Game Politics (gamepolitics) wrote,
Game Politics
gamepolitics

America's Army Begins "Real Heroes" Campaign

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

Tags: americas army, casey wardynski, real heroes
  • Post a new comment

    Error

    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

  • 24 comments
Why are they all men?
good question...

I don't know. I'd suspect that perhaps the demographic of America's Army players is heavily male
Well, it does say the "first batch", and there are only 4 so far.
When they get around 20 or 30, the numbers should be high enough to wonder about demographics.

After all, do we start wondering about racial mix now? Or how about sexual orientation (oh, wait, "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" nonsense)? Or some other grouping?

nightwng2000
NW2K Software
Indeed. Thank you for shedding some sense on this issue, sir.
Most likely because America's Army focuses on shooter gameplay, and women are not allowed in the combat arms MOSes.
Hmmm....
I wonder if maybe a teeny tiny reason for this is to counter the publicity of the protest on America's Army by the Professor who was naming all those who had died. I'm not talking about a hugh thing, just maybe it was at the back of someone's mind when coming up with the idea.

Still, it's an interesting idea. The troops I support, the war I don't. But it is an interesting idea to give real faces to characters. From the sounds of it, they aren't playable characters? Merely NPCs based on real people that share their stories? And since they probably don't interfere with the game as many say the protest does, I doubt many, if any, will complain. At least, not the players anyway. How many will be drawn to the info? Probably the same amount as those drawn to the protestor. Actually, probably a few more will be drawn to the Heroes since they don't interfere with gameplay. The subtle touch in this case may win more recruits than support for the protest.

nightwng2000
NW2K Software
this was in the works well before the "dead in iraq" project came along...
Then, too, are the action figures. I've seen plenty of collectible action figures. Now there are specific soliders. One has to wonder if this amounts to "merchandising the war". Probably not. Still...

However, the biggest worry I have is if they come out with a "Real Heroes" collectible card game. That would be a bit much. Collectible cards (like baseball cards), might be ok. But a game version might be a bit much.

nightwng2000
NW2K Software

Deleted comment

yes, the soldiers involved are fully on-board.
One would conclude, since the soldiers featured provide voice acting, that they generally have a pretty good idea of what they are doing.
You know.. I sorta hope those who try to ban video games, get things like this thrown in their face. They want to get rid of video games, so they can't -possibly- get in the hands of minors? Obviously that means they don't support the soldiers fighting and dying in Iraq, for their freedom to complain about video games in the first place!

/spin
They want to circumbent the very freedoms those soldiers risk and give their lives to protect, so, you couldn't be more right.

Deleted comment

Ok, can you explain how it's stupid?
I have no idea shorxrore's explanation is, but I'm guessing it may have something to do with the current cost-to-effectiveness ratio of it (namely, hundreds of billions of dollars a year just to invade a country for no good reason. Yay!)
Please explain...
I'm suprised it took this long for someone to try and start a flamewar.
uhhhh... this is so ridiculous its hard to even put into words.
I'm never in favor of war (except of course for taking down nazi's, but we know how that goes). However, I won't ever balk at this idea as long as it's kept real and not fictional. My point of view comes from a cousin of mine who rapidly went from grunt to special forces in the Army, and the stuff he's gone through in Afghanistan and Iraq has made me much happier to listen to a vet than a talking head general.

Is this a somewhat political maneuver? I think the whole game is, but it's nice to see/hear/talk to those actually on/in/behind/circle-strafing enemy lines.
Cool!
Will they have kung-fu grip?
God, this is creepy. The Dark Future rears its head again. Soldier as rock star! Join the military! Complete with Godsmack and Pantera soundtrack! Go to Iraq and try to shore up our dying empire! Maybe you'll be immortalized in a video game!

xploring an interactive Virtual Recruiting Center.


I wonder if there's an interactive Virtual Veterans Administration hospital? Where you can virtually view double amputees? And they can virtually kick you out on your ass and deny that Gulf War Syndrome exists?
Attempted flamewar number two...
To me a soldier is someone who puts their life on the line for YOU. They are there to take a bullet, grenade, land mine, rocket, tank round, artillery shell, or any thing else that a war can throw at you. They suffer the hardships, the pain, the horror, the sheer terror that only sudden imminent death can inspire.

Soldiers are here so they can take that...and I don't. Soldiers, just like the police, seem to get somewhat of a bad rap in (some)movies and (some)T.V shows. Soldiers are either shown as grunts, jarheads, or idiots, just how police are showed as control freak and anal retentives...and idiots, jarheads and grunts. But I know two police officers and two marines. They are all just normal people, trained to deal with extraordinary circumstances. And I think they should be honored as such. Also in real life there are always the bad eggs. The corrupt policeman. The marines who shoot first and ask questions later. The radical Islamic faction that fly airplanes into buildings. Dose this mean that every policeman, every marine and every Muslim is evil, or bad in some way? Not at all.

I feel, in some ways, this idea honors them. People can see that there are real people, with real lives.

I also feel, in some ways, this idea is a slap in the face of these heroes, live and dead. Its...demeaning, you know. like...we can package their sacrifice and...sell it, if that makes sense. So, on the whole, I think that this thing is a bad idea.

But mostly this post is used as a way of me to say what I think about soldiers and how they deserve, if anything, our respect.