefully at the games recommended,” [Army spokeswoman Louise] Eaton said. While including M-rated games initially “gave us pause,” Eaton said they were OK’d because the tournament is only open to players age 17 and up…

Others games in the Army tournament include Command & Conquer 3, Resistance: Fall of Man, Call of Duty 3, and, of course, America’s Army.


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  1. 0
    nigger hing says:

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  2. 0
    Brokenscope ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I don’t really think they glorify war as much as they glorify military service.

    Who cares, the tournament was open only to people 17 and up. As for it being used as an evaluation tool, games can only be used to determine someones ability to make snap judgments and the ability to organize others.

    Thats is a best case too. Most of the time they are worthless for any kind of evaluation of a persons abilities.

  3. 0
    Brokenscope ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    You know having an orchestra or a band following you around playing would make it rather hard to move undetected.

  4. 0
    Shoehorn O'Plenty ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    While I do not like the army targetting young adults in this way, this is m-rated games being played by age appropriate people. I fail to see the problem here.

  5. 0
    GoodRobotUs ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Well, those who are good at Gears of War and want to join the Army will go along to this, I’m pretty sure that’s an allowed combination?

    As Nightwing says, I think it’s more about what is ‘popular’ rather than anything to do with ‘training’, after all, the whole idea of the American Army is to take a recruit and rebuild them from the bottom up into soldiers, usually dealing with any preconceptions along the way. Anyone thinking life in the Army is somehow life ‘Gears of War’ is in for quite a surprise, for a start, you’ll note a distinct lack of ambient soundtrack.

  6. 0
    nightwng2000 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Someone break out the Depends.
    You know the LaRouches are wetting themselves heavily over this.

    The military has used a large variety of tactics to recruit new personnel over time. And not just modern US military. Promise of wealth, promise of family security, promise of glory, promise of easy tours of duty, promises of glamourous locations, and so on. This is nothing new.

    NW2K Software

  7. 0
    Sean ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I know, I was refering to the army commercials. They kind of send a message that everyone that enlists in the army will become a CEO or something.

  8. 0
    John ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Anyone find some sort of irony in the idea that an M-Rated game is too bad for the Army that cruises around in Abrams blowing the shit out of the world?

  9. 0
    The_Bobman ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I never understood why people got mad at he Army for targeting their primary demograpic. Getting upset over this is on par with getting angry at Viagra for putting ads in Golf Magazine.

  10. 0
    Robb ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Has anyone noticed that the violence in Gears doesn’t even compare to the brutality of war? There is no way possible that GoW is more violent than actual war.

  11. 0
    PHOENIXZERO ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    IMO the worst commercial I’ve ever seen them do is one where there’s these guys sitting around playing a game when this soldier guy or whatever comes to life and suggest they try the real thing…..

    I guess because real war is just as safe and fun as playing a character on a television screen… Never mind the part where it’s not like it at all.

  12. 0
    Sparksalot says:

    100% in agree wiht you xzero87! no matter how much they try to stamp war out of games IT IS 100% REAL AND THERE ARE REAL PEOPLE RIGHTING IN IT. Cutting it out of games isnt going to cut it out of the world. War is real. Violence is real. Blood is real and blood gushing from gunshot wounds is again real.
    Its supposed to be a surrealistic war game isnt it? So why should it contain all these things!

  13. 0
    xzero87 says:

    Personally, I think it’s a GOOD thing that war games are becoming increasingly realistic and gory. War is an ugly, ugly thing, and shouldn’t be sanitized just because it might offend someone.

  14. 0
    Gameboy says:

    This doesn’t make sense. The people participating in this tournament are of the appropriate age to play the game. Also, they have to enter the tournament. It’s not like the Army is abducting eight year olds off the street to play this game.

    And what’s the problem with targeting “tech-savvy” recruits? Someone has to run the various electronic equipment in the military, why not someone “tech-savvy”? It’s probably a helluva lot safer than the infantry.

  15. 0
    Wise Guy ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    So what is an appropriate way for the army to recruit? They’re targetting the most likely demographic to be interested in service in the army. Who are the common FPS players? Young adult males. Who would the army like to recruit? Young adult males. If they were recruiting during Saturday morning cartoons, or were having a New Super Mario Bros. tournament, than I could see there being some kind of issue.

  16. 0
    ShortWoman says:

    You guys are just now on this? Heck, the gaming communities I frequent found, discussed, and walked away from this story last week. The only conclusion we came to is that in the absence of Ash, the army needs cordless electric chainsaw technology. 😉

  17. 0
    AM ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    So… they’re mad that an organization which has no purpose but violence (my personal views aside, they don’t train at changing diapers or doling out food to the homeless; they train to kill) is using a violent game at a tournament? This isn’t being run by the Peace Corps, here. I can’t think of any reason to be offended by this, except for the sake of being offended.

