According to this piece on Gamepolitics -- the Daily Kos of the Mushroom Kingdom -- US military recruiters were recently found to be using
ridiculously creepy creative tactics in order to get the youth of America interested in signing up for a tour of duty. It seem that during a recent Halo 2 tournament at a GameStop in Manchester, New Hampshire a large number of sub-18-year-old kiddies were turned away due to strict contest regulations (and the possiblity of hardcore teabagging action). Never one to turn away a chance at free bodies, the military recruiters apparently set up a similar event of their own nearby and ushered the crestfallen kids into their foreboding van gaming tourney.
Hit the jump for the full deets.
From the Union Leader article sourced by GP:
Manchester – By 9 p.m. more than 100 gamers, some with parents in tow, had gathered at the GameStop for a "Halo 3" release party, and plenty more were expected by midnight, when the wildly popular X-Box game would officially go on sale.
There was only one glitch in the festivities -- a "Halo 2" tournament was delayed after the chain store's district manager, Suzan Shockley, announced that nobody under 18 could participate. Top prize: a copy of "Halo 3."
"I'm sorry, but it's a company rule. We take the game ratings seriously," she said. "Our store manager misunderstood the rules of the tournament."
The futuristic combat game is rated M for Mature for "blood and gore, mild language and violence," which means you have to be 17 to buy it, or a parent has to buy it for you.
Fortunately, the Air Force was on hand to save the day.
As co-sponsor of the gaming event, local Air Force recruiters were manning party central outside in the strip shopping center parking lot off South Willow Street, where underage gamers who had fled the store in despair flocked for pizza, Mountain Dew and a chance to play "Halo 2" on a split screen from the back of a pimped-out military SUV.
Obviously it isn't illegal for the military to set up a gaming event, but as children under 18 aren't lawfully able to sign contacts such as the one allowing Uncle Sam to give them guns and ship them to the desert. As much as they won't be punished OR should be legally -- cue kneejerk liberal reaction -- their tactics here are downright Orwellian. Or, they would be if George Orwell lived in an insanely empirialistic England embroiled in unncessary warfare and constant degredation of long-guaranteed human rights.
When the Air Force personnel are quoted as saying "Our target market is identical to that of video game stores" you begin to realize exactly how far intertwined with the military their PR wonks have become, so it should come as no surprise to see such morally reprehensible tactics from one arm of an entity we as citizens purportedly have control over.
I'm moving to Iceland.