U.S. Army Licensing Videogame Peripherals

“The US Army has teamed up with CTA Digital to launch its own brand of gaming peripherals,” tgdaily.com reveals, studiously avoiding the “g” word. “The range includes rifle controllers, backpacks and headsets – all with ‘an authentic US Army design’. They’ll be available for a range of platforms, including the PlayStation, Xbox, PC and Wii.” Specifically . . .

There are three different rifles, three headsets and even a backpack for carting your console around.

“New products will include two Assault Rifle controllers for PS3 that can operate like DualShock controllers. These controllers will have all the functions of the Dualshock mapped out on them, including the R1 button linked to the trigger,” says CTA.

“Both these rifles will be compatible with all popular PS3 first-person-shooters, including Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, Call of Duty: Black Ops, Battlefield 3.”

For Move players only, there’s the US Army Sniper Action Rifle, allowing players to closely match their in-game weapons by removing the detachable scope, rear stock or muzzle. It’ll be compatible with all Move titles, including Resistance 3, Killzone 3, Socom 4.

There are three ways to look at this. First, Army-branded peripherals are bound to be an excellent recruitment tool aimed straight at the military’s target market (so to speak), well worth the time, money (ours) and effort. Second, commercializing the U.S. Armed Forces puts us on a slippery slope towards corporate control. How long before we deploy special ops to create a suitable videogame scenario? And third, how dare the U.S. Army glamorize violence for impressionable children and teens?

You pay your taxes, you takes your chances.