U.S. Army Unveils Official Videogame Accessories

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U.S. Army Unveils Official Videogame Accessories

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The United States Army is getting ready to release a lineup of officially-licensed U.S. Army-branded videogame accessories.

The United States Army - yes, that's the real, actual Army - has teamed up with videogame peripheral maker CTA Digital to develop and release a lineup of U.S. Army-branded game accessories, including backpacks, headsets and of course game controllers that look like machine guns. Why? Because the military - that's the real military, the one that invades countries and shoots people and all that sort of thing - wants all you couch potato button-mashers to "take pride in Being Army Strong™."

[I'm totally not making that up, by the way, it's straight from the press release.]

So what is this vaguely appalling licensing deal going to bring us? Here's just a partial list of what's in store:

  • U.S. Army™ Elite Force Assault Rifle for PlayStation 3 & Move
  • U.S. Army™ Commando Assault Rifle for PlayStation 3 & Move
  • U.S. Army™ Sniper Action Rifle for PlayStation Move
  • U.S. Army™ Universal Gaming Backpack for Wii, PS3, Xbox & Kinect
  • U.S. Army™ Universal Gaming Headset With 3D Effect for PS3, Xbox & PC
  • U.S. Army™ Bluetooth Throat Mic Headset for PS3 & PC
  • U.S. Army™ Throat Mic Headset for Xbox 360

The two Assault Rifle controllers will operate like DualShock controllers, with buttons and thumbsticks positioned for maximum comfort and usability for both right and left-handed players. The Move-exclusive Sniper Action Rifle, meanwhile, features removable scope, stock and muzzle, allowing gamers who'd rather be first through the door to convert it into a lightweight shotgun.

I must admit that I'm having a hard time grasping the rationale for this lineup of game accessories. Surely there will be a lot of people more than just vaguely appalled by the idea of the Army getting into the game accessory business - the strong reaction to the "Army Experience Center," essentially an arcade designed for recruitment purposes, is a sure sign of things to come - so what's the payoff? Are we hearts and minds-ing our own population these days? Is this some kind of fundraiser for the upcoming invasion of Iran? Or is this just one of those ideas that nobody really thought through before giving it the green light?

Whatever the reasoning, I expect we'll hear no small amount of hue and cry when these things hit the store shelves. I also have to wonder if, having decided to release its own series of gun-style controllers to the general public, the Army will now allow its soldiers to buy Medal of Honor in its on-base stores. CTA Digital's official U.S. Army™ videogame accessory lineup is "coming soon" to major retailers.

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I wonder if this will be considered a "New Low" by the vet who's going after the Modern Warfare commercial.

Honestly this is just smart marketing. The Army wants to recruit more young people. Young people play video games. I don't think its so much appalling as it is silly.

Maybe the British military could do this too, sell this kind of stuff and actually start to accumulate money to buy things like....oh I don't know, bullets, decent equipment, kit that doesnt fall apart.

Would of been a welcome change I assure you.

Jesus, that thing looks like Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer joined the Army. XD

OT: This always strikes me as kind of sad. It sort of feels like the Army's desperate to get young folks to join and they'll do anything to get their attention.

Are the people who would buy these kinds of products really the ones you want to recruit into defending the country?

On paper i have to admit its a novel way to make cash and get people interested in the military... but when i think of the calibre of some of the players who would actually use this stuff i start to question it.

Also i doubt any self respecting soldier would buy this. Im only a reservist (Not American) and i wouldn't touch it.

chiefohara:
Are the people who would buy these kinds of products really the ones you want to recruit into defending the country?

On paper i have to admit its a novel way to make cash and get people interested in the military... but when i think of the calibre of some of the players who would actually use this stuff i start to question it.

Also i doubt any self respecting soldier would buy this. Im only a reservist (Not American) and i wouldn't touch it.

Considering it is aimed at the stereotypical douche-frat boy xbox CoD gamer this is exactly who they want. A limp dick jack ass with anger issues that would love to have power over another human being.

wooty:
Maybe the British military could do this too, sell this kind of stuff and actually start to accumulate money to buy things like....oh I don't know, bullets, decent equipment, kit that doesnt fall apart.

Would of been a welcome change I assure you.

they could, but there would be some mix up somewhere and a kid will get an actual SA80 for his birthday and our lad's in the field will go into action with an PS3 move controller!

RT-Medic-with-shotgun:

chiefohara:
Are the people who would buy these kinds of products really the ones you want to recruit into defending the country?

On paper i have to admit its a novel way to make cash and get people interested in the military... but when i think of the calibre of some of the players who would actually use this stuff i start to question it.

