Thanking the Troops: ECA Offers Discount to Military Veterans

November 1, 2007 -

The Entertainment Consumers Association - the only advocacy group exclusively for gamers - is supporting U.S. military personnel by offering discounted membership. The military discount joins a similar program already offered to students.

Of the move ECA president Hal Halpin said:

We’re excited to extend our 25 percent Student Discount for annual membership dues to all active service men and women with a valid .mil domain extension.

 

It came as a result of conversations between GamePolitics regular and ECA member, Robert “lexfor” Kalal, who was promoting the association to his fellow gamers in the Air Force while stationed in Turkey.

While we’re aligned with several charities that support the troops, it seemed apparent that extending this discount was yet another way of honoring their service and dedication. The new Military Discount offers prospective members reduced dues of just $14.99 per year.


For more information, including how to sign up for an ECA membership, check out the ECA website.

Full Disclosure Dept: The ECA is the parent company of GamePolitics.  

24 comments

Iraq War Vet Defends Games in NY Times Piece

October 24, 2007 -
A back-from-Iraq Marine talks about his love of gaming in today's New York Times.

Jeffrey Barnett, who was deployed to Fallujah, is also the author of a blog called The Midnight Hour. For the NYT he writes:
In addition to being an engineer, new homeowner, and seasoned curmudgeon, I also moonlight as a gamer. I started gaming almost as soon as I could hold a controller. My father purchased an Atari 2600 in 1981, the year I was born...

Video games get a lot of negative press for supposedly promoting, condoning, and even conditioning violence in gamers...

On one hand, I can see how a player might gradually decrease his human inhibition towards violence and killing through repeating the act in a video game. On the other, I think the vast majority of players understand that what is acceptable in the game world may be unacceptable in the real world...

I think steak knives and swimming pools pose a greater threat to children [than video games], but nobody is trying to restrict adult access to those tools...

GP: The NYT readers provide interesting and lively commentary to Barnett's piece. Worth a read.

Via: Kotaku
52 comments

A Pair of Gamers Give Their All in Iraq

October 4, 2007 -
Another in an occasional series honoring gamers who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country... 

An Associated Press report lists a pair of gamers killed in Iraq in separate incidents:

Army Sgt. 1st Class David A. Cooper Jr. died September 5th following a vehicle accident in Baghdad. From the AP story:
David Cooper Sr. recalled that his son and his grandsons would hole up in the basement "dungeon," laughing and playing with their computers, video games and a wide-screen TV.

"They'd stay there all day long," Cooper said. "They'd come up for a meal, then disappear down there."

Marine Lance Cpl. Jon T. Hicks Jr. (left) was killed in action on September 10th in Anbar province:
Jon Hicks Sr. said his son enjoyed football and followed the Philadelphia Eagles. He "liked playing video games and loved playing paint ball," he said.
30 comments

Destructoid Calls GP...

September 27, 2007 -
...the Daily Kos of the Mushroom Kingdom in a piece written by Nex on GP's Wednesday story about military recruiters using the Halo 3 launch to attract teens.

Hey, GP is a bit left of center, but not Daily Kos left.

Still, a good line and we had a larf over it.
26 comments

Military Recruiters Snag Underage Players at Halo 3 Launch Bash

September 26, 2007 -

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:

120 comments | Read more

Iraq War Veterans Protest America's Army Game

September 4, 2007 -
Even among some military veterans, support for the war in Iraq is dwindling.

As reported by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, veterans of the war gathered to protest recently at the Missouri Black Expo. The focus of their attention was a display of the America's Army video game:
About 90 Iraq war veterans, dressed in black shirts, stood in formation Saturday afternoon in front of military recruiters at America's Center and shouted their protest message three times: "War is not a game!"

They were referring to the large military simulation game set up by Army recruiters... The group of veterans, known as Iraq Veterans Against the War, were in St. Louis for their annual meeting this weekend when they decided to stage a brief demonstration at the Expo.

America's Army was created several years ago by the Department of Defense. The PC version, a first-person shooter using simulated military weapons, is given away for free by the Army as a recruitment and public relations tool.

