This scrapped game could've been the most accurate portrayal of Fallujah - We Are The Mighty
MIGHTY GAMING

This scrapped game could’ve been the most accurate portrayal of Fallujah

Making a video game based on historical events often means navigating the fine line between creating an experience that’s consistently engaging to the player without trivializing the gravity of the real event. This is especially true of military conflicts.

Battlefield 1’s single player campaign did a terrific job of this, giving the player the warning of, “you are not expected to survive” before tossing them into the grim reality that is WWI trench warfare.


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Other games, however, use the backdrop of the invasion of Normandy as yet another arena in which players can “360 No Scope” each other.

Then, you have Atomic Games’ controversial Six Days in Fallujah, which was slated to be a highly accurate representation of what the 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines encountered in November, 2004, during the Second Battle of Fallujah. Shortly after it was announced to the public in 2009, it was dropped by its publisher and is now nothing more than a “what if” of gaming.

As much as I love the FPS genre, most games lack the raw emotional connection that Six Days in Fallujah promised to offer.

(Atomic Games)
As much as I love the FPS genre, most games lack the raw emotional connection that Six Days in Fallujah promised to offer.
(Atomic Games)

The developers at Atomic Games took their project very seriously. Every aspect of the game was created based on interviews with over 70 individuals, including the U.S. Marines who fought there, Iraqi civilians, war historians, senior military officials, and even former Iraqi insurgents.

The game was a far cry from typical first-person shooters that reward players for sprinting around the map, spraying bullets at the bad guys. Instead, it was said to have been more like a survival-horror game. Every minor decision made in the game would have lasting effects on player’s experience. Additionally, the game was built on an astounding engine that allowed for a 100% destructible environment — bullet holes left in walls from a previous skirmish would exist into perpetuity.

The game’s director, Juan Benito, told GamePro Magazine that giving players a taste of the horror, fear, and misery experienced by real-life Marines in the battle was a top priority.

“These are scary places, with scary things happening inside of them. In the game, you’re plunging into the unknown, navigating through darkened interiors, and ‘surprises’ left by the insurgency. In most modern military shooters, the tendency is to turn the volume up to 11 and keep it there. Our game turns it up to 12 at times, but we dial it back down, too, so we can establish a cadence.”

This scrapped game could’ve been the most accurate portrayal of Fallujah
I mean, ‘Breach’ wasn’t terrible, but you could tell there wasn’t much heart put into the game.
(QC Games)

In Six Days in Fallujah, you would’ve followed a young Marine who was attached to the 3/1 Marines. Throughout the game, you’d encounter factual skirmishes that involved actual Marines and insurgents that were present at that given moment, based off accounts from those who were actually there. The Marines to your left and your right in those skirmishes were to be the actual Marines — which also meant that those who died in real life would die at the same moment in game. This, as you can imagine, was met with extreme controversy.

The game was being created to honor their fallen service members, but public condemnation proved too great and too universal, so it was dropped within the month by Konami — for very valid reasons.

After the publisher dropped out, the game’s director quietly left along with much of studio’s staff. The remaining assets were hobbled together to create the the sub-par Breach in attempt to recoup on the time invested in the doomed title. The president of Atomic Games promised that Six Days in Fallujah would eventually see the light of day.

This scrapped game could’ve been the most accurate portrayal of Fallujah
You know — if it updated its graphics to be comparable with modern games.
(Atomic Games)

Cases can be made for and against the game, but one thing is for certain: it would’ve offered something vastly different to gamers. In 2009, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 was released and multiplayer lobbies were filled brim with screaming pre-teens. It was just five years since the Second Battle of Fallujah, which might’ve been too soon, but it definitely would’ve been a grim reminder of the true horrors of war in an industry too-often trivialized it.

The gaming community has matured vastly in the last decade. Games like Valiant Heart and This War of Mine have all been based on the realities of war. Games like Arma III and Rainbow Six: Siege have all taken mature, realistic approaches to how modern shooters should play out.

If or when the game does eventually find its footing and a pathway to release, it’ll likely find support withing the military-veteran community — as long as the game doesn’t, even for a second, make light of the seriousness of the Second Battle of Fallujah.

MIGHTY GAMING

Breaking down where in nerdom the TALOS exo-suit belongs

Toiling away deep in the U.S. Army’s research and development arm of the Special Operations Command are the scientists crafting the Tactical Assault Light Operations Suit. It looks slick. It looks awesome. It looks like it’s going to change the battlefield in a big way.

The only problem with it is that when military journalists cover it, they see how it looks and immediately attribute it to some sci-fi universe by saying something like, “it’s a real-life Iron Man suit!” So, let’s take a closer look and determine where, exactly, within the broad horizon of nerdom this high-tech exo-suit belongs.


We weren’t exaggerating: Right off the bat, a comparison to Iron Man’s suit is invariably struck by nearly every single news outlet. To a degree, we can see why. The suit, officials have said, will be considered complete when it’s functional, bullet-proof, and weaponized.

Even Jim Geurtz of SOCOM jokingly told NPR that it’s “not at the Iron Man-flying-suit, you know, flying-at-50,000-feet level.” Since he’s developing the suit, he gets a pass on calling it an Iron Man suit — but a more apt comparison is a War Machine suit. Since the suit is not going to be powered by a nuclear fission reactor and fire lasers, it’s a better match with War Machine’s kinetic arsenal.

This scrapped game could’ve been the most accurate portrayal of Fallujah
If you give it to the Marines, they’ll probably spray paint a Punisher skull on it. Just watch.
(Punisher Vol 1. #218)

Though there’s no proof, we’re pretty sure the name TALOS is a backronym designed to share a name with the ancient Greek legend. In mythology, Talos is a bronze automaton said to have protected Crete from pirates and scoundrels (and is the God of Man in the Elder Scrolls universe, but that’s fantasy and not sci-fi). Coincidentally, Talos’ mythological job would fit it perfectly within the Boba Fett-inspired H&K AR500 suit. Looking at their helmet design, it’s obvious that they know full-well who they want it to look like.

This scrapped game could’ve been the most accurate portrayal of Fallujah
Even the NVGs flip down like Fett’s visor thingy. Fun Fact: That’s actually not an antennae on Boba Fett’s helmet.
(Lucasfilms Ltd.)

A comparison that the TALOS suit doesn’t get often enough is to the armor of Halo’s Space Marines. The design is strikingly similar to the armor worn by non-player characters in the series.

