Military Recruiters Snag Underage Players at Halo 3 Launch Bash

It appears that America’s Army isn’t the only link to the gamer generation being pursued by military recruiters.

The New Hampshire Union-Leader reports on a Halo 3 launch event in Manchester in which under-17’s were turned away from a local GameStop’s Halo 2 tournament, only to be ushered into a similar event set up by nearby Air Force recruiters:

More than 100 gamers… gathered at the GameStop for a "Halo 3" release party… There was only one glitch… a "Halo 2" tournament was delayed after the chain store’s district manager, Suzan Shockley, announced that nobody under 18 could participate.


"I’m sorry, but it’s a company rule. We take the game ratings seriously," she said. …Fortunately, the Air Force was on hand to save the day.


As co-sponsor of the gaming event, local Air Force recruiters were manning party central outside… where underage gamers who had fled the store in despair flocked for pizza, Mountain Dew and a chance to play "Halo 2" on a split screen from the back of a pimped-out military SUV…

Air Force recruiter Staff Sgt. Christopher Johnson explained the military presence at the Halo 3 launch:


This is going to be huge. We expect a big showing. We have the same demographic as [GameStop]. Our target market is identical to that of video game stores…

Johnson told the newspaper that an Air Force/GameStop tailgating bash arranged for the August Madden 08 launch netted two new recruits. Johnson added that he had not heard any objections to using video games to attract young people to the military. But New Hampshire Iraq war veteran Joe Turcotte disgreed:

The whole idea of serving your country out of patriotism gets lost. It cheapens the honor and sacrifice when you turn it into a video game. We are proud of our service to our country, but there’s something about this that just doesn’t seem right.


I would like to know if there’s a disclaimer, if they’re warning kids that their actual combat experience may vary. War is not a game.

Additional reaction to the Union-Leader story is expected. Michael Moore’s website picked up the story, as did the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (both without comment, so far).

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  1. 0
    BANE XXIII ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    First off,
    I want to thank all the Men and Women Serving in the Military for their service and diligence. I look forward to when you all can come home.

    Those of you who see this as a horrible way to recruit young MEN and Young WOMEN. Get over your selfs. The Times change, recruitment tactics Change. Deal with it.

    Also, If your saying that 17 and 18 year olds aren’t competent enough to make their own decisions regarding their lives. Well, you all are no better than those foolish politicians.


    Minneapolis, MN

  2. 0
    x19ECHO88x gamer tag says:

    what a debate of nothingness honestly i’m 19 love gaming halo 3 is what ever… that said if i went to a release party which i did and was allowed to go in because i’m 18 i would have still went out and got the free pizza and dew gamed then left and bought the game… just cause they was out there promoting the game along with the air force would have no barring on ones actions to join the game older people seem to think games have a massive effect on the younger genarations decisions, it’s doesn’t unless they are idiots that could possible believe that war is a game and if you die you’ll return 15 secounds later to give it another go. That said some kids got free pizza and dew while waiting to buy a game and got harased by some recruiting officers which they can go to school and perform the same task minus the pizza and dew so stop over looking little shit and making them huge.

  3. 0
    1337monkey says:

    slightly OT, but i had to get this off my chest

    @ All the active soldiers who posted

    I’m amazed that any of you were brave enough to actually join the military. No matter what the games may tell me, that war is fun, I know that actual war can be comparable to hell. I salute you for volunteering to defend the freedom of our country. I doubt that many people here, especially the trolls, even consider how hard it must be to VOLUNTARILY put yourself through what might end up to be hell.

    @ Trolls
    Remember that this country doesn’t draft men and women ages 18-45 into the military. It hasn’t been done since 1975, and I doubt that it would be reinstated. That means that the armed forces decreases in size, and to keep up with the demands of manpower during the war, recruiters have to use ever more creative methods to lure in young people. That said, I seriously doubt that they actually expected anyone except for the kids who have trouble telling the diffrence of Halo and reality to join at that tourny. I think that they were trying to boost their image as a helper of society, not a blight on it. Then maybe people would join so they could also help. And if the Air Force didn’t mean to boost their image, it was a good publicity stunt.

    *note* the preceding was written at midnight while my body was running low on caffeine. so any confusion to my comments should be atributed to sleepiness.

