Teen Cites America’s Army Game in Enlistment Decision

Did you ever wonder if the America’s Army game ever actually inspired anyone to join the service?

Wonder no more.

A 17-year-old Wisconsin boy, Tyler Battig, told the Fond du Lac Reporter:

I felt like enlisting because I have a lot of family that joined the Army and served, plus ‘America’s Army,’ the computer game, came out and that got me thinking more and more… I do face the fact that I could be going overseas, but that shouldn’t stop anybody from joining.

America’s Army has sparked protests in recent months from anti-war groups. In August, protesters marched outside Ubisoft’s San Francisco HQ. Ubi published the console editions of America’s Army, although the more popular PC version is freely distributed by the Department of Defense.

In the photo Tyler is seen with his mother, Kim Battig, who also enlisted, as well as two Army recruiters.

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  1. 0
    Tom says:

    What surprises me is that this is "news," not that it has happened.  Just last week I was at MEPS (Military Entrance Processing Station) to take a language test and I spoke to a kid who was joining the Navy with the stated purpose of achieving the rank of Master Chief because, and I’m only barely paraphrasing, "that would be cool and Halo’s awesome."

    The good news, for anyone who’s interested, is that the vast majority of the people I spoke to had made much more reasoned and reasonable decisions prior to enlisting.

  2. 0
    Twin-Skies says:

    The way I’m reading it, this has more to do with his family’s long-standing tradition of serving in the armed forces. America’s Army was just a proverbial nudge.

    An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.

  3. 0
    DeepThorn says:

    Oh god, dont let all of the big companies know this.   We really do not need Toyota Driving Experience, Bubble Smack Gumtastic, PETA hug the trees, Chase Bank: Release Your Money, and Menards Buildathon…  (of course, it would be nice to have less commercials, because when there is a commercial break every 5-10 minutes, it ticks me off…  thank god for hulu)

  4. 0
    Krono says:

    Like Deepthorn said, the game itself is one big advertisment. I’d imagine he specifically mentioned it as it was the only advertising that actually succeeded in it’s purpose of keeping enlistment in mind for consideration.


  5. 0
    DeepThorn says:

    That is because most people worth a grain a salt ignore commercials other than for humor.  AA is a more solid form of advertisement, but it still advertisement.  Saying that it isnt is like saying that NASCAR isnt like one massive commercial.  So calling it an ad would be correct, or else it wouldnt have the title American Army, with the Army logo.

  6. 0
    lumi says:

    I don’t know where you’re getting this "advertising" angle from.  U.S. Army ads are all over the place.  He didn’t say "and there was that Army commercial on television last night" or "I saw this Army ad in a magazine, and it got me thinking".  Advertising for the Army is so commonplace that it doesn’t bear mentioning when discussing the factors that lead to a decision to enlist.  The fact that he explicitly mentioned it, in the same sentence as having several enlisted family members (a much more significant factor), suggests that the game itself was something that helped convince him to join, not just something that kept the idea of the army in the forefront of his mind.

  7. 0
    Unruly says:

    I think you misinterpreted what he said. He said that "suggesting that only the AA game led to this decision is ridiculous" meaning that to say nothing else influenced him is wrong. At least that’s how I took it to be. The last part of the sentence kind of offsets the first and makes it hard to tell what was really said.

    I would have to agree that he would be a simpleton though if AA was the only reason he joined, which it obviously isn’t. Family history of military service usually has a very strong influence on wether or not a person joins. In my case, both of my grandfathers and my dad were in the army, and all 3 of them advised me to avoid it if possible. Other families have the exact opposite view.

  8. 0
    Krono says:

    Suggesting that only the AA game led to this decision is ridiculous, and I think the kid’s probably a simpleton. 

    The kid’s a simpleton for follow in several family member’s footsteps?

    "I felt like enlisting because I have a lot of family that joined the Army and served…"

    Yeah, really sounds to me like only the AA game led to his decision.