The suit was also once projected to be able to relay vital information to the wearer via a heads-up display. Command information could also be relayed to the user through their fancy set of glasses. The early designs weren’t too far off from the in-game version, but that was also back when they thought Google Glass was going to change the battlefield…

This scrapped game could’ve been the most accurate portrayal of Fallujah
The guy in the prototype suit is showcasing it to au00a0dude drinking Mountain Dewu00a0u2014 seems fitting for some reason.
(Bungie Studios)

MIGHTY GAMING

How ‘Fortnite’ is having fun promoting its fifth season

Marketing video games in today’s society is much different than most other products. Traditional advertising might work well for a film or a fast food chain, but old methods just don’t seem to grab gamers’ attention. So, many developers (and their publishers) have embraced the power of viral marketing.

Epic Games, the developers of insanely popular Fortnite, have set up an elaborate Alternate Reality Game (ARG) in which fans can find subtle clues in the real world and slowly unveil what’s in store for players of the game. This tactic is nothing new for the gaming community, but given how silly Fortnite is, fans can now look forward to finding some true wackiness out in the wild.


This scrapped game could’ve been the most accurate portrayal of Fallujah

New objects from seemingly all over the timeline are appearing in place of missing items.

(Epic Games)

Previous seasons have played on medieval, space, and superhero themes (for seasons two, three, and four respectively). Each of those seasons coincided with a special in-game offer, giving more cosmetic options to dedicated players. So, naturally, fans have been speculating about what’s to come when Fortnite’s fourth season comes to a close — and hints are beginning to surface.

The first clue came a few days ago when an in-game space shuttle launched. To watch the event, players (mostly) stopped fighting to sit and watch. Since then, in-game models have been disappearing and giant rifts have been forming in the skies above the map. But now it seems the oddities aren’t limited to strictly in-game events.

The real strangeness began when a giant Durr Burger, the icon of an in-game burger chain, was randomly found a few days ago outside of Palmdale, California. The burger was found by a photographer who had little understanding of the game — he just thought it was a weird burger placed next to an abandoned, retro police car (similar to the ones in the game). Next to the burger was a sign that reads, “this site is unstable. Beware of possible effects.”

Not too far from there is a camo-patterned, netted tent and another sign that reads, “if you can read this, you’re in range of the anomaly.”

When gamers went out to the California desert to investigate, they were greeted by a man who gave them a card with “Agent #3678” on one side and a phone number on the other. If you call the number, you’ll just hear a bunch of strange noises that sound like the in-game effect of someone being sucked into a rift.

Coincidentally, that number is (712) 380-4091. The area code is the day season 5 begins (July 12) and the rest can be turned upside-down to roughly read “I Go Home.”

This scrapped game could’ve been the most accurate portrayal of Fallujah

My biggest question is: Has anyone tried breaking it open yet? If not, why?

(Image by Reddit user /u/cerisedeguerre)

Meanwhile, European fans of the game have been finding llama pinatas in major cities. The first one was found just hanging out in a phone booth in London. A few hours later, another was found in Cologne, Germany and a third in Barcelona, Spain. Fans speculated that the next would appear in Paris, France (the llamas were facing in that direction), but then they found another in Warsaw and Cannes.

Gamers make for incredible sleuths. A dedicated few decoded the weird sounds heard when calling the mysterious telephone number with a spectogram (a program that turns audio messages into visual codes) to get an image. Sure enough, the weird sounds have been changing with each found llama — the image created from the sounds are coordinates.

Most of the llamas have been found by pure luck, but it seems they needed the coordinates to discover the llama in Paris.

By piecing clues together (and with the help of some hackers who prefer a more direct route instead of playing games) to find out what happens next, it’s looking like the fifth season of Fortnite will be filled with time-travel-related stuff. Fans of the game can look forward to an entire history’s worth of cosmetic gear and in-game tomfoolery, ranging from vikings and pirates to cowboys, ninjas, and dinosaurs.

MIGHTY GAMING

6 awesome items from ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ we want in real life

While Solo: A Star Wars Story may not exactly be crushing it in the box office, the film is an otherwise entertaining and world-building heist flick that hints to a bolder and bigger Star Wars Universe, one that includes characters who should be dead and intergalactic crime syndicates sparking the seeds of the resistance. Is it what hardcore fans wanted? No. Does it answer questions you never asked, such as why is Han’s last name Solo? Sure does. But you know what? It’s fun! It’s exciting! And, like every good Star Wars film, has its fair share of cool gadgets we want to see in real life. From Lando’s card-shooting wrist-holster and his many (many) cloaks to that amazing drink-pouring droid, here are six items from Solo: A Star Wars Story that we wish were real.


1. Lando’s Sabacc Bracelet

While Sabacc enthusiasts can buy card games “inspired” by the game of Sabacc online, perhaps the most fun part of watching the game unfold in Solo was the fact that Donald Glover’s Lando had a trick literally up his sleeve. He wears a bracelet in which he hides Sabacc trump card, so to speak, one that ensures he will always win the game, especially when laying his important property on the line, like, I don’t know, a certain spaceship. While he doesn’t get to use his trusted tool in the final game of Sabacc, it’s definitely a cool tool. It fits comfortably under the most flamboyant dress shirt. And, in typical Lando style, it’s also stylish. Let’s make this happen.

2. All of Lando’s Cloaks

This scrapped game could’ve been the most accurate portrayal of Fallujah

One of the funnier gags in Solo is when Qi’ra steps away from the crew on the Millennium Falcon and finds herself in Lando’s closet, which is quite literally just full of cloaks. There are like at least 30 cloaks in there and Qi’ra plays dress up with all of them. There are royal blue cloaks. Deep red cloaks. Midnight black cloaks. Some of the cloaks are appropriate for battle. Qi’ra wears one on Kessel in anticipation of that battle, which comes in handy in a slightly-off screen moment where she dominates a security guard. She does a front-flip and looks super cool doing it! Also, the cloaks are flame retardants, as Qi’ra later ripped it off her body to put out a fire that started on the Falcon. Here, here, Disney: please make Lando’s many cloaks available. Halloween for kids, yes. But how about we get some adult versions from Atelier Lando?

3. Dryden Vos’ Spears

Gangster Dryden Vos, played by Paul Bettany, carries some badass weaponry: two matching, double-sided spears that he wears like brass knuckles and which have a red laser running across the blade-edge. Up there with Darth Maul’s red, double-bladed lightsaber and Kylo Ren’s Crossguard lightsaber, the weapon is one of the more creative hand-to-hand combat tools in the Star Wars universe. A Nerf-ized version of this weapon would be pretty sweet.

4. Han’s Gold Dice

One of the most surprising Easter eggs of Solo was seeing the origins of the twin golden dice that gained massive significance in the Star Wars sequels and in The Last Jedi. The twin dice, attached by a golden chain, were actually a good luck trinket for Solo that he often passed to his former lover, Qi’ra. Before she left his life for good by joining, what is ostensibly the dark side, she passed them back to him as a final wish of good luck. Later, we see the trinket being used by Han, Luke, and Leia to the same ends. Although the Gold Dice wouldn’t be so much of a toy but a collectible, their significance in the universe as an arbiter of good luck over 30 years is pretty cool. We’d hang ’em on the rearview mirrors of our personal Millenium Falcons, which are just mid-sized sedans and minivans but, whatever.