Also i doubt any self respecting soldier would buy this. Im only a reservist (Not American) and i wouldn't touch it.

Considering it is aimed at the stereotypical douche-frat boy xbox CoD gamer this is exactly who they want. A limp dick jack ass with anger issues that would love to have power over another human being.

Thats what i mean by the calibre of people, here the limp dick Jack ass with anger issues tend not to survive recruit training, they nearly always drop out. I'd imagine that its the same with the US. So as a recruiting tool its appealing to the generic type of person who is quite frankly a waste of time and resources and quite simply not worth training.

What exactly is a 'gaming backpack' when it's at home?

Zachary Amaranth:
I wonder if this will be considered a "New Low" by the vet who's going after the Modern Warfare commercial.

Of course Not! This was done by the ARMY, not not some west coast hippy-dippy, latte sipping, pinko limousine Liberal Hollywood actors who want to gay marry our unborn fetuses with illegal Mexican immigrant single mothers. This Project was made by A-MERR-ICANS!

chiefohara:
Are the people who would buy these kinds of products really the ones you want to recruit into defending the country?

For these sorts of people there are only two options. It's either have them in army serving way far away on the other side of the world, or joining right-wing anti-government militias running training exercises in the Arkansas backwoods. I prefer the one where they at least have to wait out their service hitch before turning to domestic terrorism.

Blunderboy:
What exactly is a 'gaming backpack' when it's at home?

I would assume that it is a backpack built to carry a ps3/wii/360. Some people travel with their consoles so it would be kind of usefull. I dont have a backpack myself but I do have a mafia style suitcase for my ps3 when I need to travel with it.

666Satsuki:

Blunderboy:
What exactly is a 'gaming backpack' when it's at home?

I would assume that it is a backpack built to carry a ps3/wii/360. Some people travel with their consoles so it would be kind of usefull. I dont have a backpack myself but I do have a mafia style suitcase for my ps3 when I need to travel with it.

So it's a regular backpack with a £60 price tag then? :p

Blunderboy:
So it's a regular backpack with a £60 price tag then? :p

Have you ever seen a laptop or camera backpack? Think something like that. Lots more padding then a regular one and a nice tight fit compartment for your system.

I'm interested in what the Bluetooth Throat Mic Headset is. Sounds fun. Do you think I could use it with my phone?

chiefohara:
Are the people who would buy these kinds of products really the ones you want to recruit into defending the country?

We recruit rapists and dropouts. You think we're really looking for the best of the best? We fired some of our top Arabic translators in a war on terror in the Middle East because they were homer sexuals. We didn't even care that it left us understaffed in crucial positions.

DVS BSTrD:

Of course Not! This was done by the ARMY, not not some west coast hippy-dippy, latte sipping, pinko limousine Liberal Hollywood actors who want to gay marry our unborn fetuses with illegal Mexican immigrant single mothers. This Project was made by A-MERR-ICANS!

Well, when you put it THAT way....

Blunderboy:
What exactly is a 'gaming backpack' when it's at home?

Did you mean "what good is a 'gaming backpack' when it's at home?"

Because I don't think its location changes what it is.

chiefohara:

Thats what i mean by the calibre of people, here the limp dick Jack ass with anger issues tend not to survive recruit training, they nearly always drop out. I'd imagine that its the same with the US. So as a recruiting tool its appealing to the generic type of person who is quite frankly a waste of time and resources and quite simply not worth training.

I do want to point out there's a certain amount of appeal to higher recruiting numbers even if they don't make the cut. There was a decent amount of press coverage of military recruiters specifically targeting people they knew had no chance of making it just to meet their quotas.

Any other issue with American recruitment aside.

thenumberthirteen:
I'm interested in what the Bluetooth Throat Mic Headset is. Sounds fun. Do you think I could use it with my phone?

It'll pair with most Bluetooth devices. I'm not sure if it'll have push dialing (as in push to voice dial), but it'll function as a Bluetooth headset and pairs to multiple device.

At least, it says so on the official product page.

Zachary Amaranth:

Blunderboy:
What exactly is a 'gaming backpack' when it's at home?

Did you mean "what good is a 'gaming backpack' when it's at home?"

Because I don't think its location changes what it is.

It's a colloquialism. You know, a turn of phrase. Like 'smart arse' or 'douche bag'.

Blunderboy:

It's a colloquialism. You know, a turn of phrase. Like 'smart arse' or 'douche bag'.

I've heard the latter two as colloquialisms, but you'll have to forgive me for never having heard the former.

Zachary Amaranth:

Blunderboy:

It's a colloquialism. You know, a turn of phrase. Like 'smart arse' or 'douche bag'.