Here's the video of the IVAW protest:

139 comments

Defense Department Kills Plan to Send Left Behind to Troops in Iraq

August 16, 2007 -
Whether you're a fan of the best-selling Left Behind series or not, a plan to ship the PC game version to American troops fighting in a Muslim country was never a good idea.

That's mainly because a key element of the game play in Left Behind: Eternal Forces features Christian troops converting - or killing - non-believers.

The Department of Defense has now put a stop to the shipments, following an inquiry by ABC News. According to the ABC report, Operation Start Up (OSU) Tour, an evangelical Christian entertainment troupe, planned to include copies of Left Behind in care packages destined for U.S. forces.

Rev. Timothy Simpson of the Christians Alliance for Progress told ABC News:
It's a horrible game. You either kill or covert the other side. This is exactly what the Osama bin Ladens of the world have portrayed us [as].

Left Behind Games CEO Troy Lyndon said:
There is no forcible conversion to Christianity, and killing is never an objective in any of the 40 missions in the game.

Researchers at the Military Religious Freedom Foundation learned of the plan to ship Left Behind to Iraq last week. Their discovery was reported by The Nation.
79 comments

In U.S. & Down Under, Military Uses Game Tech to Recruit

July 27, 2007 -
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:
11 comments | Read more

U.S. Army Gets Ambushed Over Gears of War

July 9, 2007 -
Can the U.S. Army be faulted for including the uber violent Xbox 360 hit Gears of War in a recruitment-oriented video game tournament?

Raw Story takes the Army to task for adding Gears to the roster of titles for the Army Gaming Championships, a ladder event which kicked off on the 4th of July.

The Raw Story feature makes specific mention of GoW's chainsaw bayonet:
61 comments | Read more

Gamer Killed in Iraq Ambush

May 18, 2007 -
....another in an occasional series of reports about gamers who gave their all:

As reported by the Lynchburg News & Advance, Christopher Murphy, 21, was killed in Iraq on Saturday along with three fellow soldiers. Three other soldiers were abducted by insurgents and remain missing. According to his obituary:
Christopher Edward Murphy had a generous spirit... would give away his treasured video games and systems to friends... Even since he was a young boy playing every strategy-based video game he could find, Chris had wanted to join the military.

“You want to talk about our house sounding like a war zone,” Rosemary reminisced of Christopher having a group of friends over to play Halo 2, a warfare video game.

“He was pretty shaken by everything he was witnessing,” she said. “He was on his 13th helmet and his ninth tank when he came back. He didn’t want to go back to Iraq this last time.”

GP: Rest in peace, Christopher.
49 comments

Gamer Generation Pays a Heavy Price in Iraq

March 21, 2007 -
When compiling the daily news for GamePolitics, GP relies in part on an extensive set of automated Google News searches. Based on certain keywords, our Google searches occasionally turn up news of a soldier or Marine killed in Iraq.

That's not really the type of news that fits with GamePolitics' journalistic mission, so it doesn't normally appear here. But in reading such stories, we do note the frequency with which friends and relatives of deceased military personnel mention that their loved one enjoyed video games. Not too surprising, really, given the relatively youthful demographics of soldiers and gamers alike.

A poignant story we read yesterday in the Detroit News caught our eye, however. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that the Iraq war just passed its four-year anniversary. More likely it was the fact that Army Pfc. William "Billy" Davis, killed by a roadside bomb last weekend, was simply a hardcore gamer. From the newspaper account:
A video game enthusiast, Davis... met his wife after high school. The couple named their daughter (Aeris) after a character in the videogame "Final Fantasy VII."

"He liked to play a lot of video games," his mother said.

UPDATE 3/23/07: The Connecticut Post reports on the death of PFC Stephen Ron O'Neil Karl Richardson, killed in Iraq by a roadside bomb:
A personal profile attributed to Richardson and posted on the Internet site, myspace.com, states that he "is a proud new daddy to my daughter, Iyana.