5. A Dejarik table

This scrapped game could’ve been the most accurate portrayal of Fallujah

Although not a new addition to the Star Wars Universe, the Dejarik table on the Millennium Falcon got a lot of screen-time in Solo when Woody Harrelson’s Tobias Beckett explains the game to Chewie for the first time. Although many replicas of the game have hit the market, there has yet to be a fully operational version of the table that plays the game as it really exists in the Universe, where the “chess” pieces are holograms. Every time I see that damn game I just want to play it. It’s like Wizarding chess meets AR games. It wouldn’t take much to make this a reality. Sure there’s Hologrid: Monster Battle. But can’t we get Bethesda or someone to release a legit version?

6. That Robot That Pours Lando’s Drink

When Han and Lando meet for the first time, they play Sabacc. As they are sizing each other up, Lando lazily grabs his cup and a flying droid comes to fill it up with what I assume is some sort of delicious boozy cocktail made with space Bourbon. Lando doesn’t even say anything. No verbal commands, nothing. First of all, dope. Second of all, how do I get a drink-filling-droid in my office and home? Every time I want a glass of water in the middle of the night, you’re telling me the world could have flying droids that just fill cups up with the liquid of our choice on command? Amazon’s using droids to send packages. So can’t someone build a drink-serving droid? Let’s get this going, Bezos.

This article originally appeared on Fatherly. Follow @FatherlyHQ on Twitter.

MIGHTY GAMING

How veterans and their families can get free video games

Most veterans who have served in the past 20 years are probably familiar with video games. From barracks LAN parties, to marathon sessions of Madden NFL at the MWR while downrange, it’s safe to say veterans like to play video games. Studies have shown that video games also help veterans recover from some mental health challenges, providing an escape while boosting confidence, personal growth, leadership, and social connections.

Operation Supply Drop’s Games to Grunts program supports community engagement to veterans, military, and their families through video games. Most of the games they offer are on Steam, such as TEKKEN 7, Cooking Simulator, and Vietnam 65′, but other platforms are also available, like free XBOX Game Passes. All of the games are available through digital download codes.


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7 tactics in gaming that would result in a UCMJ hearing

When people play video games, they tend to breeze through any mundane moments just to keep the game moving along. After all, no one wants to spend $60 just to sit around and deal with the regular crap that comes with real life. In the real world, we have to deal with all that regular crap because there are typically pesky laws or social norms that prevent us from doing whatever we feel is easier — or more fun.

The following tactics are generally accepted (and often rewarded) in the gaming world, but would likely land you in a UCMJ hearing if you tried them in the real, boring world.

Stealing vehicles to get somewhere faster

Walking long distances sucks and driving fast is fun. Logically, most gamers would rather ‘borrow’ the random car (or bike or horse) that’s just sitting right there and use it to go on their quest.

There are many games that do this, but the one most famous for it has it in the title — Grand Theft Auto.


This scrapped game could’ve been the most accurate portrayal of Fallujah

Because walking is hard.

Taking whatever you can find

Sometimes, gamers feel compelled to find all the hidden collectibles in order to unlock something. Other times, we just want to stock up on 500 wheels of cheese before we go fight a dragon —because you never know when you might need them.

In the real world, picking up whatever you want is typically considered theft — even if you’re 100-percent certain that the dead guy won’t be using that ammo.

This scrapped game could’ve been the most accurate portrayal of Fallujah

Now you’re ready to fight a dragon.

Sleeping wherever, whenever

A lot of games nowadays have a day-and-night mechanic. To make it feel more like “real life,” these games will often offer the player the ability to sleep, healing wounds and passing the time. Usually, you can just tap a button and, theoretically, your character falls asleep on the spot.

While troops may actually have this amazing “sleep wherever, whenever” ability, doing it when you’ve got deadlines to make spells bad news.

This scrapped game could’ve been the most accurate portrayal of Fallujah

Skipping conversations

No one wants to deal with drawn-out cinematics or long strings of dialogue while doing some side quest. When players are given the option to just tap ‘X’ and get it over with, they will.

In the military, you can’t just fast forward through the middle of a conversation with your commander — but we’d like to see someone try.

This scrapped game could’ve been the most accurate portrayal of Fallujah

Then again, some games figured the gamers out.

(Nintendo)

Sneaking into wherever

You never know what the little corners of a game might be hiding. You might come across a collectible item, pick up some awesome loot, or just find satisfaction in revealing every tiny bit of the map.

Generally speaking, just going into unauthorized areas just to to see if there’s anything cool inside will net you an asschewing.

This scrapped game could’ve been the most accurate portrayal of Fallujah

And yet it works perfectly fine to avoid details!

Destroying everything for the hell of it

Video games tend to reward players for wanton destruction with loot. Remember, suspiciously crumbly wall over there might lead into a cave where old people give out legendary swords.

Sadly, the military doesn’t look too kindly on its troops just randomly blowing crap up. The excuse of “I wanted to see what was behind it” won’t hold up.

This scrapped game could’ve been the most accurate portrayal of Fallujah

That’s a nice ramp you’ve got there… It’d be a shame if something happened to it.

Teabagging

There is no more definitive way to prove you’ve beaten someone than by running over top of their dead body and rapidly crouching, as if your manhood was a teabag.

This scrapped game could’ve been the most accurate portrayal of Fallujah

Even if you politely phrase it as “victory crouching,” it’s still getting you sent to the commander’s office.

In the real world, there are plenty of SHARP violations involved with trying that — defeated enemy or not.

MIGHTY GAMING

Here’s how you can play in the new Call of Duty esports league

Everyone’s favorite gaming franchise, Call of Duty, launched its esports league Jan. 24 to the excitement of fans across the globe. Owned by Activision Blizzard, the Call of Duty franchise continues to be their most popular brand and the company is hoping to capitalize on that success with this new league.


That’s right: thousands of people are gathering in stadiums to watch other people play video games. Just like toddlers like to watch toy unboxing videos, middle-aged women like to watch other people buying houses, gamers came out in droves to watch some of the best in the world go head to head playing Call of Duty.

The league makes sense: one of the Call of Duty titles has been the best-selling game in the U.S. for nine of the past 11 years, according to market analysis firm the NPD Group.