  4. 0
    Get a life! says:

    To Conejo, It is because of recruiters that you don’t have to serve. You should go to your local recruiting office and apologize for your comment. The U.S does not have to draft anyone because recruiters are making it possible. They are making every branch of the Armed Forces all volunteer. Without them you may just get a letter in the mail with your number on it. Get a damn clue you idiot. You epitomize the word disgusting. The Air Force epitomizes the word honorable.

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

    I find this really funny considering my high school has a video game club and has held Halo 2 tournaments in the past with no restriction on the age of the players. That restriction is absurd, they could have at least allowed them to participate with parental permission. They even had a Halo 3 launch party earlier this week. Well thank god the military was there to save the day.

  6. 0
    Baramos says:

    I like the guy objecting to them using video games to try and get teenage boys interested in joining the military. They use absolutely every other means to do so, gramps, if you are unaware. I actually was at a VFW Hospital show where they had tanks and helicopters and such, and sure enough an Air Force recruiter was there–and even had free coin-operated little plane ride thingies for the kids. My relative made the comment to him jokingly that “you guys are recruiting younger and younger, eh?” and he laughed.

  7. 0
    Baramos says:

    While this may sound nefarious, since Army recruiters are actively encouraged to visit your young impressionable chillin’s at their SCHOOLS, I fail to see why this causes a ripple.

    I mean, if you’re the type of parent who hates when they do that, be aware they do it at the kid’s SCHOOL even, you know? Why even mention a Halo 3 launch party the kid ran into somewhat randomly out in public?

  8. 0

    […] = ‘’; digg_title = ‘The Veterans Of Halo Launch Night’; digg_bodytext = ‘Much like my response to America’s Army, I just can’t get upset atthe fact that military recruiters are throwing Halo parties.  I’m all for full disclosure – Halo isn’t, of course, remotely similar to actual war – but it’s not clear to me that anyone claimed that it was.  The military is just finding young people […]’; ( function() { var ds=typeof digg_skin==’string’?digg_skin:”; var h=80; var w=52; if(ds==’compact’) { h=18; w=120; } var u=typeof digg_url==’string’?digg_url:(typeof DIGG_URL==’string’?DIGG_URL:window.location.href); document.write(“”); } )() Much like my response to America’s Army, I just can’t get upset at the fact that military recruiters are throwing Halo parties.  I’m all for full disclosure – Halo isn’t, of course, remotely similar to actual war – but it’s not clear to me that anyone claimed that it was.  The military is just finding young people who fit their demographic targets and trying to sell them on a military career.  Honestly, this is smart marketing, not manipulation. […]

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

    “This is bullshit, and I’m surprised to see that everybody here doesn’t really think that. The military is using us. They see us gamers as target recruitments because of our fascination with violent video games. They think they can manipulate and coax us into joining through this shit.”

    You know you may be searching for a conspiracy when there is none. The military doesn’t need to “brainwash” folk to fill out their ranks. If they truly wanted to be evil dickheads about it they wouldn’t have to ask. An army recruiter would show up at your door and tell you to get the hell in the van. I’ll take these recruitment techniques over a draft any day. Count your lucky stars that this is all they are doing.

  10. 0
    Josh Martz ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    National Guard is in more than one branch, guys. There’s an Air National Guard too.

    Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard are the 5. Yes, the Marines are technically derived from the Navy, but at this point, with the completely different rank structure they use, they’re essentially considered a seperate unit.

  11. 0
    Picho, robbin the cradle ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Recruters dont lie (too much)… they just tend to not know what the hell is going on. [i]they[/i] dont deploy cause of it being a special duty.

    If you join, you’ll find who ever the hell trains you has no idea what they are doing, and it isnt till you start OJT that you really learn stuff. (at least in the comm field)

  12. 0

    […] There have been more unsavoury goings on at the various launches however, with the U.S. Military using the events as a venue for recruitment. GamePolitics reports that in New Hampshire, under-17s turned away from a Gamestop Halo 2 tournament were swiftly ushered into a similar event being run nearby by the U.S. Air Force. What is even more disturbing is the terms used by Air Force recruiter, Staff Sgt. Christopher Johnson: “This is going to be huge. We expect a big showing. We have the same demographic as [GameStop]. Our target market is identical to that of video game stores…” […]

  13. 0
    wd says:

    and national guard is a branch of the army, but its still an individual outfit.

    I guess you could say there are 4 major branches, but it doesnt change the fact theres still 2 more that are considered to be their own branches as well.

