Militainment, huh? Just the name makes it sound so gamey and just plain wrong for training today’s techno savvy warfighters. The title itself belies the high standards of military training today. Take for example the official U.S. Army game called America’s Army, while it is a wildly popular gaming application and not to mention a great online recruiting tool, it’s still just a game. First released in 2002 and with over 26 versions since, America’s Army continues to enjoy many new players downloading each and every day. While this type of recruitment tool will awe many of the younger video game generation- is it really an accurate depiction of one might really encounter in the service? And, does it really matter??? The U.S. Army’s seven core values are promoted and while it remains one of the most popular games downloaded and played on the Internet today it isn’t free to the Army but is a real bargain comparatively speaking. The Army has done well in drawing in younger generations connecting them with something that they already enjoy doing, playing games. According to an MIT study, 30 percent of Americans 16-24 years of age had a positive impression of the Army because of the America’s Army game.
These ‘video-game’ like technologies are changing warfare today. But is it realistic enough? Military combat and training is serious stuff. Not to be confused with a game that you hope to beat someone’s high score. Recruits eat up the game and many choose the Army (and other branches of the service) specifically because of their experience from playing the ‘game’ or ‘recruitment tool.’ While even militainment can fall into the category of serious games- is this really the right category for it to take on? What is reality? Of course I’m all for the U.S. Military’s high-tech and cost savings approach of training military personnel through simulations, but the militainment title that is strictly for entertainment/recruitment purposes should not be confused with serious combat training for our soldiers that risk their lives everyday to safe guard our freedom and keep us safe. God bless them all!