I've heard the latter two as colloquialisms, but you'll have to forgive me for never having heard the former.

In fairness, it's a fairly old phrase, not so much in use, except by old farts like myself. Nothing to forgive. :)

Zachary Amaranth:

chiefohara:
Are the people who would buy these kinds of products really the ones you want to recruit into defending the country?

We recruit rapists and dropouts. You think we're really looking for the best of the best? We fired some of our top Arabic translators in a war on terror in the Middle East because they were homer sexuals. We didn't even care that it left us understaffed in crucial positions.

I do want to point out there's a certain amount of appeal to higher recruiting numbers even if they don't make the cut. There was a decent amount of press coverage of military recruiters specifically targeting people they knew had no chance of making it just to meet their quotas.

Any other issue with American recruitment aside.

I'll have to take your word for it on the first point, but the second point does make a lot of sense to me unfortunately. Our Defence Forces fluff numbers like there is no tomorrow as well.

I like that rifle's clown-nose!

Blunderboy:

In fairness, it's a fairly old phrase, not so much in use, except by old farts like myself. Nothing to forgive. :)

Ah. Yeah, I probably wouldn't have taken it literally if I had heard it before. Like I wouldn't nitpick someone who called someone a douchebag....

>.>

chiefohara:

I'll have to take your word for it on the first point, but the second point does make a lot of sense to me unfortunately. Our Defence Forces fluff numbers like there is no tomorrow as well.

The first part's google-able if you care, but I wouldn't blame you if you didn't. The latter, well, it seems like some things are just universal. XD

Zachary Amaranth:

Blunderboy:

In fairness, it's a fairly old phrase, not so much in use, except by old farts like myself. Nothing to forgive. :)

Ah. Yeah, I probably wouldn't have taken it literally if I had heard it before. Like I wouldn't nitpick someone who called someone a douchebag....

>.>

Yeah, that was rather rude and snippy of me. I do apologise.

So the US Army is selling toy sniper rifles with clown noses?

When you consider that most of this stuff is Move peripherals, its kind of hard to take it seriously.

All those Black Ops commercials carry on about how "There's a soldier in all of us.". What does the Army look to recruit? Young males. What do the vast majority of young males do? Play video games like Black Ops.

Drill Instructors and other trainers will tell you flat out that gamer kids these days are psychologically desensitized to combat environments, targeting and firing upon other human beings and often arrive at boot camp with a years long familiarity with infantry combat and small squad tactics.

Haters can rant on about the obvious differences between reality and gaming but there's no denying that these kids are spending hundreds of hours mastering entertainment based combat simulators. The Army is just inserting some "Brand Awareness" (google that marketing speak) into a very desirable recruitment pool.

Unsettling? Maybe. Smart? Definitely. I recall a distinct lack of all this morally outraged noise when millions of young men and children were cheerfully gunning down thousands of simulated human beings in the latest FPS release. But show them a plastic toy with the Army logo printed on it and it's suddenly all "Oh noes!". Priorities people. Examine them.

Zachary Amaranth:
I wonder if this will be considered a "New Low" by the vet who's going after the Modern Warfare commercial.

My first thought as well. Or the previous MW commercial with Jimmy Kimmel. Or the America'a Army game. It all seems tasteless or just sales. You don't get to pick and choose.

I remember back in 2006, when I still kept up with Army advertising and such (what with being a part of said organization at the time) there was a joke about the "Army Strong" campaign... that they had only spent 100 million dollars per year, per word on it (at a time when some combat arms units were short on SAPI plates due to budget constraints, har har).

Glad to see that tradition is still going strong. Army strong. image

Now all it needs to do is fire cream-pies and the clown-gun is complete.

Zachary Amaranth:
I wonder if this will be considered a "New Low" by the vet who's going after the Modern Warfare commercial.

Ayup, that was the first thought to enter my head as well.

Well, that's one way to get new funding...

Throat mics? you don't have to listen to the fan they have on full blast, but you will have to listen to them chugging mountain dew. cool none the less.

Would have been a more enjoyable read without the judgement.

Zachary Amaranth:
I wonder if this will be considered a "New Low" by the vet who's going after the Modern Warfare commercial.

Pretty much the first thought that occurred to me.

Well, y'know, after this...

EDIT - Also all of the weapon controllers are for PS3 only, the 360 only gets the headset and other gear. Possible link (given the timing) to Microsoft's guns'r'bad policy? Or a case of 2 and 2 making 5?

Very smartly done on the Recruiting subtlety US army...

Also, isn't this trivializing war? OH GOD, THAT VET IS MAD.

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