  14. 0
    wd says:

    to whoever that was up there that said the air force was the safest of “three” branches… there are actually six branches. army, navy, air force, army national guard, coast guard,and marine corps. these are all distinct branches of the military and imho the coast guard is the safest one.

  15. 0
    rdeegvainl, Protector of FREEDOM (and you're not) ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I was gonna write a long respite over some comments. But i thought better of it. Wouldn’t change anyones minds.
    but i will say the following.
    I do not believe this is wrong or unlawful. I also believe we have the greatest system of recruitment, a volunteer one.
    Though some recruiters lie, and are scumbags for it, many others do not. So I believe each case has to be judged on it’s own merit and not by another situation.

  16. 0
    Johnny LaRue says:

    Wow the comments on here truly escape me. I was “lied” to as well when I signed up (I was told I could smoke cigs in boot camp and my ASVAB score would get me any job I wanted yet they failed to tell me I needed 20/20 vision as well) that’s their job! To get you to sign up and reach their quota. If you don’t talk to others in the military to get an accurate picture thats your OWN fault. No tears shed for Otakuman’s situation either.

    Oh and I agree if you are old enough to die for your country you should be able to drink. Therefore ONLY those serving in the military under the age of 21 should be allowed. They are the ones “dying” not the underage civilians looking for a legal reason to get drunk…

  17. 0
    Robespierre says:

    This is bullshit, and I’m surprised to see that everybody here doesn’t really think that. The military is using us. They see us gamers as target recruitments because of our fascination with violent video games. They think they can manipulate and coax us into joining through this shit. This Halo stunt is not unlike a pedophile luring kids into his car with candy. It’s fucking ridiculous that we’re sending kids off to fight in war thats foundation was built off of lies. I’m sorry if my language is a little bit colorful in regards to this manner, but I’m very unhappy with this whole affair.

    Not only is this a offense to gamers, but it is also a big slap in the face to both the troops that are currently serving, and to the veterans of war. “War is not a game” and the Army certainly isn’t in the game business to make a genuinely enjoyable gaming experience, it’s solely using these games as a recruitment tool. I know it’s expected behavior of the military, but I’m still sickened by this.

  18. 0
    Conejo says:

    Why not petition against the No Child Left Behind Act, which allows military recruiters full access to every school-child’s personal information instead?
    at least that makes sense.

    throwing a hissy fit because a family member JOINED the military and then was sent to war is just idiotic.

  19. 0
    Jim says:

    Nobody’s saying war is a game, just like nobody says “cops and robbers” is a schoolyard activity. The military has a HUGE gaming community, Halo being one of the most popular choices, and it isn’t because the (largely) exceptionally professional men and women of the Armed Forces thought shooting the badguys was like twiddling a joystick.

    People need to get over their own insecurities about the military and stop using every odd situation as an excuse to blast legitimate recruitment efforts.

    (Go Army, by the way.)

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

    The Halo games don’t even deserve an M rating. They are so damn tame i’d see no problem with allowing an 8 year old to play them. What’s the worst they got, some orange, green and purple blood.

  21. 0
    Twin-Skies ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Slightly OT:

    I find it amusing that the Air Force is attempting pull in recruits using Master Chief, a dude who’s nickname and faction (UNSC) appear to be based on the Navy.

    Then again, it’s just me.

  22. 0
    Picho, robbin the cradle ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    you know though, i didnt see much in there were they were recruiting.

    Its like saying that cause the Air show is free to the public that its attempting to recruite young people.

    I do think my recruiter pretty much told the truth, and he is still telling the truth. Now he’s telling me how to get back out again.
    Though i will have to say… Halo? come on people, it is not the greatest game evar.

  23. 0
    point09micron says:


    So you “boo” at military recruiters because you’re shocked that your brother-in-law got sent to war during a war? That’s just sheer ignorance on both your part and his.

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

    Us military recruiters visit high schools all over the US. Plenty of them are under 17. Anyone 17 or under cannot enlist on their own (17 can with parental consent). While I question the recruiters tact in this, they really did nothing wrong.

  25. 0
    Gray17 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    This makes sense to me. Go to a place where there will be a bunch of young adult males, some of whom will be interested in working or changing jobs, then advertise to them. Only a little different than going to a high school job fair. Plus I’d imagine it’s much more cost effective than TV commercials.

  26. 0
    JimK says:

    Lard, you didn’t help your argument at all by acting like a petulant little bitchboy and ramping up your rhetoric with every post. I hope you are at least smart enough to know that. You came off sounding almost exactly like Jack Thompson.

