The United States Army has had a long history, interesting and often controversial history when it comes to video games. It seems very obvious that they always viewed them as a decent portal in the hope of making a difference to the army, but they never really struck the right chord to make this (for better or worse) really impact.
These are not for the fear of the temptation to try, since they came back in 2002 when they released a free-to-play title Proving Grounds.
However, after a report about GameSpot, the US Army looked at a new approach. Possibly off the back of the suppression of the aforementioned offices. This is in part the allocation of millions of dollars towards the sponsorship of streamers, gaming, and even targeted efforts towards WWE fans!
U.S. Army Considered Gen-Z Recruitment Through Video and Gaming Sponsorship.
The information has gone public through a freedom of information request (FOI) request and shows that for 2021-2022 the US Army set aside nearly $4M as a part of a potential recruitment campaign that would have seen Twitch streams (possibly even individuals), WWE events, games/gaming titles and even eSport competitions given funds effectively, or, at the very least, the dispersal of promotional materials.
While it wasn’t believed this funding was ever allocated, it was certainly a unique approach to recruitment. Indeed, looking at the target, it doesn’t seem to be surprising that the principal demographic was gen-z (18 to 24-year-olds).
Would it work? Well, I suppose that I’ll never know. Then there are plans that are not already announced. While some may view this as a modern and innovative approach, others may consider it as another controversial and unwanted move by the US military in the gaming industry.
What do you think of this?