Military recruits are primarily young men, so it should be no surprise that the armed forces are using game tech to reach out to potential enlistees.
Kotaku reports that first-person shooter America’s Army, hugely popular as a freebie on PC, is heading to coin-op:
America’s Army for arcades will focus less on the shooting of terrorists or insurgents and will instead consist of a series of eight mini-games that emulate real-life Army training exercises… The game is assumed to be built on the PC version of America’s Army which also runs on the Unreal Engine.
Console versions of AA also appeared in 2006.
Meanwhile, the Sydney Morning Herald reports Australian Defence Force recruitment has gone the gaming route as well with last week’s launch of an online gaming portal and a podcast detailing what it’s like to be a trainee:
Extreme Battleships, Supreme Air Combat, and Operation Tiger are just three of the online games developed by the ADF, where players can chalk up victories… and progress upward through the military ranks.
The ADF games, designed to appeal to casual gamers seeking a quick, arcade-type experience, have now been combined on a single portal where players can choose between five different games in both multiplayer and single player formats, and create their own avatar.
Since the recent launch, the ADF reported 25,000 visits. An earlier game, Extreme Battleships, received 1.03 million visitors since September while Supreme Air Combat has attracted attracted more than 300,000 since March.
Using games for military recruitment, of course, has been somewhat of a controversial topic, but it seems to be an effective tool for attracting young people to the armed forces.