    To everyone volunteering to wear the uniform: Thank you. Your service is appreciated by this American.

  27. 0
    Josh Martz ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @Otakuman – While I’m sorry to hear that your brother-in-law was lied to, it’s pretty hard to believe that anyone signs up for the military without expecting to get sent overseas. I knew when I went through ROTC that even though I was going into the Communications field in the Air Force, that there was a chance I’d see combat. Lo and behold, here I am, in a Combat Communications Squadron (I tell people that my job is to throw phones at people). While I’m not shipping out with my squadron in January, I most likely will be when our next rotation comes around the following year.

    So yes, some recruiters out there are less than truthful, but anyone that thinks there’s no chance they’ll see combat is sorely mistaken. Sure, there’s always a chance you’ll get lucky and will never have to, but…there really are no guarantees.

  28. 0
    OtakuMan ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Here’s a little story for yah.

    My wife and I often see military recruiters at all kinds of events. We’ve seen them at Gaming events, the Vans Warped Tour, and even BBQ Rib-Offs. Each time we pass them, we stick up our noses towards them and mutter a “boo” under our breaths.

    It’s not because we’re unpatriotic. We think this is a great country with a lot of freedom that should not be taken for granted. And it’s also because we feel that way that we dislike our current President (I sure as hell didn’t vote for him!), various extremist nut jobs on both sides of the polls, and why we REALLY want to see Barack Obama win the Presidency.

    But most importantly, we dislike military recruiters because they sent my brother in law, my wife’s baby brother, to Iraq! They lied to him when he was signing up, saying that there was no way he’d be sent over. He’d be able to get money for college, achieve his career goals, and more. He went to Basic Training and had plans to get into the National Coast Guard once he was finished.

    But not more than 2 weeks after he finished Basic, he had received orders to go to Iraq.

    My wife’s family and myself were NOT happy about that.

    Soon though, he’ll be home and able to transfer to the Coast Guard so he can do what he really wants: bust some heads by making sure that illegal drug cartels don’t smuggle their illicit goods into our country.

    He’s a good kid too! Made Eagle Scout and received top honors in Scouts (including earning the medal for saving a life), trained in Emergency Medical Services (EMS), Firefighting, and Police Enforcement, and enjoys spending time with tricking out his truck, playing paintball, and hanging out with friends.

    My wife’s family and I all can’t wait for him to come back home. In the words of my mother-in-law:

    “I want my son back!”

    And yes, she actually DID say that!

    So jeers to military recruiters that try and splash a pretty image over what they do. Training is good and all, but they forgot one thing:

    People train WITH the hopes that they never have to use what they learn in training at all!

    Torchwood, episode 3, when Capt. Jack Harkness teaches Gwen Cooper how to handle ballistic weaponry:

    “Let’s hope you never have to use any of this.”

    There may be a game called “War”, but real life war is not a game! Not by a long shot! People get injured and killed regularly! And even if there’s no physical harm, there’s always mental scarring, the “Shell-Shock” that affects war veterans.

    Bring our Troops home!


  29. 0
    Crazywes76 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I think the underage label was used to describe those that are 17 but couldn’t play in gamestops tourney because they were not 18.

    For those that have hair up their ass about the military using video games to help recruiting, get over it. Its just a way to get their foot in the door, its a marketing tool. If you are going to ranting about this you may as well rant about the fact there is a college fund in the military. I mean after all its only poor people that can’t afford to go to college, so only poor people join the military.

  30. 0
    Josh Martz ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Thank you for your compliment. Considering you can’t take that statement as total sarcasm, I’m not too worried about your overall intelligence.

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

    @ Lard,
    seeing as how your agruments have been torn to shreds by us, i think i can take that as a genuine compliment, that you truly mean it. Thanks buddy.

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

    A lot of things in this story boggle the mind. First off isn’t Halo rated M(17 and up)? So shouldn’t anyone under 17 not be permitted to play the game in the store’s launch party? Two. Why in the bloody hell do recruiters show up? Do they honestly think that their “Hey kids if you join with the (Air Force/Army/Navy) you can be like Master Chief and pwn the n00b terrorists with your mad Halo Skillz.” pitch. I can guarantee non of the kids or teens who went to play Halo in the back of a pimp my ride military edition vehicle went because they wanted to hear about how great the military is. No they went to play Halo, so thankfully the recruiter’s propaganda and lies fell on deaf ears. Maybe the recruiters should of noticed that if they were too young to play Halo in the store’s tournament they were too young to go fight in a war. But then again this is our military we are speaking about, and they really aren’t the brightest crayons in the box most of the time.

