Army Using Video Games to Recruit in Malls

via Reuters

PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) – The U.S. Army, struggling to ensure it has enough manpower as it fights wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, is wooing young Americans with video games, Google maps and simulated attacks on enemy positions from an Apache helicopter.

Departing from the recruiting environment of metal tables and uniformed soldiers in a drab military building, the Army has invested $12 million in a facility that looks like a cross between a hotel lobby and a video arcade.

army_war_games

The U.S. Army Experience Center at the Franklin Mills shopping mall in northeast Philadelphia has 60 personal computers loaded with military video games, 19 Xbox 360 video game controllers and a series of interactive screens describing military bases and career options in great detail.

Potential recruits can hang out on couches and listen to rock music that fills the space. Continue reading

Video Games Feature Ads for Obama’s Campaign

via AP

WASHINGTON (AP) – Too busy playing video games to watch presidential ads on television? Barack Obama has found you, too, by becoming the first presidential candidate to buy ad space inside a game.

Nine video games from Electronic Arts Inc., ranging from the extremely popular “Madden 09” football game to the street racing “Burnout: Paradise,” feature in-game ads from the Obama campaign. The ads—they appear on billboards and other signage—remind players that early voting has begun and plug a campaign Web site.

The idea of embedding advertising temporarily inside a video game is relatively new, having only begun about 18 months ago, and Obama is the first presidential candidate to buy space, company officials said. Continue reading

SURVEY: 97% of Youth Play Video Games

via Breitbart

CHICAGO (AP) – Katherine Graden doesn’t really like shoot-’em-up video games. She prefers games on her Wii system that test her fitness and agility—the ones her guy friends tease are her “sissy games.”

“I’m like, `Fine! Go play your violent games. I’ll stick with mine,'” the high school freshman from Chicago says, chuckling.

It’s a common scenario, according to a new national survey from the Pew Internet & American Life Project that illustrates just how ingrained games have become in youth culture.

The survey found that while young Americans don’t necessarily play the same thing, nearly all of them—girls included—play video games of one kind or another.

And they don’t just play by themselves. Nearly two-thirds play video games to socialize face-to-face with friends and family, while just over a quarter said they play with Internet friends. Continue reading

New York Passes Law Forcing Labeling of Video Games


via Reuters

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Video games sold in New York state must clearly label ratings for violent content under a law signed on Tuesday, which rights groups criticized as likely unconstitutional.

The New York Civil Liberties Union said that it planned to mount a legal challenge against the law, signed on Tuesday by New York Gov. David Paterson, as it raised free speech concerns.

The group said that similar laws in California, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota and Washington state have been thrown out as unconstitutional.

The U.S. video gaming industry submits to ratings on a voluntary basis, and the system is similar to movie ratings. Continue reading