According to ESPN’s Jacob Wolf, Call of Duty League franchise owners paid million or more to secure their place in the Call of Duty League, which boasts 12 professional teams, representing 11 markets across North America and Europe. The teams are:

This scrapped game could’ve been the most accurate portrayal of Fallujah

Call of Duty Esports League Teams

Here is the rundown of the Official Call of Duty League Rules:

  • Pro teams compete in 5-vs-5 Call of Duty®: Modern Warfare multiplayer matches, on PlayStation®4.
  • Call of Duty League matches will be played around the globe in the home market of each team in the league.
  • The league features the best Call of Duty esports players from around the globe.
  • Players are paid; starting salaries range around k.
  • At the end of the regular season, the top 8 ranked teams, including four wild card spots will advance to the playoffs.
  • During the Call of Duty League Championship Weekend, the final six Playoffs teams will face off in double-elimination competition until the final two pro teams go head to head in the Call of Duty League Championship.
  • Teams will be battling to take home the glory of being the best in the world and reportedly over million in prizes. Yes, we said million.

Want to get in on this? There are plenty of ways for fans to get involved, according to the Call of Duty League website:

Launching later this season (2020), fans may sign up as duos to compete in Call of Duty®: Modern Warfare “Gunfight” matches for a chance to win prizing and to compete at a Call of Duty League event. More details about the City Circuit will be announced in the coming months.

Additionally, throughout the season the Call of Duty League will unlock new opportunities for spectators and amateur players to participate online and at league events to be announced in the future.

Here are the results from opening weekend.

This scrapped game could’ve been the most accurate portrayal of Fallujah

Call of Duty League Standings


Fans can vote for their favorite players on the website as well as see league standings. Get ready to buy all the merch.

Articles

How the military uses video games to get better at killing

Troops go through seemingly endless amounts of training that can be expensive, boring, and even dangerous. In an effort to make training cheaper, safer, and more effective, the service branches have turned increasingly to video games and simulators.


Possibly the most immersive system in use today, the VIRTSIM system from Raytheon allows users to operate in an open area the size of a basketball court. Trainees wear a set of sensors and feedback gear that records their every action and feeds it into the simulator. Virtual reality goggles show them a simulated world that they move through as a team.

The system doesn’t use wires or tethers to power the suits or transmit data, so participants can move like they would in the real world.

Similarly, the Army’s Dismounted Soldier Training System allows troops to train as a squad in virtual reality. The system allows for customizable missions and incorporates all of a trainee’s movements except for actually walking. Because of the high cost of treadmills, each soldier stands on a rubber pad and moves through the environment with a controller mounted on their weapon, meaning they can’t train the muscle memory of leaping to cover or learn as well to operate with muscle fatigue.

This scrapped game could’ve been the most accurate portrayal of Fallujah
The Dismounted Solder Training System allows soldiers to train as a squad. Photo: US Army Maj. Penny Zamora

Still, the DSTS provides the chance for soldiers to respond to a mortar attack, react to a near ambush, or any number of dangerous situations that are impossible to train on in the real world.

One of the older simulators, the Engagement Skills Trainer 2000, has even more limitations. Troops are confined to a room and can’t move their character through the simulation at all. Instead of looking through goggles to see the virtual world, a projection of the simulated battle is displayed on one or more walls and trainees engage targets in it.

The EST 2000 does have weapons that closely simulate actual M4s, M9s, and other commons systems. The weapons keep track of how the soldier aims and fires, catching even small actions like trigger squeeze. This allows marksmanship trainers to collect detailed information about what a service member is doing right or wrong.

This scrapped game could’ve been the most accurate portrayal of Fallujah
Soldiers train in the Engagement Skills Trainer 2000 April 6, 2015 in before heading to live-fire training at Saber Junction 15. Photo: US Army Sgt. 1st Class Caleb Barrieau

The military branches use simulators similar to the ESTS 2000 to train pilots and vehicle crew members. While not being able to walk limits training opportunities for ground troops, people in vehicles don’t have to worry about that. Warrior Hall at Fort Rucker allows new Army pilots to train on different helicopter airframes. The Navy and Air Force have similar programs for jet pilots.

While the simulators are great, the goal isn’t to replace the standard training but to augment. Troops can use the simulator to practice rifle fundamentals before heading to the range, experience hitting a building with their squad before their first visit to a shoot house.

And the military still has even more ambitious plans for simulations. The Future Holistic Training Environment Live Synthetic program would tie together different simulations and allow players to participate in massive exercises. Pilots training in New Mexico could fly support for infantrymen training in California while battle staff commanded from North Carolina.

Until then, there’s always video games.

MIGHTY GAMING

6 reasons why it would suck to be a Space Marine in ‘Halo’

Throughout the Halo series, you’ll find yourself fighting alongside (or within) units of Space Marines — and it’s abundantly clear that being one of them would be absolutely terrible. If you think about how real-life Marines are treated, it’s not hard to see why: they get the worst gear and use it to take on the toughest battles.

The enemy in Halo is an alien faction known as The Covenant. They’re a brutal, calculating, formidable opponent for Earth’s futuristic military. It’s their goal (initially) to find Earth and wipe humanity from the universe, so it’s safe to say the stakes are high.

If you’ve ever dreamt of being part of the futuristic fight against The Covenant and you’re not lucky enough to be Master Chief, here are a few reasons why being one of the many faceless Space Marines in the series would suck.


This scrapped game could’ve been the most accurate portrayal of Fallujah

Don’t let the firepower get you down.

(Microsoft Game Studios)

You would feel like you’re not making progress

You’ll quickly realize The Covenant isn’t just trying to wipe out entire planets, they’re succeeding at a devastating pace. You might go home after your deployment only to find a pile of rubble. Bummer.

Fighting invisible aliens

Since the onset of the series, Master Chief has found various power-ups to help him through the fight. One of the most iconic is active camouflage. We’ve never seen a regular Space Marine pick one up, but we’ve definitely spotted (barely) a few Covenant Elite using it. After you dump a magazine’s worth of ammo into an invisible enemy, you’ll never feel safe in the dark again.

This scrapped game could’ve been the most accurate portrayal of Fallujah

They’re even terrifying to look at.

(Microsoft Game Studios)

Fighting zombie aliens

The Flood, an alien species of parasitic organisms, are easily the biggest pains in the ass in Halo. They’re fast, they multiply like crazy, and they’re out to infect anything — human or otherwise. Not only will they want to consume and convert you, they’ll actually be smart enough to use your guns against your friends if they get you.

This scrapped game could’ve been the most accurate portrayal of Fallujah

You’ll just have to get used to it.

(Microsoft Game Studios)

Mortality rate is horrendous

Covenant fighters, for anyone not named Master Chief, are extremely difficult to kill. They can absorb a seemingly endless amount of rounds from Marine rifles and employ devastating weapons and vehicles to wipe out entire squads in a single blow.

Deployments would be long

In real life, if you get sent across the world on deployment, you’ll spend a few months getting things done before coming back. In space, you might find yourself on the other side of the galaxy. If the UNSC Marine Corps spent the time and money to get you that far, you can be sure you’ll be staying for a while.

This is all assuming you still have a home planet to return to, of course.

