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Event Title

The Portrayal of Military Service via America's Army: Effects on the Enlistment Rates of Civilians Through Measurements of Aggression Towards a Foreign Military Force Out-Group

Date

April 2021

Location

Online

Description

The United States military created a series of video games titled America's Army to transform its public image and boost recruitment in the early 2000s. The use of video games was a creative way to recruit tech-savvy high-school-aged males to the military. For instance, the U.S. military claimed that America's Army was a realistic coordinated-combat simulator that provided civilians and new enlistees with a realistic view of the U.S. soldier occupation. A review of literature suggests that viewing violent video games may increase aggression in players. Research found that the Swapping Paradigm, a design mechanic implemented in America's Army, provides players with a consistent target to channel their aggression towards and with a role that never evolves. The Swapping Paradigm portrays this target as an unspecified, foreign military force and the players fulfill the role of an American soldier, therefore, priming the player to view the U.S. Army as an innately good force and all opposing forces as bad in their intentions. Additionally, future research is necessary to examine the degree of influence America's Army has on current soldiers who enlisted in the military as a result of the persuasive, in-game tactics used.

Presentation Type

Presentation

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The Portrayal of Military Service via America's Army: Effects on the Enlistment Rates of Civilians Through Measurements of Aggression Towards a Foreign Military Force Out-Group

Online

The United States military created a series of video games titled America's Army to transform its public image and boost recruitment in the early 2000s. The use of video games was a creative way to recruit tech-savvy high-school-aged males to the military. For instance, the U.S. military claimed that America's Army was a realistic coordinated-combat simulator that provided civilians and new enlistees with a realistic view of the U.S. soldier occupation. A review of literature suggests that viewing violent video games may increase aggression in players. Research found that the Swapping Paradigm, a design mechanic implemented in America's Army, provides players with a consistent target to channel their aggression towards and with a role that never evolves. The Swapping Paradigm portrays this target as an unspecified, foreign military force and the players fulfill the role of an American soldier, therefore, priming the player to view the U.S. Army as an innately good force and all opposing forces as bad in their intentions. Additionally, future research is necessary to examine the degree of influence America's Army has on current soldiers who enlisted in the military as a result of the persuasive, in-game tactics used.