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Conclusion

In the various articles written by us (Justin, Jeroen, Ruud and Sean) we have attempted to explain the various forms of in- and exclusion that have been and are constructed in the game America's army: Operations, and the communities formed around it. Justin concluded that the game America's Army resembles an advergame closely, but is slightly different. It can better be described as a propagame. The propagame´s intention is to include. One of the characteristics of the Internet is interactivity. If one cannot participate one cannot play the game. Jeroen concludes that players within the virtual community of America's Army: Operations, willfully cooperate in a virtual dictatorship, where they have no say in the content of the game. Only the developers have the power, the players receive an illusion of power. Ruud concluded that in most clan-communities the players have a set hierarchy that sometimes can even resembles a dictatorship, the leaders having power, the players that fall under them practically none. Sean concludes in his article that America's Army: Operations is not a game that is free for all, but that there are sidelines which exclude a lot (if not the majority) of the worlds population. This being the case he states that the game was not created for recruitment but as a public relations stunt.
If one takes all these conclusions and tries to form them into one, you can say that all of us have seen that America's Army: Operations is a game that reaches its target group effectively. This target group is small compared to other media campaigns. We have seen how small this target group actually is and why it so small to begin with. Everyone that falls outside this small target group is excluded from the game and the communities surrounding it. In the target group of America's Army: Operations, players tend to accept rigid autocratic rules within a hierarchic social structure, much like the American army itself.

© 2003
Sean Storey, Justin Beck, Ruud Oud, Jeroen Steeman
Utrecht University