  9. 0
    Thomas McKenna says:

     All of this is a moot point in the end.  Nothing here violates any sort of law, treaty or convention.  Child recruitment is specifically meant for active recruitment into the military of a minor.  So basically anything less than the US military is giving children guns and body armor, and shipping them off to war is completely legal.  Of course, it then falls into the area of "is it moral?" and no internet forum argument is going to change your take on it.


    As for the part it played in the kid’s recruitment, I feel it’s minor.  Family tradition seemed to play a major factor in the kid’s decision, and the game just played the part of keeping the question of if he should join or not in his mind.  It’s a shitty game, but I also think the same of Halo, and a lot of people seem to enjoy that one.

  10. 0
    VideolandHero says:

    I’m more annoyed by the recruiters that came to my high school everyday and passed out free folders and pencils with the army on them.

    — Official Protector of Videoland!

  11. 0
    Krono says:

    That those like yourself who would refuse enlistment simply because advertising had an impact on their decisions, probably should not be overseeing enlistment.


  12. 0
    Krono says:

    I didn’t say that AA was the thing that tips them in favor of it. I said it was the thing that kept them thinking about it. Like say, seeing TV ads for the army over and over kept the subject in their mind for consideration. Then after considering it for a while they decide to enlist. The ads didn’t "tip them in favor of it", but merely kept it fresh in their mind. Likewise for AA.

    Afterall, out of sight, out of mind does have some truth to it. Conversely keeping it in sight helps keep it in mind.


  13. 0
    lumi says:


    If they’re thinking about it, and AA is the thing that tips them in favor of enlisting, I think they need to seriously re-evaluate what they’re expecting life in the Army to be, because AA it ain’t.

  14. 0
    Austin_Lewis says:

    The game isn’t the only thing that keeps this in people’s minds.  Suggesting that only the AA game led to this decision is ridiculous, and I think the kid’s probably a simpleton. 

    You can see Army, National Guard, and Navy SEAL ads during primetime TV, latenight TV, and before movies. 

  15. 0
    barra_sadei says:

    My Dad was a marine, and my grandfather was in the Army Air Corp. (or whatever division of the Army it was called before it became the Air Force… This is going back to WWII, just to say). I know this’ll be dismissed, but I’d NEVER think of joining the military… Well, that’s partly a lie. I’d join the military if there was a draft (before i was drafted), but ONLY if I couldn’t make it out of the country first.

    Anyway, AA, regardless, played a crucial role. It kept the idea in his mind, kept it a possibility. But the use of America’s Army to recruit is just like offering to pay for college or the commercials (which I don’t think they’re supposed to do, but it’s the military).

    Also, I’d like to point out that if TV media outlets got their hands on this, they’d make it a positive thing. However, whenever someone shoots someone else, it’s video games…

    Or that kid that snuck into the zoo and fed other animals to the croc. I’m surprised JT hasn’t said that video games have perverted his mind.

  16. 0
    Vake Xeacons says:

    What it really comes down to is the controversy over games colliding with the controversy of the military.

    "Veterans and recruiters are evil! How dare they seduce little kids into their assimilation of murderers and conquerors! Through toys, none the less!"

    According to tesh.com, an Associated Press and MTV survey showed 90% of kids #1 inspiration on major decisions are their parents. This kid followed family tradition. THEN, AA helped establish his choice. 


  17. 0
    Krono says:

    Read it again. A lot of his family is apparently military, that was the main reason cited. AA’s role was:

    "plus ‘America’s Army,’ the computer game, came out and that got me thinking more and more…"

    In other words, it served as advertising that kept him considering enlisting for himself.


  18. 0
    Cattleprod says:

    His MOTHER enlisted, but the game was the only notable factor for his enlistment? I don’t mean to imply she forced him or anything, just that I think having family in the military might be a bigger influence than a game.

  19. 0
    Krono says:

    So in other words, if advertising for the Army keeps someone thinking about it until they decide to enlist; they shouldn’t be allowed to enlist because they payed attention to the advertisments?


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