"I'm still just a kid at heart. I like to watch cartoons and play video games," he wrote.
54 comments

 
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TechnogeekThe constant conflation of "you shouldn't do this" as a personal guideline and "you shouldn't do this" as something with the force of law is really getting tiresome. Lawful Neutral was garbage in D&D, and it's garbage in real life.07/01/2015 - 12:24pm
PHX Corphttp://kotaku.com/sources-warner-bros-knew-that-arkham-knight-pc-was-a-1714915219 Sources: Warner Bros. Knew That Arkham Knight PC Was A Mess For Months07/01/2015 - 11:49am
Andrew EisenIf you do, I hope you can provide some examples of people (again, other than random no-name numbnuts on Twitter) who are genuinely trying to dictate what should and should not be allowed so far as themes, topics, language, plot devices, etc. go.07/01/2015 - 9:43am
MattsworknameI'd go into why I think it's a bigger problem then most realize, but nows not the time really. I'll catch up with everyone later07/01/2015 - 9:42am
Andrew EisenThat's the thing though, rarely is anyone (again, other than random numbnuts on Twitter) attempting to dictate what can and cannot be said or done.07/01/2015 - 9:39am
Andrew Eisen"Don't write rape scenes" is being offered as advice (along with reasons for that advice) not a mandate.07/01/2015 - 9:37am
MattsworknameOh, on that last one andrew I wasn't talking about the article, I was being more general, lately it seems like all the news and media is trying to decide what is and isn't proper to say. Thats what i was refering to.07/01/2015 - 9:37am
Andrew EisenPerhaps you should consider reading the entire article. Despite quotes you can pull from the intro and conclusion, the author isn't arguing that you can't or shouldn't be allowed to cover a certain topic.07/01/2015 - 9:35am
MattsworknameOne of the things I hate right now is that people are trying to be the deciders of what is and isn't proper to be said. It's political correctness to a level that makes me angry.07/01/2015 - 9:29am
Mattsworknamemake them, i just tell peopel that I think what they did sucked. Just cause I dont like what they did, doesn't mean I can tell them "You shouldn't wrtie that" cause thats just another step on the way to telling them "YOU CANT WRITE THAT".07/01/2015 - 9:24am
MattsworknameNo, but you or I aren't the one to tell someone else what they can or cannot do beyond EXTREMELY narrow limits. Telling a person then shouldn't write something or say something. I may hate certain movies or music, doesn't mean I dont' tell peopel not to07/01/2015 - 9:23am
E. Zachary KnightHasbro is taking steps to fix its Dinosaur gender issues. http://io9.com/the-jurassic-world-dinosaur-toys-are-clever-girls-again-171513589607/01/2015 - 9:20am
TechnogeekImagine that level of accuracy, only applied to something that has actually caused physiological and psychological trauma in more cases than just whatever the equivalent of the CD-i Zelda games would be.07/01/2015 - 8:40am
TechnogeekThat's the issue I see as well, E. To put it in terms anyone reading this site will likely understand: you know how any time video games show up on TV, they feature absurdly outdated 3D graphics and/or audio from the Intellivison era?07/01/2015 - 8:40am
InfophileWell, you CAN go to a crowded streetcorner and tell everyone who passes by your social security number and bank account PIN, but you shouldn't. Is that censorship?07/01/2015 - 8:36am
E. Zachary KnightSo if it is going to turn out to be a bad scene, why even bother writing it?07/01/2015 - 8:07am
E. Zachary KnightMatts, Goth, The article, and others I have read making the same conclusion, state that most people fail in their attempts to write rape scenes without being overly offensive or overly incompetent in their attempt.07/01/2015 - 8:07am
Adam802http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Ex-Sen-Leland-Yee-may-be-headed-for-a-plea-deal-6358941.php07/01/2015 - 7:12am
Adam802Possible plea deal in Yee case: http://www.mercurynews.com/crime-courts/ci_28408532/leland-yee-case-plea-deal-appears-likely07/01/2015 - 7:11am
MattsworknameInfo, Im with goth on this, the moment people start saying "You can but you shouldnt" thats a slow slide into censorship07/01/2015 - 6:05am
 

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