This scrapped game could’ve been the most accurate portrayal of Fallujah

In true higher-up fashion.

(Microsoft Game Studios)

Master Chief will always take the glory

Master Chief is mostly a lone wolf but, occasionally, Space Marines help him out. Unfortunately, he won’t need your help — he probably just needs your sniper rifle. To be fair, he’ll typically do the heavy lifting and most of the Marines die off anyways, so don’t get upset when he’s the one getting medals at the end.

MIGHTY GAMING

The biggest awards show in gaming just revealed this year’s nominees

The Game Awards 2019 has announced this years list of nominees, which includes 107 different games spread across more than 20 categories.

Established in 2014, The Game Awards is an annual ceremony featuring live performances, celebrity presenters, major industry announcements, and world premiere trailers. More than 26 million people streamed the awards last year.

This year’s nominees are led by games like “Death Stranding,” “Fortnite,” “Control,” “Apex Legends,” and “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate,” all of which received three or more nominations. The Game Awards also includes special categories for unique genres, independent releases, virtual reality, and esports.


The Game Awards advisory board includes executives from more than a dozen major gaming companies, including Xbox, Nintendo, Sony Interactive Entertainment, Valve, and Tencent.

Fans can help choose the winners in every category on the event’s website or by searching “TGA vote” on Google. You can vote for a winner in each category once per day through December 11 — your vote will be authenticated with an existing social media or Google account. (Chinese viewers can use Bilibili to vote.)

The Game Awards ceremony will be held on December 12 at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles at 5:30 p.m. PT. The awards will be streamed live on more than 60 different international platforms — including YouTube, Twitch, Twitter, Facebook, and Mixer — but tickets to attend the event in person are also on sale now.

Cinemark Theatres across the United States will host a special event in 53 of its theaters where it’ll pair a live simulcast of the awards with the world premiere screenings of “Jumanji: The Next Level.”

Here’s the full list of The Game Awards 2019 nominees:

This scrapped game could’ve been the most accurate portrayal of Fallujah

“Death Stranding”

(Kojima Productions)

Game of the Year

  • “Control” (Remedy/505 Games)
  • “Death Stranding” (Kojima Productions/Sony Interactive Entertainment)
  • “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” (Bandai-Namco/Sora/Nintendo)
  • “Resident Evil 2” (Capcom/Capcom)
  • “Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice “(From Software/Activision)
  • “The Outer Worlds” (Obsidian/Private Division)
This scrapped game could’ve been the most accurate portrayal of Fallujah

“Resident Evil 2”

(Capcom)

Best Game Direction

  • “Control” (Remedy/505 Games)
  • “Death Stranding” (Kojima Productions/SIE)
  • “Resident Evil 2” (Capcom/Capcom)
  • “Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice” (From Software/Activision)
  • “Outer Wilds” (Mobius Digital/Annapurna)
This scrapped game could’ve been the most accurate portrayal of Fallujah

“Control”

(505 Games)

Best Narrative

  • “A Plague Tale: Innocence” (Asobo/Focus Home)
  • “Control” (Remedy/505)
  • “Death Stranding “(Kojima Productions/SIE)
  • “Disco Elysium” (ZA/UM)
  • “The Outer Worlds” (Obsidian/Private Division)
This scrapped game could’ve been the most accurate portrayal of Fallujah

“Cadence of Hyrule”

(Nintendo)

Best Score/Music

  • “Cadence of Hyrule” (Brace Yourself Games/Nintendo)
  • “Death Stranding” (Kojima Productions/SIE)
  • “Devil May Cry 5” (Capcom)
  • “Kingdom Hearts III” (Square Enix)
  • “Sayonara Wild Hearts” (Simogo/Annapurna)
This scrapped game could’ve been the most accurate portrayal of Fallujah

“Call of Duty: Modern Warfare”

(Activision)

Best Audio Design

  • “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare” (Infinity Ward/Activision)
  • “Control” (Remedy/505)
  • “Death Stranding” (Kojima Productions/SIE)
  • “Gears 5” (The Coalition/Xbox Game Studios)
  • “Resident Evil 2” (Capcom)
  • “Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice” (From Software/Activision)
This scrapped game could’ve been the most accurate portrayal of Fallujah

“Gears 5”

(Xbox Game Studios)

Best Performance

  • Ashly Burch as Parvati Holcomb, “The Outer Worlds”
  • Courtney Hope as Jesse Faden, “Control”
  • Laura Bailey as Kait Diaz, “Gears 5”
  • Mads Mikkelsen as Cliff, “Death Stranding”
  • Matthew Porretta as Dr. Casper Darling, “Control”
  • Norman Reedus as Sam Porter Bridges, “Death Stranding”
This scrapped game could’ve been the most accurate portrayal of Fallujah

“Concrete Genie”

Games for Impact

  • “Concrete Genie” (Pixelopus/SIE)
  • “Gris” (Nomada Studio/Devolver)
  • “Kind Words” (Popcannibal)
  • “Life is Strange 2” (Dontnod/Square Enix)
  • “Sea of Solitude” (Jo-Mei Games/EA)
This scrapped game could’ve been the most accurate portrayal of Fallujah

(Apex Legends)

Best Ongoing Game

  • “Apex Legends” (Respawn)
  • “Destiny 2” (Bungie)
  • “Final Fantasy XIV” (Square Enix)
  • “Fortnite” (Epic Games)
  • “Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege” (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft)
This scrapped game could’ve been the most accurate portrayal of Fallujah

“Outer Wilds”

(Annapurna Interactive)

Best Independent Game

  • “Baba Is You” (Hempuli)
  • “Disco Elysium” (ZA/UM)
  • “Katana ZERO” (Askiisoft/Devoler)
  • “Outer Wilds” (Mobius Digital/Annapurna)
  • “Untitled Goose Game” (House House/Panic)
This scrapped game could’ve been the most accurate portrayal of Fallujah

“Sayonara Wild Hearts”

(Annapurna)

Best Mobile Game

  • “Call of Duty: Mobile” (TiMi Studios/Activision)
  • “GRINDSTONE” (Capybara Games)
  • “Sayonara Wild Hearts” (Simogo/Annapurna)
  • “Sky: Children of Light” (Thatgamecompany)
  • “What the Golf?” (Tribland)
This scrapped game could’ve been the most accurate portrayal of Fallujah

“Fortnite”

(Epic Games)

Best Community Support

  • “Apex Legends” (Respawn/EA)
  • “Destiny 2” (Bungie)
  • “Final Fantasy XIV” (Square Enix)
  • “Fortnite “(Epic Games)
  • “Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege” (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft)
This scrapped game could’ve been the most accurate portrayal of Fallujah

(Squanch Games)

