War Games: The Army’s Teen Arsenal

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

Illustration: Courtesy America's Army

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


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.”

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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