CSM: America’s Army Distorts Impressions of War

January 5, 2010 -

While the effectiveness of America’s Army as a recruiting tool is well documented, in light of the U.S. military meeting all of its recruiting goals for the first time in nearly 40 years, a Christian Science Monitor piece explores the consequences of recruitment devices which “ignore the psychological realities of war.”

America’s Army, the Army Experience Center and a relatively new graphic novel put out by the Navy to foster recruiting efforts among high school students, are promotions—which combined with a down economy and lack of jobs— have made joining the armed forces an answer for more and more young people:

The current recruiting tactics aimed at America’s youth are especially concerning. Not only do the very tactics that have been boosting recruitment sanitize war and create false expectations, they prey upon the vulnerable imaginations of children.

The article claims that the suicide rate among soldiers reached a post-Vietnam War high for the fifth year running.

The author concludes:

To be sure, Vets from World War II and Vietnam had shell shock and PTSD without video game recruitment, but targeting teens with video games and graphic novels that ignore the psychological realities of war is not the way to solve the recruitment problem at a time when the psychological health of those who are sent to Afghanistan and Iraq should be a top priority.

GP: More damning than America’ recruitment tools themselves may be a bit in the article where it’s noted that the Army is short some 300 substance abuse counselors and 800 behavioral specialists. Perhaps taxpayers can fund a new game aimed at attracting those types of personnel to the military.


Comments

Re: CSM: America’s Army Distorts Impressions of War

OMG!!!! Even in Vietnam when they were using White Phosphorous on the North Vietnamese. But aside from that not all soldiers were coming back w/PTSD or other issues. It just depended on the person. My fiance was in the Marines as a 1st LT for 8 yrs before he got medically discharged. They put the soldiers all through a mental class to see if the servicemembers are right in the head to be in public w/civies. If they can't then they take psychology classes. & my fiance is seeing a psychologist as far as I know. But he seems normal to me.......

 

 

"It's better to be hated for who you are, then be loved for who you are not." - Montgomery Gentry

"It's better to be hated for who you are, then be loved for who you are not." - Montgomery Gentry

Re: CSM: America’s Army Distorts Impressions of War

I would firstlike to say as an actual army soldier currently IN IRAQ that everything thay said is very BS in almost every way.

In my own company we are so short handed we have to interchange members for diffrent tasks. this puts a strain on what resources we can use when they are gone.

Here is one example, we had to send a COOK to drive a humvvee in a convoy, A FRIGGEN COOK. Thats a job us Infintry soldiers do not a cook, but we got the rest of our company back so we are not going that far anymore.

Also i did play AA yes, but i had my heart set on the military befor that and to me it was just a realisitc game of sorts.

and lastaly Vake Xeacons  "Semper fi' is marines not army we got "Army Strong".

We may be gone but never forgoten.

We may be gone but never forgoten.

Re: CSM: America’s Army Distorts Impressions of War

Meh.  Governments have been trying to convince young men that going to war is glamorous since time immemorial.  America's Army is just considered notable because video games are our era's designated  Uniquely Evil New Medium That is Corrupting Everything.

Check out my video game humor and commentary blog, Pointless Side Quest!

Check out my video game humor and commentary blog, Pointless Side Quest! http://pointlesssidequest.blogspot.com/

Re: CSM: America’s Army Distorts Impressions of War

Wait, America's Army came out nearly 5 years ago (right?).  HOW IS THIS STILL NEWS?  We always knew that AA made a game out of war, which means (to me) that it's more common sense at this point.  The fact that any institution is JUST NOW figuring out that this game makes war "fun" is a bit embarassing, to be frank.

"HEY! LISTEN!"

"HEY! LISTEN!"

Re: CSM: America’s Army Distorts Impressions of War

I should have just read the top bit where it said "Christian Science Monitor piece" and by those words, I KNEW ALL ALONG that it was going to contain biased information from that START!!!

Let me put it frank to all of those people.

WAR IS HORRIBLE!!!!

there I have said it.

WAR IS HORRIBLE...yet it is a fact of life.

When two or more countries are not able to work themselves out between their politicians, they make their own people fight it all for them.

THAT is what the words "DIE FOR YOUR COUNTRY" stand for, nothing about dying for your country unless if you are defending your own country from being invaded by a forein country.

You can simulate it as much as you want though Videogames, Novels, Comics, TV shows, Movies, Theatre or even though Music, but what you are never able to do is to get the information accurate.

Plus the army need to recruit people too, what about THEIR needs.

The only way these people could even see straight is to consider the needs of the other side about as even as they consider the needs of their own side.

But I must lose my faith in them for even listening, 

 

Also with a depressing economy, and with a better wage being earned for being in the army and with the events of 9/11 still fresh in our minds, no wonder there has been a rise in troop recruting levels since the Vietnam.

 

Remember, back in the day people were portraying WAR as boys going out for an adventure, the only thing the politicians did not tell them was that many of them would never come back home alive again. And those that did were mentally scared for life.

You can have all the doctors and psychologists in the world but nobody can ever help a person returning home from war except to have the loving needs from their family and friends to listen to them when they want to talk about it.

Now if I consider that, and then consider myself playing videogames at home with the same violence and disturbing visions, I know I would be far more better off just playing videogames.

Because I know that videogames are not real and you can turn the switch off when if gets a little out of your hand.

Heck you can chose to play the game if you want to and if you don't want to play a graphic war game then you can chose not to buy it in the first place.

When World War 1, World War 2, Korean War and Vietnam, people were FORCED to go to war or end up in jail like Muhamad Ali.

 

Be thankful for the army that recruit people just so they don't have to force people into war like they used to.

Sometimes, I wonder how much money was wasted in writing this piece of crap.

 

TBoneTony

Re: CSM: America’s Army Distorts Impressions of War

I have to disagree strongly with your statement about doctors.  The whole 'love conquers all' attitude towards mental illness is one of the big things that ends up killing people.  Then you end up with a dead solider AND a family that keeps asking themselves 'did I not love them enough?'.

Bottom line.. if someone is sick, they are sick.  A supportive family can be a great help, but it only goes so far before you need professional help.

As for being forced to go to war.. look what happened to public relations when they instituted the draft for Vietnam.  WWI/II were 'popular' wars, people felt they were worth fighting.  Korea was at least somewhat popular,.. we had a mandate and were doing fairly well.  Vietnam (which is a close parrell to the war in Afghanistan/Pashtunistan in terms of structure and policy) was unpopular and the draft acted as a flash point,.. which got very messy.

 

Re: CSM: America’s Army Distorts Impressions of War

Sorry about my comments if I sounded a little bit off there. I never really had a mental illness, although I did have mild depression for a few years recently.

I just felt that if there was something I wanted to talk to my family about, they could not understand me and that is why I try to find other people only to be let down by them not understanding me either.

I am not saying about the love conquers all thing, I am just trying to say that some people really need to listen more when someone who is going though stress is talking to them sometimes.

They may not have the answers to the problems, and there are some images in my mind I can't block out and I need to talk to people who I care about about my fears...

I feel that real doctors are not trained to do that because ever person suffers from stress and depression in different ways.

And the more of hear about the "Take those games away from people with mental illness" type of comments, I feel like that is going to make the person worse.

And if the person is playing videogames all day because they are suffering from the realities of war, it is not the game's fault and they have to be brave enough to talk about their fears or anxieties either to themselves or sometimes with other people that they trust.

 

Maybe that is all I know about, I only had mild depression because even though I felt sad about my life nobody could ever diagnose me with real depression because it was something that they could not understand.

 

Sorry if I misinterpretated a few things.

 

 

TBoneTony

Re: CSM: America’s Army Distorts Impressions of War

TBoneTony:
I should have just read the top bit where it said "Christian Science Monitor piece" and by those words, I KNEW ALL ALONG that it was going to contain biased information from that START!!!
I shuddered when I first encountered the CSM in a news story ("Christian Science" in general is an oxymoron in my opinion ;), but it is jut a name and they're not religious zealots of either extreme. Look at their other work before judging them.

