America’s Army: Proving Grounds is closing its base and demilitarizing its servers on May 5, according to a post from the US Army themselves.
Originally launching in 2002, the America’s Army series are first-person shooters designed for “strategic communication and recruitment.” The most recent game in the series America’s Army: Proving Grounds launched on PC and PlayStation 4 back in 2013.
The Army has officially declared the mission was a success and promised they are focusing on “other new and innovative ways” to assist with communication and recruitment. The series marked the first time that the American Military leaned into videogames as a recruitment device, garnering over 20 million players in its two decades of operation.
Over the years, various arguments against America’s Army have arisen, particularly when discussing the possibility that the games serve as pro-military propaganda. The gameplay revolved around helping civilians and other daily duties of a soldier, but also placed players in shoot-outs and special operations. Many have argued that, due to its videogame nature, the series glorifies war for its teenage audience.
The Army is not the only developers interested in the diffusion of military stories among the general public; Call of Duty continues to be a juggernaut series. However, like the objections levied at the upcoming Six Days in Fallujah, the more realistic nature and simulation focus of America’s Army: Proving Grounds has placed the genre in the proverbial crosshairs of the general public.