for New Media New Citizenship
New Media and Digital Culture, Faculty of Arts, Utrecht University
April 8th, 2003
Justin Beck (0136239), Sean Storey (0142263), Ruud
Oud (0013943), Jeroen Steeman (0014001)
In 2002 the American Army launched a first person shooter named
America's Army: Operations (AA:O). This website bundles four articles
about America's Army written by students New Media and Digital Culture
at Utrecht University. These four articles all cover another element
of America's Army, hoping to offer a broad view over this phenomenon.
Although all articles are readable in different order, we have
a preferred order in which the articles will be understood best.
To begin with we offer our readers a short introduction and impression
of America's Army: Operations through a description and some images.
If you're not familiar with computer games we recommend you read
this part first. ()
After that all articles should be understandable.
Storey - America's Exclusion: Operations
In his article, Sean describes the practise of inclusion and exclusion
inside the game. He tells a lot about the game AA:O itself, wondering
if this game is 'really open for everyone'.
"This was their moment supreme, this virtual recruitment
tool would revolutionize recruitment, no more recruitment offices,
no more visiting schools, no. It would be like the beginning of
world war one, when every able body enthusiastically enrolled themselves
for honour, loyalty and not to forget adventure!"
Justin Beck - The
message is the game, or is it?
On the other hand, Justin analyses the practise of inclusion and
exclusion of the outside of the game. He focuses on the game as
an advertising tool to recruit soldiers for the American Army.
"The game America's Army, the propagame as I will call
it, is unique in its being. However it is also unique in its communication
strategies. America's Army enfolds the game concept as has never
been seen before on the Internet."
Ruud Oud - Virtual
Dictators, Real Exclusion
Ruud writes about groups of people playing together, clans. In his
articles he interviews a clan leader of an America's Army clan.
In his analysis he focuses on the practise of community forming
in such a clan.
"As a result of this sudden change gamers did what every
human does when encountered with a collective sphere: they began
to form groups in which they felt 'save'. And behold, clans were
Jeroen Steeman -
Empower yourself, defend freedom
In his article, Jeroen compares America's Army: Operations with
another popular first person shooter: Counterstrike. He focuses
on empowerment of the players in both games and their opportunities
to shape and reshape their community.
"The main difference however between Counterstrike and
AA:O is the structure of power. Where Counterstrike emerged as a
modification, developed by Gooseman and his community of active
gamers/developers, America's Army: Operations is completely developed
by the American Army, not leaving options for a community to co-develop
The use of icons on this
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