  18. 0
    Terminator44 says:

    Yeah, this “army recruitment is evil!” business is absurd. It’s a given that you need to do research on your own before you enter ANY occupation, and not just rely on your future employer for input. Are you people suprised that military service is like this as well? I highly doubt everyone who goes to that tournement will join the military, and those who do certainly won’t just because of this tournment. It isn’t something you do out of impulse.

    Honestly, just because some people who decided to volunteer don’t agree with your view of the world or the military (though you will probably find many who do), that doesn’t make them stupid.

  19. 0
    Sakimori says:

    Off topic, but…

    I realize the need for recruitment efforts, I realize that this kind of event attracts the target demographic, and I’m willing to believe that the Army’s recruitment numbers are lower than they’d like. But does the Army really have so much money lying around that they can afford to just give $15k away? Aren’t these the same guys that didn’t have enough money to put armor on their vehicles a few months ago? I mean, I realize that $15k doesn’t even qualify as “a drop in the bucket” when you compare it to the $200,000,000/day we’re spending on the war, but come on.

    Hey, Army guys: you think maybe you can come up with some other recruitment effort? You know, one that doesn’t involve throwing money out the window? Us taxpayers would really appreciate it. Thanks.

  20. 0
    Grahamr ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I think that if recruitment commercials showed war for what it truely was, our armed forces would be woefully understaffed. So it’s kind of necesarry.

    Actulluy, it’s more like a catch 22.

  21. 0
    Archgabe ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Wait… There is a problem here? Where? I don’t see it. Can someone explain the problem in an intelligent manner so that I can get this? I just dont see the problem with a game that is rated M, being used as a recruitment strategy by the militay, that is open only to 17 and up.

  22. 0
    mottom22 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @ Sakimori

    Actually i think that money came from the money it takes to enter and pay for other things in the event. so essentially it isn’t theirs.

  23. 0
    Eli Mordino says:

    “While I do not like the army targetting young adults in this way”

    I’d love to see a military force consisting entirely of overweight 50-year-olds. It’s like Grumpy Old Men meets Apocalypse Now.

  24. 0
    nightwng2000 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Why not just back to the way it was dones centuries ago?

    Hear ye! Hear ye!
    On today’s date, July 09, 2007, the Grand Recruiter for this Region doth appear!
    Bring forth all persons recently become 18 years of age in the last 11 months, or to turn 18 years of age in the next month!
    The Grand Recruiter will inspect all said individiuals and, upon approval by the Grand Recruiter, will be ordered into service of his majesty’s Great Army!

    Any meeting the age requirements to appear, or those chosen by the Grand Recruiter who do not appear at the ordered departure time and place, will be considered as avoiding their duty to the High King and will be charged with Treason and executed upon locating said individuals!

    There are NO execptions to this order!


    Yeah, that’s better than making recruitment voluntary, eh?

    NW2K software

  25. 0
    Dog_Welder ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I think it’s a shame they’re using violent, gory games like Gears of War to recruit for the U.S. Army. No army personnel would ever have a chance of seeing graphic violence in real life.

  26. 0
    nightwng2000 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Dog Welder,
    Nor would they have a chance of getting in touch with their more sadistic side such as torturing prisioners or blowing away innocent citizens and saying “Sorry! My Bad!”

    NW2K Software

    P.S. Yes, I know there are honorable indiividuals in the military. too bad the scumbags have better press agents than the good soldiers.

  27. 0
    Sidewinder says:

    Why is it that when people try to ban Manhunt 2, everyone here is up in arms saying that we should have freedom of speech and that there is nothing wrong with the game, but when the Army tries to use an M rated game – for a competition consisting of adults by the way – everybody says “Look how evil the Army is, they’re using violence to glorify their evil agenda.”

    Maybe not exactly that, but something to the point. I don’t get it.

  28. 0
    GameClucks says:

    Again, I applaud the Army for sponsoring competitive gaming.

    Sponsoring tournaments is a great way to reach a young, tech-savvy demographic, and the choice of game is very important because you have to choose titles that have a large, active, competitive playerbase.

    Then again, I’m one of the people who thinks that the America’s Army game was a superb application of a few dollars from my tax contribution.

  29. 0
    kurisu7885 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    In before JT or a Larouche ite says they were right all along.

    Personally, I”m surprised it hasn’t happened already, or the messages were taken down, if so, I applaud you Dennis.

    As for this idea, I applaud the military for trying a new idea, but, I do find it a shame that the gamers who show up will likely be useless for service. Personally, I see this as a more creative draft.