Best VR/AR Game

  • “Asgard’s Wrath” (Sanzaru Games/Oculus Studios)
  • “Blood Truth” (SIE London Studio/SIE)
  • “Beat Saber” (Beat Games)
  • “No Man’s Sky” (Hello Games)
  • “Trover Saves the Universe” (Squanch Games)
This scrapped game could’ve been the most accurate portrayal of Fallujah

“Devil May Cry 5”

(Capcom)

Best Action Game

  • “Apex Legends” (Respawn/EA)
  • “Astral Chain” (Platinum Games/Nintendo)
  • “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare” (Infinity Ward/Activision)
  • “Devil May Cry 5” (Capcom/Capcom)
  • “Gears 5” (The Coalition/Xbox Game Studios)
  • “Metro Exodus” (4A Games/Deep Silver)
This scrapped game could’ve been the most accurate portrayal of Fallujah

“Borderlands 3”

(Gearbox Software)

Best Action/Adventure Game

  • “Borderlands 3” (Gearbox/2K)
  • “Control” (Remedy/505 Games)
  • “Death Stranding” (Kojima Productions/SIE)
  • “Resident Evil 2” (Capcom)
  • “The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening” (Grezzo/Nintendo)
  • “Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice” (From Software/Activision)
This scrapped game could’ve been the most accurate portrayal of Fallujah

(Disney/Square Enix)

Best Roleplaying Game

  • “Disco Elysium” (ZA/UM)
  • “Final Fantasy XIV” (Square Enix)
  • “Kingdom Hearts III” (Square Enix)
  • “Monster Hunter World: Iceborne” (Capcom)
  • “The Outer Worlds” (Obsidian/Private Division)
This scrapped game could’ve been the most accurate portrayal of Fallujah

“Mortal Kombat 11”

(NetherRealm Studios)

Best Fighting Game

  • “Dead or Alive 6” (Team Ninja/Koei Tecmo)
  • “Jump Force” (Spike Chunsoft/Bandai Namco)
  • “Mortal Kombat 11” (NetherRealm/WBIE)
  • “Samurai Showdown” (SNK/Athlon)
  • “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” (Bandai Namco/Sora/Nintendo)
This scrapped game could’ve been the most accurate portrayal of Fallujah

“Super Smash Bros. Ultimate”

(Nintendo)

Best Family Game

  • “Luigi’s Mansion 3” (Next Level Games/Nintendo)
  • “Ring Fit Adventure” (Nintendo EPD/Nintendo)
  • “Super Mario Maker 2” (Nintendo EPD/Nintendo)
  • “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” (Bandai Namco/Sora/Nintendo)
  • “Yoshi’s Crafted World” (Good-Feel/Nintendo)
This scrapped game could’ve been the most accurate portrayal of Fallujah

“Fire Emblem: Three Houses”

(Nintendo)

Best Strategy Game

  • “Age of Wonders: Planetfall” (Triumph Studios/Paradox)
  • “Anno 1800” (Blue Byte/Ubisoft)
  • “Fire Emblem: Three Houses” (Intelligent Systems/Koei Tecmo/Nintendo)
  • “Total War: Three Kingdoms” (Creative Assembly/Sega)
  • “Tropico 6” (Limbic Entertainment/Kalypso Media)
  • “Wargroove” (Chucklefish)
This scrapped game could’ve been the most accurate portrayal of Fallujah

“Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled”

(Activision)

Best Sports/Racing Game

  • Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled” (Beenox/Activision)
  • “DiRT Rally 2.0” (Codemasters)
  • “eFootball Pro Evolution Soccer 2020” (PES Productions/Konami)
  • “F1 2019” (Codemasters)
  • “FIFA 20” (EA Sports)
This scrapped game could’ve been the most accurate portrayal of Fallujah

“Tom Clancy’s The Division 2”

(Ubisoft)

Best Multiplayer Game

  • “Apex Legends” (Respawn/EA)
  • “Borderlands 3” (Gearbox/2K)
  • “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare” (Infinity Ward/Activision)
  • “Tetris 99” (Arika/Nintendo)
  • “Tom Clancy’s The Division 2” (Massive Entertainment/Ubisoft)
This scrapped game could’ve been the most accurate portrayal of Fallujah

(Blizzard Entertainment)

Best Esports Game

  • “Counter-Strike: Global Offensive” (Valve)
  • “DOTA2” (Valve)
  • “Fortnite” (Epic Games)
  • “League of Legends” (Riot Games)
  • “Overwatch” (Blizzard)

Best Esports Player

  • Kyle “Bugha” Giersdorf (Immortals, Fortnite)
  • Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok (SK Telecom, League of Legends)
  • Luka “Perkz” Perkovic

Content Creator of the Year

  • Courage — Jack Dunlop
  • Dr. Lupo — Benjamin Lupo
  • Ewok — Soleil Wheeler
  • Grefg — David Martínez
  • Shroud — Michael Grzesiek

This article originally appeared on Business Insider. Follow @BusinessInsider on Twitter.

Lists

6 fictional armies that would suck to fight against

When a writer needs to think up some great, imposing force to pit against their protagonist, sometimes they go a little overboard. Yeah, it’s great to see some young farmboy find the strength within needed to lead a rebellion against an evil, galactic empire, but most times, the troops fighting alongside the protagonist don’t have magic space powers (we’re looking at you, Luke).


This scrapped game could’ve been the most accurate portrayal of Fallujah

And yet anyone who’s never seen the show will still think they’re just silly little robots…

(BBC)

The Daleks (Doctor Who)

At first glance, the Daleks are kind of silly. A rolling pepper shaker with two sticks for arms might not seem imposing — until you realize they’re almost impossible to kill inside their shells.

Fighting a near-undying force that’s backed by a ridiculous amount of troops hellbent on your extermination isn’t ideal — it doesn’t matter that you could just put a hat over their eyestalk.

This scrapped game could’ve been the most accurate portrayal of Fallujah

Yep. And the other villains in the game try to capture these things — doesn’t work like that.

(Bioware)

The Reapers (Mass Effect)

Normally, giant, spacefaring warships are hard to kill. They’re even harder to kill if they’re sentient and are capable indoctrinating entire galaxies under their control.

Reapers are massive beings often confused with space ships. They dominate entire star systems by slowly brainwashing their inhabitants. Or, if that takes too long and they just need some troops fast, they can shoot out robot appendages to turn anyone fighting them into lifeless, obedient husks. Every conquered world joins their ranks, becoming a new enemy that our heroes must fight physically and psychologically.

This scrapped game could’ve been the most accurate portrayal of Fallujah

A rocket launcher may be overkill, but you don’t want to take any chances.

(Bungie)

The Flood (Halo)

What’s worse than fighting zombies? Fighting space zombies. One of the most deadly things about the Flood is that they can destroy their enemies with a single touch.

