Game Journo Objects to Army's Presence at Best Buy RE5 Launch Event

March 21, 2009 -

As GamePolitics has reported, the U.S. Army has taken a fair amount of heat in recent times over its use of video games and game-related events for recruitment.

Over at ripten, Chad Lakkis notes with a disapproving eye the Army's presence at a Best Buy midnight launch event for the recently-released Resident Evil 5:

I couldn’t help but notice the “GO ARMY” recruitment tent mixed into the Best Buy Resident Evil 5 launch party video... I don’t mind the idea of recruiters but what I do mind is the methods by which they often recruit.

This isn’t the first time the U.S. Army has been accused of blurring the lines between gaming and recruiting. Promoting an official U.S. Army videogame and lacing their official army game website to contain soldier bios designed to look like videogame stat cards is youth marketing at its finest. Look at all the stats you can wrack up kids - assuming you don’t die first.


Comments

Re: Game Journo Objects to Army's Presence at Best Buy RE5

You know just as well as anyone else here that the M rating has no real effect on people <18 acquiring games. I'd wager that at absolute minimum 30% of the crowd at this event was under 18.

<snips argument>

Calling this guy an idiot because in a single article he objected to a single event in a larger picture is rather dull, don't you think?

Joe Camel, The Flintstones, the cowboy ads, the movie placements, all of these were used to get kids to start smoking. The video game industry and the army both use the same phenomona to recruit new players and soldiers respectively. Don't you think for a second that the 80s army cartoons (G.I. joe, etc) weren't meant to make kids join the army.

Re: Game Journo Objects to Army's Presence at Best Buy RE5

 Oh, it's you again eh.

I think Austin has covered the main points pretty well here. In looking at previous posts by you it seems you're faily reactionary in the "SAVE THE CHILDRENZ!" vein. I don't see what your point is with the 30% minimum under 18. I imagine that's probably true, or pretty close.

The thing is, as Austin said, retailers of video games are the best industry at applying the age ratings as evidenced by that study mentioned on GP a while ago. They're there because someone is there to get it for them, although I'm not sure if carding standards would drop at a launch event.

The point is, the Army recruiters are there because the game is rated M, which is definitely within the age that they go for.

If they were at an elementary school or something, I could see your argument, but it just doesn't seem to apply here.

Re: Game Journo Objects to Army's Presence at Best Buy RE5

You're right, all those kids at best buy were getting Resident Evil 5 without being ID'd, I'm sure.  But wait; someone over 18 had to come with them, and those people are eligible for military service.  So it doesn't matter that there are people in the crowd under 18 (or 17 as is the age listed on the box), the game is obviously made for adults and older teens, the event was obviously geared towards an older group, so your entire argument lacks any basis.  This was a great place to do some recruiting, as well as a good way for some local recruiters to get in on the zombie fun, and maybe even get some practice for the real zombieocalypse.

Calling this guy an idiot after having read his moronic article and watched the video is actually a great way to sum his whole stance up in a sentence, actually.

The website isn't being marketed to the same demographic that the Flintsones and Joe Camel were marketed to either, nor is the American Army game or Resident Evil 5 when it comes down to it, so your comparison is a poor one.  Once again, this was an event geared towards people 17 and over, not children, and I doubt very much that there were many people there under high-school age, so your whole 'they're trying to brainwash children' line looks like bullshit to me.  But how about you watch the video, read the original article, and then try and argue your idiotic point again.

Re: Game Journo Objects to Army's Presence at Best Buy RE5

All of us have been on this site long enough to know that M-Rating is about as strong as requiring persons in the U.S. to be 21 or over to consume alcohol.

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Papa Midnight
http://www.thesupersoldiers.com

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Papa Midnight

Re: Game Journo Objects to Army's Presence at Best Buy RE5

Actually, if you recall, Best Buy is a very good retailer insomuch as carding people.  Another point is that in order to get the game, SOMEONE had to be over 17. 

The real point here is that this is a great marketing idea, not the Army trying to peddle violence to children.  The author of the article may not be capable of wrapping his head around the idea that the Army doesn't know who will show up to this launch event, but knows damn well that the event is for a game that requires SOMEONE eligible for service to buy.  It's a magnificent marketing idea (though the whole stats card thing seems ridiculous, and I don't want to believe that's true) and well placed, and your claim that the M-rating isn't being upheld runs counter to what the FTC has to say, and between the two, I'll pick their data on this one.

Re: Game Journo Objects to Army's Presence at Best Buy RE5

So in other words, when dealing with honest and reliable retailers, solid.  In my experience the M-rating (and the requirement to be over 21 to purchase) has succeeded for the most part, after it's sold not so much, but after it's sold, it's not the retailer's or the industrie's failing anymore (for either industry).

Advertising for the Army at an event that is going to get 17+ Males who at least like shooting things with fictional guns (it was for RE5 after all) sounds like fantastic marketing.

 
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