  33. 0
    Lard says:

    “I need to hurry up and get deployed with my unit so I can make fun of Lard from Iraq. 😛 “

    Between him and “The Corporal” I think we’re actually seeing the cream of the crop of America’s servicemen.

  34. 0
    Josh Martz ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I’m not worried. I train on real weapons, not video games. Sure, there will be a bit some shock, and I can’t prepare wholly for that. I joined the military knowing full well what I was getting myself into. I could die, my friends could die, or I could come back missing limbs and such. Honestly, if you aren’t scared about that, you’re an idiot. But you go out, you do your job, and what will be will be. I resigned myself to that when I signed on the dotted line.

    My post wasn’t really aimed at going out to fight though, rather than joking about posting on the internet from there.

  35. 0
    rdeegvainl ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    but maybe the girl gets married if she accepts this offer and then going through a logical following, it eventually so happens that she gets pregnant and is put through much misery just to bare children. i think that would be a great comparison to the iraq situation, pain suffering and even death in some occasions, but it was agreed to by the woman. the woman went into the situation knowing that was a possible outcome.

  36. 0
    Artem says:

    @Josh Martz
    “I need to hurry up and get deployed with my unit so I can make fun of Lard from Iraq.”

    Im sorry, but unless you have experienced a real war already, when they strap a m4 onto you and throw you in middle of desert where you see bunch of people blow their heads up, you’re gonna shit your pants.

  37. 0
    Eville1 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    No, but when you sign up for the Military you KNOW what you’re getting in to. Even if you choose not to believe it or gloss over it. The military doesn’t give you a beany baby and tuck you in. Come on now, make some sense here man.

  38. 0
    Vael300 says:


    You’re forgetting that the recruitees know this before joining. You’d have to be a complete idiot not to know that going into Iraq isn’t going to be puppies and fun.

  39. 0
    GameDevMich ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @Eville1 – A 17 year old can’t by an AO because console manufacturers don’t license AO games on their systems, big retailers refuse to carry them, leaving only internet distribution. There are so few AO games that the purpose of the rating alone is asinine

  40. 0
    Josh Martz ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Hm…if only we had a military recruitment system that was based on willful enlistment rather than a draft…

    …Wait a minute…we do!

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

    “The girl doesn’t shoot you if you don’t get her roses.”
    can you explain how that fits in at all? or are you just shooting off words as fast as you can think of them?
    the girl in the analogy would be the kids, and the roses equate to the video games. So what are you saying with that statement?

  42. 0
    Lard says:


    Okay, then the guy doesn’t whisk the girl off to a foreign land, deprive her of sleep, put her in a position where she’ll get shot at and confine her to a base 24 hours a day.

  43. 0
    Josh Martz ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    “The girl doesn’t shoot you if you don’t get her roses.”

    I don’t see your analogy. In MY analogy, the girl was the recruitee and the guy was the recruiter. I’m pretty sure the underage kids weren’t going to shoot the recruiters.

  44. 0
    Josh Martz ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I need to hurry up and get deployed with my unit so I can make fun of Lard from Iraq. 😛

    “The kind of people that would target kids and brainwash them with this garbage when they’re too young to know better makes them no different than child molesters.”

    – Right…yet again, not brainwashing. Please use your brain at some point in this discussion.

  45. 0
    Lard says:

    “If you wanted to date a girl, and you knew she liked roses, and you got her roses, then you might have more of a chance”

    The girl doesn’t shoot you if you don’t get her roses.

  46. 0
    Eville1 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    And Lard, saying a 17 year old is to young to know better is asinine. You can be charged as an adult for crimes commited when you are 17. The courts seem to disagree with you on that point. And since I’m bringing it up, if the courts can do that (And yes, they can) then why can’t a 17 year old buy an AO game? If the law says “We can decide if they’re adults or not” isn’t that a bit hypocritical?

  47. 0
    Josh Martz ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Ah yes, the military has no morals. That makes perfect sense. You know that the military is the one place in America where adultery is a crime? Just a for instance.

    I see no lack of morals here. The recruiters know what people like to do. In order to attract said people, they utilize that knowledge. If you wanted to date a girl, and you knew she liked roses, and you got her roses, then you might have more of a chance. Same thing. The girl doesn’t have to date you, and these men and women don’t have to join the military.

