Sports games endeavor to include accurate player rosters and game adaptations of movies try to use real actor voices and likenesses whenever possible. So it should come as no surprise that the U.S. Army is using real soldiers as characters in its America's Army game.
"The America's Army Real Heroes program puts a face on some of the exceptional Soldiers who are at the forefront in defending our freedoms. With Real Heroes young adults can learn about the accomplishments of some of the heroic men and women that make the Army the world's premier land force," said Colonel Casey Wardynski, Project Director.
Players who download the latest version of the free online game will be able to interact with four such Heroes during training missions and while exploring an interactive Virtual Recruiting Center.
The first batch of soldiers to become Real Heroes are Sgt. 1st Class Gerald Wolford, Sgt. Tommy Rieman, Maj. Jason Amerine (pictured), and Sgt. Matthew W. Zedwick, the later two of which GP editor Dennis McCauley had the chance to meet at this year's E3.
"It was cool," said McCauley. "I'm a big admirer of the troops."
Additionally, players (or anyone with an internet connection) will be able hear the stories behind these soldiers via videos available on the America's Army website.
More soldiers honored for their service in Afghanistan and Iraq will be added in the coming months and a line of Real Heroes action figures will be available at retail soon.
-Reporting from San Diego, GP Correspondent Andrew Eisen