Re: CSM: America’s Army Distorts Impressions of War

I would like to say sorry for my comments. To be honest, I always fear the worst when I hear the words science and christian together in one title and feel that it should never have come to a point where religion is trying to imitate science.

Because to me, Science is not about trying to find answers to the world, but it is about trying to observe the world and document on the findings.

Religion is trying to find answers without even observing what is going on and I don't mean to talk about religion in a bad way, but maybe if people would just relax and look at the problem at more different angles instead of their own point of view then maybe I would not be so defensive when I try to talk about what science in really all about. 

After doing Psychology and understanding that it is not all about trying to find direct answers to problems I feel like it is sometimes annoying what sort of lies I have been told though TV that is trying to dumb down the really important information I am trying to take in.

 

 

TBoneTony

Re: CSM: America’s Army Distorts Impressions of War

Or let's just not support our national defense. I better get it out before anyone else does: Yes, the article is nothing but hypocrisy. The Army is short-staffed, but we shouldn't let people join. I will say it now: Support Our Troops! Semper Fi!

Re: CSM: America’s Army Distorts Impressions of War

I am w/you on this one Vake. My fiance is a Marine. & always says semper fi. I come from a military family & getting married into one. But I support our troops all the way, my brother in Belgium in the U.S. Army. I support our USO & IAVA.

 

 

"It's better to be hated for who you are, then be loved for who you are not." - Montgomery Gentry

"It's better to be hated for who you are, then be loved for who you are not." - Montgomery Gentry

Re: CSM: America’s Army Distorts Impressions of War

That's the right message, Support our toops.

Both at war and when they come home.

THAT is what we should be all saying.

Not trying to blame other factors of life, because blaming other things is wasteful and useless in times like these.

If I could tell the world just one thing it would be that we are all OK. Not to worry because worrying is wasteful and useless in times like these.

 

TBoneTony

Re: CSM: America’s Army Distorts Impressions of War

Of course the game doesn't show that stuff, it's a fucking video game. No one would play an MMO where your character gets deleted when you die just once.

A simple solution might be to not go to, or let your kids go to one of these recruitment centers or not play these games, but oh no, can't be simple.

Re: CSM: America’s Army Distorts Impressions of War

A simple solution might be to not go to, or let your kids go to one of these recruitment centers or not play these games, but oh no, can't be simple.

Pretty hard to do that when the recruiters are in the malls looking for young men & young women. Especially at high schools too! Plus to get them more enthralled into the idea of joining the recruiters let the "future recruits" earn gifts. When I say that I mean they have them bust out push ups either one handed or w/both hands. Or pull-ups. Pull-ups for a female is hard. Aka Chin-ups. & they have them do sit ups military style: your back has to be 6 inches off the ground & your legs bent at a 90 degree angle. easier if someone holds your feet while you bust them out too.& then the teens earn prizes like an insignia of the military branch on head gear to wear or a military branch backpack. It was awesome. :)

 

"It's better to be hated for who you are, then be loved for who you are not." - Montgomery Gentry

"It's better to be hated for who you are, then be loved for who you are not." - Montgomery Gentry

Re: CSM: America’s Army Distorts Impressions of War

"No one would play an MMO where your character gets deleted when you die just once."

You've never heard of perma-death servers, obviously.

--------------------------------------------------

I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

-------------------------------------------------- I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

Re: CSM: America’s Army Distorts Impressions of War

Even if a war videogame DID portray the realities of warm, they would be given an AO18+ rating for the graphic and realistic violence.

Don't you love how karma comes back to bite you on the ass sometimes?

People have been wanting to ban the violence in videogames for so long that videogame retailers don't want to sell anything with an AO18+ content rating.

And now these same people who hated violence in videogames are asking the videogame industry to put in the harsh realities of war inside the videogames that they tried to ban the violence in?

Well, it seemed like they would be the same people who would want to ban the violence in games, weren't they?

 

TBoneTony
 
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