War Games: The Army’s Teen Arsenal

“America’s Army” and more government shooter game lures.

Illustration: Courtesy America's Army

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.


1 in 4: Proportion of males between 13 and 24 who have played America’s Army, the 7-year-old shooter game that launched its 3rd version in June. The free download has 10 million registered users; players are 29% more likely to be interested in military service.

14,500 square feet: Size of the Army Experience Center, an arcade with banks of shooter games, Black Hawk and Humvee simulators, and free wifi that opened in a Philadelphia mall in August 2008. Staffed by 20 Army recruiters, some in civvies, it’s open to visitors of all ages.

$1.3 million: Amount the Army spent to sponsor the hit Xbox game Halo 3. At a launch event at a New Hampshire gaming store, an Air Force recruiter explained, “Our target market is identical to that of video game stores.”

5 miles: Amount of data cable inside the Virtual Army Experience, a “virtual test drive of the United States Army” that tours fairs and festivals around the country. Visitors can participate in a simulated attack on a “genocidal faction in the notional city of Nradreg,” all under a giant inflatable dome.

145,000: Questions per month answered by Sgt. Star, GoArmy.com’s virtual tour guide. Asked about his taste in music, the camo-clad avatar replies, “I like everything from the classics to hip-hop to the occasional show tune.”

A BETTER WAY TO DO THIS?

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and we can't afford to come up short. But when a reader recently asked how being a nonprofit makes Mother Jones different from other news organizations, we realized we needed to lay this out better: Because "in absolutely every way" is essentially the answer.

So we tried to explain why your year-end donations are so essential, and we'd like your help refining our pitch about what make Mother Jones valuable and worth reading to you.

We'd also like your support of our journalism with a year-end donation if you can right now—all online gifts will be doubled until we hit our $350,000 goal thanks to an incredibly generous donor's matching gift pledge.

payment methods

A BETTER WAY TO DO THIS?

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and we can't afford to come up short. But when a reader recently asked how being a nonprofit makes Mother Jones different from other news organizations, we realized we needed to lay this out better: Because "in absolutely every way" is essentially the answer.

So we tried to explain why your year-end donations are so essential, and we'd like your help refining our pitch about what make Mother Jones valuable and worth reading to you.

We'd also like your support of our journalism with a year-end donation if you can right now—all online gifts will be doubled until we hit our $350,000 goal thanks to an incredibly generous donor's matching gift pledge.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate