Peace Protesters Stalk America's Army Exhibit

Peace Protesters are following the America’s Army exhibit to its next venue after they forced changes to the presentation at Wisconsin’s Summerfest. The next stop for the exhibit is an airshow in Duluth, Minnesota. WAFF-48 news out of Huntsville, Alabama reports that a similar protest is planned for the airshow.

The America’s Army exhibit has the game set up in a Humvee. People have to be at least 17 before they’re allowed to climb in and take on virtual enemies. The exhibit is on tour visiting venues from Airshows to NASCAR.

Michele Naar-Obed, a volunteer for a group called Loaves and Fishes, is one of those opposed to the exhibit.

“I’m very upset over this. I think this is just insane that they would use this kind of venue to train our youth to kill people.”

U.S. Army SFC John Haymond finds her protest ironic under the circumstances.

“it’s kind of curious that some people would object to a virtual army experience game when the central draw to the Duluth Air Show is the Blue Angels who are flying F-18 Super Hornet strike aircraft, which last time I checked, was a military weapon.”

I have a hard time taking these protesters seriously. No one is being coerced into playing the game. The whole idea behind it is to simulate the experience of being in combat so that players can get a feel for whether the US Army might be a good fit for them.

Unfortunately, the events at Wisconsin’s Summerfest have encouraged these protesters and may in some eyes lend validity to their claims that the exhibit “glorifies” war. It often seems that those who cry most loudly for freedom of speech are the first to want to take it away from their opposition.

via GamePolitics

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5 Comments on Peace Protesters Stalk America's Army Exhibit

plz die

On July 10, 2008 at 2:53 pm

“It often seems that those who cry most loudly for freedom of speech are the first to want to take it away from their opposition.”

So true…. so true…..


On July 10, 2008 at 3:50 pm

Freedom of speech is definitely touchy area. I see boths sides of it here. I really don’t approve of the Army’s gimmicky way to glorify war/combat to the youth. But at the same time I don’t think taking away their right to freely advertise the military to the public. I think the best thing to do is simply try to educate more people so they don’t succumb to these gimmicky types of advertisements.


On July 10, 2008 at 5:52 pm

We should have a protest on the protesters, that would REALLY make them P.O.ed

Better yet, we should protest their protest by walking around in uniforms and teaching random people walking by how to use the weapons, not just hold them and point, and keep yelling around how glorious war and combat is.

All just to make them pissed!

On another note, that simulator is awesome, I don’t see what is wrong with it, I loved it when they had it at the airshow here at Randolf AFB, had a line I could swear was at least a quarter mile long.


On July 10, 2008 at 9:52 pm

I can’t help but wonder “what will they protest next.” The majority of training that goes on to “kill people” is subconscious and, unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few decades, you’ve already been subjected to a great deal of it. If you want to protest war and all the horrible things that come along with it (including the military) do yourself a favor and throw away your TV. Destroy your DVD’s, game systems and most importantly your PC. Get rid of all of it because quite frankly violence and the “pro-killer” portrayal of it is here to stay and there’s not much protesters can do about it. I don’t care if you got half the country to cry about it – there’s still the other half of us that create a demand for that sort of product and as long as there’s a demand we’re sure to find a supplier.

I think this method is actually a lot better than simple audiovisual input since it gives a more realistic depiction of what’s going on. Personally I’m not nearly as afraid of the guy that’s been trained to use a firearm and is aware of exactly how lethal it is than I am of a man who’s never even considered in his wildest dreams that he could possibly hurt someone and knows how to operate a firearm because he’s seen violent movies. There’s a level of reestraint that comes with knowledge and I feel that is exactly what we, as a species, need more of. Instead of protesting it, these people should be looking at the positive ramifications of this simulation.

Patt Needham

On July 28, 2008 at 3:31 pm

The “free speech” from the Armyin this game is less than half true, costs us $9M a year in taxes, and wreaks real, not virtual, damage on combat veterans. Milwaukee’s Summerfest exhibit drew fierce opposition from veterans.

GTA is much more gory and violent than this game. What’s wrong with that picture?!

It’s a god thing that the protests have stirred up a conversation.