Recruitment to the armed forces still remains somewhat of a complex issue in America. While service members deserve our eternal respect, many still bristle at the U.S.’ recruitment strategy. The divide between gamers and our armed forces became evident over the past month. The US Army Twitter and Twitch streams drew criticism for a cavalier attitude and misleading contests. Eventually, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-D) proposed legislation that could have banned the military from recruiting on the platform. AOC’s bill eventually failed to reach the committee, but it was an indication that governing in the 21st century extends into the digital space.
Army Recruiting On Twitch
The US Army social media and esports teams had a rough July. Starting at the end of June, gamers recoiled at a cutesy “UwU” tweet from the Army’s official esports Twitter. Many said that the tweet was “unprofessional” and began to criticize US foreign policy. Things didn’t get better as the official Army Twitch channel was forced to end a fraudulent promotion. The Army’s auto-mods posted a link to a controller giveaway but actually directed you to a recruitment firm. This was in direct violation of Twitch’s contesting rules.
The Army’s activity in esports sprung AOC into action. An avid League of Legends player, she is perhaps one of the few members of congress with context for game streaming. She said in her speech to congress:
“This amendment is in direct alignment with… the values that children should not be targeted in general for many marketing purposes in addition to military service.”
AOC on the Army’s Twitch Strategy
Our On Campus team had a chance to talk about the bill. And if the Army recruiting on Twitch is as bad as she makes it sound.