Video Games Are U.S. Army's Most Powerful Recruitment Tool

by Annette Gonzalez on Nov 19, 2009 at 12:21 PM

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 met instant success when it released just before Veteran’s Day this year, selling 4.7 million units the first day. While millions rushed to play a game based on military combat, roughly 70,000 young Americans chose to join the Army last year. Another game not quite as popular, America’s Army, was developed by the U.S. military to aid in recruitment and in order to play, you have to register your information through the Army’s recruitment website. According to The Washington Examiner, it appears to be working.

The article cites a 2008 MIT study that found “30 percent of all Americans age 16 to 24 had a more positive impression of the Army because of the game and, even more amazingly, the game had more impact on recruits than all other forms of Army advertising combined.”

An Air Force colonel cited in the Examiner article said young recruits who are avid gamers with minimal training and experience are “naturals to the fast-moving, multitasking nature of modern warfare.” It seems war-based video games have inadvertently helped train people to become better warriors, so it makes sense to use video games to build interest in the Army. What do you think? Is recruiting for the military through video games the right way to go?