They cover battlefields in disease, meaning any step may lead to infection. The Flood is so terrifying that it takes two great armies, the humans and the Covenant, to band together and defeat them.

This scrapped game could’ve been the most accurate portrayal of Fallujah

Poor bug. No one ever takes them seriously.

(TriStar Pictures)

The Arachnid (Starship Troopers)

No good military satire is complete without an insane enemy that comes in insane numbers and is armed with insane psychic abilities.

One of the most deadly things about the Arachnids was how mindless they seem. Everyone who initially thought, “oh, just a giant bug” was in for a rude awakening when they discovered they can communicate telepathically and shoot down spaceships in orbit.
This scrapped game could’ve been the most accurate portrayal of Fallujah

The Borg even managed to assimilate the great Captain Jean-Luc Picard. And adding Picard to their ranks definitely gives them an edge.

(Paramount Television)

The Borg (Star Trek)

These guys are the culmination of all the terrifying things on this list. Put together highly advanced technology, overwhelming numbers, near invulnerability, and mass assimilation and you end up with the Borg.

With most sci-fi hiveminds, destroying their leader usually means the destruction of their entire force. But with the Borg, it just means another Queen must take their place.

This scrapped game could’ve been the most accurate portrayal of Fallujah

Who would win: 40 millenia of technological advancements or one Orky boy?

(Games Workshop)

The Orks (Warhammer 40k)

To be fair, every army in Warhammer 40k is a force to be reckoned with. But even in a universe filled with futuristic demons, robot zombies, and blood-thirsty elves, the Orks are considered the most successful intergalactic conquerors.

When the space savages aren’t fighting among themselves, they’ll band together to overwhelm their foes — even if those foes are Chaos gods, alien samurai, or whatever the hell Tyranids are.

MIGHTY GAMING

What the science says about that moment in ‘The Last Jedi’

It’s been well over six months since Star Wars: The Last Jedi came out and audiences have gone through the full cycle of liking it on opening night and disliking it the longer they spend thinking about it. Now, it’s been released for viewing in homes across America and leaking potential spoilers is no longer a crime punishable by death.

That being said, this is your official spoiler alert. We are going to talk about Star Wars: The Last Jedi ahead.


This scrapped game could’ve been the most accurate portrayal of Fallujah

And my personal question: If that was such an effective tactic, why not just attach hyperspace drives onto asteroids and use them to bombard enemies?

(Lucasfilms)

Still with us? Okay, here we go.

In the second act of the film, the First Order has the Resistance cornered. Vice Admiral Haldo orders her people to board the transport ships and evacuate to the nearby planet, Crait. She then pilots the Raddus and aims it right at the First Order fleet and their flagship, the Supremacy.

She floors the Raddus into near hyperspeed and smacks right into the bad guys in what was one of the coolest moments of the film. Pieces of the shattered Supremacy then domino-effect outward, into the other ships, destroying them as well.

As awesome as this moment was, it opens up many questions for the fans that could be better understood with some science. Like, is that even possible? What kind of force (not that kind) would be required to pull that off?

This scrapped game could’ve been the most accurate portrayal of Fallujah

Everything always comes back to science.

The filmmakers behind the Star Wars universe have taken many creative liberties with the franchise, telling elaborate storiesat the expense of scientific reasoning— and that’s fine.The series is literally about magical space samurai that befriend countless alien species without translators and everyone seems to be just fine walking on random planets without wearing space suits.

In this one particular instance — the hyperspace Kamikaze move — everything seems to be perfectly in order. This all comes down to Albert Einstein’s famous mass-energy equivalency formula, otherwise known as E = mc2.

Even though many people see that formula and think it’s just some smart guy’s way of proving he’s smart, it’s actually the fundamentals of energy. It means, in basic terms, that energy and mass are interchangeable.

This scrapped game could’ve been the most accurate portrayal of Fallujah

Cut the movie some slack. It’s far more interesting than reading science textbooks.

(Lucasfilms)

With a little algebra, however, this same formula can be rearranged to explain that achieving the speed of light would be nearly impossible because everything within the universe with mass would require a incalculable amount of energy to achieve such a speed. It’s challenging to send even a single atom at a fraction of light speed, let alone a massive frigate.

In the real world, achieving hyperspeed is near impossible for anything other than massless photons. But this is the universe with tiny green muppets teaching farmboys how to move rocks with their minds. Let’s pretend that the hyper-drives hand wave that all away and moving faster than the speed of light is possible and it can be achieved by things with mass.

This scrapped game could’ve been the most accurate portrayal of Fallujah

It’s basically the idea behind the “Rod from God” that never happened.

Thankfully for the audience, the next scientific laws that apply to this scene are also very well-known: Newton’s First and Second Laws of Motion. The first says that every object in a state of uniform motion will remain in that state of motion unless an external force is applied to it. The second states that the rate of change of momentum of a body is directly proportional to the force applied, and this change in momentum takes place in the direction of the applied force.

In normal-people words, this means that since the Raddus was extremely massive and was working up to light speed (which meant that it still had mass at that point), it had an unfathomable amount of energy behind it’s punch that could, theoretically, shred through anything with ease.

This is a magnified version of a rail gun on planet Earth. You take something heavy, use magnets to send it extremely high speeds, and crash it into something. Boom. No more enemy.

This scrapped game could’ve been the most accurate portrayal of Fallujah

Then again, this could also explain why two missiles could destroy a Death Star and a couple of laser blasts destroy the second one.

(Lucasfilms)

The real question is why don’t they use it more often in the Star Wars universe? We’ve accepted that, for the sake of storytelling, that hyper-drives really work, but this Kamikaze strategy hinges on how the fictional hyper-drive works. If achieves immense speeds by reducing a spacecraft’s mass to zero — similar to that of a photon — then the spacecraft couldn’t destroy something unless it was in the process of picking up speed. This version is more in line with the destruction we saw in the film.

The problem with this option is that if the ship doesn’t have enough speed, it’ll simply bump off the target’s shields. If it has too little mass, it’ll simply squash like a fly on a windshield. The conditions would have to be near perfect to make a serious impact.

The other way a hyper-drive could work is if it creates the insane amount of energy required to bring an object past light speed. If that’s the case, then the hyper-drive would be destroyed with the collision. For scale, the energy needed to send a Ford Mustang into hyper-speed would be more than a star going supernova. When a spacecraft containing an entire military crashes and the hyper-drive that powers it blows it, it’d let off enough energy to snuff out the entire galaxy in an instant. So, it probably wasn’t that.

MIGHTY CULTURE

The Army wants more soldiers, and it’s using esports to put a ‘finger on the pulse’ of potential recruits

After whiffing on its recruiting goal in 2018, the Army has been trying new approaches to bring in the soldiers it needs to reach its goal of 500,000 in active-duty service by the end of the 2020s.