    Besides, I’m sure plenty of those people just wanted to play Halo 2. Like I go to Sam’s Club to get free samples without actually purchasing anything. :)

  48. 0
    GameDevMich ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @Lard – By your exact statement, you would also mean: cartoons, commercials, billboards, salesmen, the guy in the food court that hands out free samples, TV shows, movie producers/directors/actors, and Fox News (sorry, had to throw it in :) )

    Or did I misinterpret what you said?

  49. 0
    Eville1 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Regardless of recruiting practices, they were 17. M ratings are for 17+ the real issue (And I ran into this yesterday at a Gamestop while talking to the people behind the counter) is that Gamestop policy is says they cannot sell M rated to anyone under 18. The fact that the rating says 17+ doesn’t matter to them. Here you have a difference between the ESRB (which is suggested, not law) and the corporate policy of a store.

    And I say we should lower the drinking age to 18. If you’re old enough to vote and die for your country you might as well be able to drink. These days you need to be drunk to vote for our politicians anyway.

    (For the record I passed 17 over a decade ago.)

  50. 0
    Lard says:

    @ “Corporal” rdeegvainl: “someone doesn’t agree with you doesn’t have morals”

    That’s not what I said, don’t put words in my mouth.

    The kind of people that would target kids and brainwash them with this garbage when they’re too young to know better makes them no different than child molesters.

  51. 0
    rdeegvainl ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    LOL, someone doesn’t agree with you doesn’t have morals… that’s a good one. You are very entertaining now that we know you are just trolling

  52. 0
    Lard says:

    “@Lard: So what? Are you assuming that gamers don’t have a brain?”

    No, just assuming the army (or in this case, the air force) doesn’t have morals. Looks like I’m right on both counts.

  53. 0
    rdeegvainl ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Correction, MARINES can’t be gamers is what he’s saying, we aren’t called soldiers. LOL
    I guess he also doesn’t think that marines could be interested in the first amendment issues that legislation and politics dealing with games would inevitable bring up.
    I mean I only am here to protect the American Ideals, not have any interest in what they actually are, or exercise them myself.
    /End Sarcasm

  54. 0
    GameDevMich ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @rdeegvainl – Be safe in your journey and I hope you return home safely to your family.

    @Lard – Regardless if you are just trolling, or you truly are uninformed, I will repeat what the others have said for the sake of repeating it:

    Just as it is with movies and music, a person (be it a retailer, recruiter, parent or a complete stranger) can NOT be prosecuted for selling an entertainment product to a person under the specified age limit. A retailer who provides an R rated movie to a 12 year, or sells an M rated game to a 6 year can certainly be chastised by the public for circumventing the rating systems. They will most likely be fired by their superiors as well.

    Further more, as mentioned by those with direct experience with the military and other posters who know a little more about the law and recruiting process than you, military establishments will advertise and talk to minors but they will not allow someone to enlist until they are 18.

  55. 0
    Josh Martz ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @Lard: So what? Are you assuming that gamers don’t have a brain?

    Even if they went up to a 12 year old and gave him some pamphlets and such, he still would have to wait 6 years to make a decision. And given the attention spans of most 12 year olds, I wouldn’t worry too much about it. If the kids don’t want to sign up for the military, they don’t have to. There’s no draft, what the recruiters are doing isn’t brainwashing, the children have plenty of chances to decide what they want to do.

  56. 0
    GoodRobotUs ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I think it’s kind of painting a silly image of military life, but it’s up to the Army how they go about recruiting, however, theres one thought that does occur to me:

    Driving around in an SUV inviting children into the back to play Video Games for the basis of achieving an ulterior motive (in this case, enrolling the kids into the Army ideals) doesn’t project the best image of the Army, what’s next, getting some puppies?

    That said, the Army have been using this technique for years with things like the Scouts and Boys Brigade (in the UK) which were intially used as recruitment zones for the British Armed Forces.

    I don’t see kids rushing to enrol in the Army because they think that it’s like Halo, and anyone who did would probably bail out within 6 months of training, but engaging with Children has been the role of Army Recuiters for years.