  30. 0

    Hahaha. Get real. The Army is just using this to get people TO the recruiting station, no more no less. Why would they use this to recruit someone who is great at GoW and fat as a Greasy-Politician? Seems silly no? None of the game is truly relevant to real life training that’s for sure, unless they changed something while I was away from the planet. However, to the folks who say the LaRouche’s et al will wet themselves over this, THANKS FOR DIVIDING America. Partisan politics kill our strength and Replicrat Democran, same thing. Hilary is next in the American Dynasty either way, unless we quit the CRAP.

  31. 0
    Dog_Welder ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Sakimori — the Army (and the other armed services) have a budget set aside specifically for recruitment purposes. No matter what happens, X number of dollars is getting spent on recruitment, because you always need more people to join. The idea is to get as much exposure as possible on a per dollar basis. Throwing $15k at a core demographic is actually pretty well spent.

  32. 0
    Dog_Welder ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Sakimori — the Army (and the other armed services) have a budget set aside specifically for recruitment purposes. No matter what happens, X number of dollars is getting spent on recruitment, because you always need more people to join. The idea is to get as much exposure as possible on a per dollar basis. Throwing $15k at a core demographic is actually pretty well spent.

  33. 0
    nradd99 says:

    So its perfectly fine to send our youth to Iraq to kill and be killed/maimed, but somehow they aren’t psychologically capable of handling the trauma of playing a violent video game. This just shows that any argument, no matter how preposterous, can be used to blast video games.

  34. 0
    chadachada ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @ the Raw Story

    1) It’s a video game

    2) It’s rated M for Mature, and the tournament is for 17+

    3) It’s not like the Army wants the winners, which will probably be nerds that can’t lift anything more than a controller or a 6-pack of beer, except for tech-savvy individuals

    4) Quit your belly-aching, games like these, which should only be in the hands of MATURE people over 17, aren’t making psycho-killers, and shouldn’t be in children’s hands, as long as parents DO THEIR JOB

    5) If you don’t like the amount of violence in the game, ignore it. The first amendment gives game developers the right to make or say whatever they want (as long as it isn’t dangerous or slanderous). I may hate the game all I want, but i would still die to protect their right to make it. As do all the soldiers out in the war right now that are dying so we can say what we want

    Grow some balls and live up to American ideals, or get the hell out

  35. 0
    JLTate says:

    Bongotezz: But darnit, not with chainsaws! Not with chainsaws!!!

    Hmm… Maybe they should be using Top Spin 2 in their tournament! Then it can be open to anybody! …can you imagine how badly that would go over?

    Ace of Sevens: Ehh… try telling your boss that you’re quitting when you’re living on an oil rig! There’s a saying about this. The undetermined need not apply.

    The armed services is one of the very few parts of the US government that’s still for the people, by the people. It bugs me that there are folks who prop up self-serving jackass politicians and then turn around and treat our soldiers so poorly.

  36. 0
    malren says:

    Every gamer that sides with Raw Story is also siding with those that say gaming *makes* you violent.

    Raw Story is out of line. The entire criticism is purely partisan, just an esxcuse to attack the military.

    Gears is a video game. Get over it.

  37. 0
    Ace of Sevens ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    JLTate: You’ve moved the bar from all jobs to oil rigs and oil rigs change out crews every two weeks. They can’t make you go back and they certainly can’t throw you in prison or wreck your chances of working pretty much any other job if you refuse.

  38. 0
    Hath says:

    Until the world is one big carebear style affair the military is an incredibly important service. Most people dont want to be in the military because they dont agree with the goverment and think working in the armed forces = working for “the man”. But most of these peopel are just annoying teen’s who dont have half the understanding they think they have. And if the military wants to sponser gaming tourney’s then gfi if the army recruiter contacts you he isnt coming with a gun and marching you off to the front line. If you are too weak willed to say no, or want to be in the military then you were gonna say yes anyway so who cares.

  39. 0
    ZippyDSMlee ( User Karma: -1 ) says:

    *head desk* *head desk**head desk**head desk**head desk**head desk**head desk**head desk*

    *splat and gray goo goes everywhere*

    I think my brain came….when dose decadence in stupidity become too much?

  40. 0
    Joshua says:

    I think I’d be more tempted to enlist if I could use a chainsaw on the enemy. Our foes would definitely think twice before tangling with an army of chainsaw wielding ass kickers.

  41. 0
    MasterAssassin ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Wow…just wow

    I don’t see the problem here. The tournament is only open for adults and the game is rated M for players 17 and up. Frankly this is just stupidity of the highest calibur and I’m not gonna comment on it any further.

  42. 0
    get real says:

    If you have never served in the military and are complaining about a tournament being done by the army. Get over it. Most recruiters are pulled from there job to be recruiters. Most did not ask or volunteer to be one either. This is an opportunity for them to talk to people about what the army has done for them. To tell there army story. Most people won’t join from playing a video game. They may know somebody who might just need the army. Not that the army needs them.

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