The Pentagon Wasn’t Ready for Gamers to Push Back

Last week, House Democrats almost stopped the Pentagon from using Twitch as a recruitment tool. The House voted down the measure, but that Congress discussed cutting Military funding at all signals a change in the relationship between civilians and the military. The Pentagon, facing a shortage of skilled recruits, turned to video games and online streaming to find new troops. As is so often the case with the U.S. Military, it was unprepared for the theater it was operating in.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/k7qxe9/the-pentagon-wasnt-ready-for-gamers-to-push-back
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One thing that this article glosses over is with the US military infiltrating Twitch they opened up the doors to something they’ve never done before: direct access to them from the rest of the world.

The internet is not American. Twitch might be and the organizations the US military sponsors might be, but not the internet. And while America’s military has a history of narcissism and being coddled domestically, I don’t think Americans (military or otherwise) know just quite how reviled the US military is internationally. And when they opened up a Twitch account, they gave the other 7.5 billion people a place where the US couldn’t block their voices out easily.

In a Twitch chat, there is no media or international relations or implicit threat of forced detention and/or gun violence that the US military and their recruiters can hide behind when they face opposition. It’s just a chat room of aliases of people rightfully pissed off at the atrocities they’ve committed. And the military’s whack-a-mole banning solution is, as pointed out, just begging for a lawsuit from any actual Americans they ban.

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