  57. 0
    rdeegvainl ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Don’t call me a Hypocrite
    You know nothing about me, but let me tell you a little something about me.
    I am a Marine Corporal, I am currently deployed and away from my wife and family, to defend the rights of people to live safely. I am here working day in and out, making sure others don’t have to fear being killed because of their ancestry, that they can go to sleep without wondering if people are gonna drive down their streets and kill them while they sleep. So before you want to presume something about me, STFU

  58. 0
    Josh Martz ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Double post:

    @Lard – Please read my post again. The minimum age for enlistment is 17, with parental consent, and 18, without. If I have a child that wants to join the military at 18, that’s his choice. I will provide suggestions to him, maybe encourage him to go to college first, but ultimately, at 18, it is up to him.

  59. 0
    Josh Martz ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Regardless of what the politicians are saying, it’s still not a LAW. They are just saying that they’re irritated that no one takes the time to enforce this rating.

  60. 0
    Lard says:

    @ Josh :All those complaining that the military is using video games to recruit, get over yourself. You’re wrong, it’s not immoral, and definitely not illegal

    So if you have a 12 year old, you’ll let him sign up for the military?

  61. 0
    Lard says:

    @Josh Martz :Game Ratings are suggestions that may or may not be enforced by retailers. They aren’t subject to being legal/illegal.”

    Considering 80% of the hullabaloo from politiciains is that M rated games are being marketed to minors, they most certainly are.

  62. 0
    Josh Martz ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    Fine then, I’ll say it.

    All those complaining that the military is using video games to recruit, get over yourself. You’re wrong, it’s not immoral, and definitely not illegal.

  63. 0
    Lard says:

    “All those complaining that the military is using video games to recruit, get over yourself. You’re wrong, it’s not immoral, and definitely not illegal. “
    @rdeegvainl: I don’t see you signing up – hypocrite.

  64. 0
    Josh Martz ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @Lard: Game Ratings are suggestions that may or may not be enforced by retailers. They aren’t subject to being legal/illegal.

    But on to the topic – As a member of the Air Force and a gamer, I don’t really see too much of a problem here. The military recruits people, and doesn’t force them in doing so. Sure, we provide incentives for people who join, but we don’t make them do it. They need people, and they’re willing to try different tactics in attracting people. It’s like retailers doing sales and such in order to get more people to purchase items at their store, to some extent. You have to be 18 to join the military as an enlisted member (or 17, with parental consent), and thus, the people who went to play the games that were underage were not subject to enlistment, only given the opportunity to think about it as an option for the future.

    (Note: I wasn’t recruited. I went to college on scholarship and commissioned as an officer.)

  65. 0
    rdeegvainl ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    All those complaining that the military is using video games to recruit, get over yourself. You’re wrong, it’s not immoral, and definitely not illegal. If the people sign up, they can only do so on their own if they are 18, if not they still need to have written permission from parents to join, or else they have to wait until they are 18 and do it themselves. The military will recruit and they are not forcing anyone into service. They are taking volunteers. Go back to the beginning of our country and you will see shady recruitment techniques, like getting people to sign a paper saying they can get some free beer, and not telling them that the small print is putting them into military service.
    And their needs be no disclaimer about what happens in military service, just turn on a TV at 5 oclock and these kids can see the “unglamorous” side of the military service. Can’t go a day without hearing about all the wrongs our military does, and all those who die, and the horrible scandals with military hospitals. If they want to say, “hey come play some games, and the only stipulation is we want to show you what the military has to offer”, what is the problem?
    They aren’t saying your gonna get to be Master Chief, or you will fight off alien invaders. I don’t understand why people get so up in arms about it.

  66. 0
    Nekowolf ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    No, because that is NOT a law. Think of those child games, say, “Between ages of 3-10” for example. And adult using it isn’t illegal, and the vice versa is true with games. A 15-year old playing Halo 3 isn’t illegal due to there are no laws about it.

  67. 0
    Lard says:

    “Honestly there is no reason to be pissed about this. they have done this stuff for years. the military is a business and they need people, and the air force seems like one of the safest of the military’s three branches.”

    That doesn’t make it right. The fact that they’ve been doing it for so long makes it worse.

    @GameDevMich: Actually, since Halo 2 is an M rated game, wouldn’t that make it illegal?

  68. 0
    Bloodharp ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    “Hmm, now where did that restart button go? im not liking this hole in my foot…” Is that what they think us gamers think? Honestly, we should know that war and death in real life is permanent. Just because we watch fantasies and play them, dont mean we think their real. Not gonna run up to barney and think hes a real dinosaur, not gonna think a game is real. We are not idiots in most cases.