The 6,500-soldier shortfall the service reported in September 2018 was its first recruiting miss since 2005 and came despite it putting $200 million into bonuses and issuing extra waivers for health issues or bad conduct.

Within a few months of that disappointment, the Army announced it was seeking soldiers for an esports team that would, it said, “build awareness of skills that can be used as professional soldiers and use [its] gaming knowledge to be more relatable to youth.”

By January 2019, more than 6,500 soldiers had applied for a team that was expected to have about 30 members. In September 2019, the Army credited the esports team, one of two new outreach teams set up that year, as having “initiated some of the highest lead-generating events in the history of the all-volunteer force.”

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2F5c9bb3f5dc67670a5124f08a%3Fwidth%3D1300%26format%3Djpeg%26auto%3Dwebp&ho=https%3A%2F%2Fi.insider.com&s=15&h=47927b7e7b54a83740065fb68b1412252e6db4073e1b350f21cfc4e552f996db&size=980x&c=3152663958 crop_info=”%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252F5c9bb3f5dc67670a5124f08a%253Fwidth%253D1300%2526format%253Djpeg%2526auto%253Dwebp%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Fi.insider.com%26s%3D15%26h%3D47927b7e7b54a83740065fb68b1412252e6db4073e1b350f21cfc4e552f996db%26size%3D980x%26c%3D3152663958%22%7D” expand=1]

Staff Sgt. Michael Showes, far right, with fellow Army Esports Team members and a game enthusiast at an exhibition in San Antonio, January 19, 2019.

US Army/Terrance Bell

“It’s essentially connecting America to its Army through the passion of the gaming community,” Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Jones, noncommissioned-officer-in-charge of the team, said in January 2019.

Team members who were competing would train for up to six hours a day, Jones said at the time, and they received instruction on Army enlistment programs so they could answer questions from potential recruits.

“They will have the ability to start a dialogue about what it is like to serve in our Army and see if those contacts are interested in joining,” Gen. Frank Muth, head of Army Recruiting Command, said in early 2019.

Thousands of soldiers play esports, Muth said, and the audience for it has grown into the hundreds of millions — West Point even recognized its own official esports club in January — but the appeal wasn’t obvious at first to Army leaders, Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said Friday.

“This was one [idea] that when the first time Gen. Frank Muth briefed … Army senior leadership, we’re like, ‘What are you talking about, Frank?'” McCarthy told an audience at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.

“We’re about 18 months into it,” McCarthy said, and with that team, Army recruiters were “getting their finger on the pulse with 17- to 24-year-old Americans. What are they into? How do they communicate? And [finding] those right venues and shaping our messaging to talk about here’s the 150 different things you can do in the Army and the access to education and the kinds of people that you can meet and being a part of something as special as this institution.”

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2F5e47ebc42dae5c390718a332%3Fwidth%3D1300%26format%3Djpeg%26auto%3Dwebp&ho=https%3A%2F%2Fi.insider.com&s=556&h=b012f2641050e004d2b86c09ab311b4723df8c6358ea7a7bfe33f50681fa5b46&size=980x&c=1129351162 crop_info=”%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252F5e47ebc42dae5c390718a332%253Fwidth%253D1300%2526format%253Djpeg%2526auto%253Dwebp%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Fi.insider.com%26s%3D556%26h%3Db012f2641050e004d2b86c09ab311b4723df8c6358ea7a7bfe33f50681fa5b46%26size%3D980x%26c%3D1129351162%22%7D” expand=1]

The Army Esports Team trailer at ArmyCon 2019, October 12, 2019.

Army Esports Team/Facebook

In 2019, the Army rolled out an esports trailer with four gaming stations inside, as well as a semi-trailer with eight seats that could be adjusted so all eight players played the same game or their own on a gaming PC, an Xbox 1S, a PS4 Pro, and a Nintendo Switch, Jones, the NCO-in-charge, told Task Purpose in October.

One of the senior leaders dispatched to an esports event was Gen. Mark Milley, who was Army chief of staff at the time and is now chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, which is the president’s top uniformed military adviser.

“He said, ‘You’re going to make me do what?'” McCarthy said Friday. “Then when he went, he learned a lot, and he got to engage with young men and women, and what we found is we’re getting millions of leads of 17- to 24-year-olds to feed into Army Recruiting Command to engage young men and women to see if they’d be interested in a life of service.”

The esports team is part of a change in recruiting strategy, McCarthy said, that has focused on 22 cities in traditional recruiting grounds in the South and Midwest but also on the West Coast and the Northeast with the goal of informing potential recruits about what life in the Army is actually like as well as about the benefits of serving, such as money for college or soft skills that appeal to employers.

The service has also shifted almost all its advertising spending to digital and put more uniformed personnel into the Army Marketing Research Group to take more control of its messaging.

McCarthy on Friday called it “a comprehensive approach” to “improve our performance in a variety of demographics, whether that’s male-to-female ratios or ethnicities.” That geographic focus yielded “a double-digit lift” among women and minorities, McCarthy said last year.

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2F5e47e8493b62b732c91515c2%3Fwidth%3D1300%26format%3Djpeg%26auto%3Dwebp&ho=https%3A%2F%2Fi.insider.com&s=690&h=f974abec753166744e583d09692388081e2e789fc4488de259574fc7bdc32e61&size=980x&c=3764889681 crop_info=”%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252F5e47e8493b62b732c91515c2%253Fwidth%253D1300%2526format%253Djpeg%2526auto%253Dwebp%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Fi.insider.com%26s%3D690%26h%3Df974abec753166744e583d09692388081e2e789fc4488de259574fc7bdc32e61%26size%3D980x%26c%3D3764889681%22%7D” expand=1]

Army Gen. Frank Muth, back row, third from right, with members of the Army Esports Team in front of USAE gaming truck, in Washington, DC, October 14, 2019.

US Army Esports Team/Facebook

The outreach hasn’t been universally welcomed.

After the 2018 recruiting shortfall, service chiefs, including then-Army Secretary Mark Esper, said schools were not letting uniformed service members in to recruit. Anti-war activists attempted to disprove that claim by offering ,000 to schools that admitted to barring recruiters.

Suggestions the Army start recruiting children in their early teens also received criticism for both its impracticality and the harm it could do to the military as an institution.

But recruiting has improved year-over-year, hitting the goal set last year and being ahead of pace now, McCarthy said.

“This has been a major turnaround, because I think we just got a little lazy and we started losing touch with young men and women … but you have to sustain this,” McCarthy added. “We’re in a war for talent in this country — 3.5% unemployment, they have a lot of opportunities.”

“We travel to a lot of American cities, and we meet with mayors and superintendents of schools and other civic leaders to try to educate those influencers, to try to help us in recruiting, and it’s yielded tremendous benefit.”

This article originally appeared on Business Insider. Follow @BusinessInsider on Twitter.

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