The US military is using video games and esports to recruit – it’s downright immoral


Recruitment for the military within western countries is generally failing, and its relationship with video games is being strengthened all the time

James McMahon
The Independent Voices

Call of Duty is one popular video game to attract new recruits ( )

At the end of the US army’s fiscal year this past September, the independent military news source Army Times reported that it had failed to meet its recruitment target by 7,500 bodies, despite offering up to $40,000 in bonuses, shorter enlistments and student loan repayments.

Last week, via a Reddit Ask Me Anything forum, the US military announced its intention to create a military-branded esports team and enter into a video games competition. The military said the team would be populated by active personnel, reservists and veterans, bringing together accomplished players of first-person shooter (FPS) video games like Call of Duty, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, as well as this year’s breakout title, Fortnite, to tour esports competitions. Their attendance will be shadowed by army recruitment officers.

Newzoo, a company that tracks intelligence in the digital games industry, estimates that by 2019, 427 million people will be playing video games. The military’s encroachment into such a burgeoning entertainment space, occupied largely by young people, poses a variety of serious ethical dilemmas.



1 reply

  1. In the book, Andy and Marwa ( Dr. Juergen Todenhoefer also described how Andy, a US soldier killed in Iraq, was recruited. He answered an advertisement offering ‘free boxing gloves if you ask for US army recruitment information’. Andy wanted the gloves. Instead of information coming by mail 2 recruitment officers came to the house and talked to Andy for hours until he signed up.

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