  69. 0
    Terminator44 says:

    “Air Force recruiter Staff Sgt. Christopher Johnson explained the military presence at the Halo 3 launch:”


    Am I the only one who thinks it wasn’t a coinicidence that they sent someone with THAT name there?

  70. 0
    mottom22 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Honestly there is no reason to be pissed about this. they have done this stuff for years. the military is a business and they need people, and the air force seems like one of the safest of the military’s three branches. but they do this in schools, conventions (any type), public events, anything. That is what they do. All because it is at something that is “new” doesn’t make them bad people. they need to recruit people, so they go where the people are. if they didn’t recruit people voluntarily, they would issue a draft.

    So which one do you guys want? a recruiter who ASKS you to join and then doesn’t bother you if you say no. or a letter in the mail saying you HAVE to join or you go to prison for 5 years minimum? I think I can put of with the recruiters, thanks.

  71. 0
    GameDevMich ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @Lard – Sorry, nothing illegal took place. You can debate their morals, or lack there of, but they did nothing illegal since underage gaming is not legislated.

    Also, this was the US Air Force, not the Army. Not that their recruiting tactics aren’t similar, I’m just trying to keep details straight.

    Honestly, if a person does not have their own convictions, willpower, and level head it’s no wonder they are easily distracted and recruited with such tactics. I knew what I wanted to do since freshman year of high school. Game development was my dream and all I wanted to do, and I followed through. I know, I know. Some people don’t know what they want to do before, during, or even after college.

    The point is, if some mountain dew, pizza, and a quick game session convinces you to join a military organization…well, I’m actually at a loss for words. Maybe the veteran was right about the cheapening of the purpose for military enrollment.

  72. 0
    jatone says:

    USA gov: “We must ban all games that are not about puppies and bunnies in fields of flowers!”
    USA Military: “Quick lets let kids below the age limit play violent games in order to recruit them!”

  73. 0
    VioletSon says:

    “I would like to know if there’s a disclaimer, if they’re warning kids that their actual combat experience may vary. War is not a game.”

    I can’t believe how dumb people seem to think teens are. Granted, they do a lot of dumb things (as does everyone when they are learning how the world works) but the “games =/= real life” thing – I think that lesson comes between right between object permanence and learning not to crap yourself. I think they’ve got that down, thanks.

  74. 0
    Dan says:

    So, the military didn’t enforce the rating system?
    How can anyone expect the stores (and movie theatres while I’m at it) to enforce it when their government doesn’t?
    It’s called leading by example.

  75. 0
    monte' ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    well i for one can very well see your point, and don’t place much blame on your brother-in-law’s decision. Like most poeple who are not in the military, your brother in law doesn’t have a full working knowledge of how the military works, so if he asks a military recruiter, a man who knows far more then most non-military poeple know and who we expect to tell you the absolute truth, a question about the military, we are going to assume that the recruiter is correct and that our own knowledge is wrong… This can be applyed to video games ratings aswell… many poeple THINK that movie rating are enforced by law, but when that ask someone who actually knows US laws, they find out that they are wrong and that movie ratings are not enforced… Unless your brother-in-law talks to someone else in the military, there is little reason for him to question the recruiter’s answers.

    It sounds like your brother-in-law joined with the full intent of serving on the defensive end of the military, and i assume that is what he told the recruiter something to that effect when he asked if their was a chance; by all means it was damn wrong for the recruiter to say their was “no chance”, giving your brother-in-law false insurance… by all means, he should have said “yes their is a chance”

    Yes, they were ignorant, but it was the recruiters who MADE them ignorant. The brother in law tried to make himself informed by asking someone with far better knowledge then himself, and his source for information wrongfully lied to him and gave him false knowledge. Why should he question the information he got from a military recruiter, why should assume that the recruiter is lying to him? i mean, if a police officer told you that your state has a law that you didn’t know about, would you assume there is no law cause you never heard of it and that the officer is lying to you, or do you trust the officer?

  76. 0
    Josh Martz ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @Demontestament – They still couldn’t enlist if they were underage. The recruiters just suggested it to them. They would still have, at least, 2 whole years after that experience to determine what they wanted to do with their lives.

  77. 0
    upgray3dd ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    “Our target market is identical to that of video game”

    While it’s good to hear about the sucess of game ratings, I fear for how this will be spun by certain individuals. ” Air Force wants psycho children hooked on killographic video games. This proves that games turn you into mindles killing machines

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