America’s Army, the official US Army video game, closes after 20 years

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America’s Army: Proving Grounds is in effect the Official US Army video gameactive for 20 years on PC and also on PS4, but soon destined for close with the shutdown of the servers which will take place at the beginning of March.

The March 5, 2022 is the date that America’s Army: Proving Grounds will be permanently closed on PC and PS4, with the servers being shut down and the game being removed from Steam and PlayStation Store on that date. Whoever owns the title will be able to continue playing it in offline matches or through private servers on a PC, however all statistics collected online will be lost.

This sort of Counter-Strike is in all respects a FPS with a realistic war setting, but it was also one recruiting tool for possible candidates to be included in the US Army program, representing in all respects a pioneering project by the US government.

Distributed as a normal video game, it allowed to collect data on the behavior of some players and therefore provide a sort of preferential and direct access to recruitment in the army. It has been for several years free-to-playestablishing itself in this form practically before it became mainstream, just to give an idea of ​​how this project of the US military was trying to get in touch with a new generation in rather unprecedented ways.

Its story begins in 1999, when Colonel Casey Wardynski of the US Army realized how video games could represent a powerful tool of contact with young people, considering how the voluntary recruitment campaign had been in sharp crisis for some years.

As Vice explains, thus began the development of America’s Army: Proving Grounds, developed internally by the US Army and then launched in 2002, achieving great success, also thanks to the renewed patriotic spirit that invested the USA following the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001.

America’s Army 3, a screenshot

“It’s designed to give kids an inside view of the fundamentals of being a soldier and it’s also designed to give them a sense of self-efficacy, to show they can do it,” Wardynski told the Washington Post in 2005, speaking of his project, “We want them to see that I can do it. No more thinking about what it could be like, you can see it firsthand.”

In the post announcing the closure of the project on Steam, the intent of America’s Army: Proving Grounds is clearly read: “The free-to-play game represented the first large-scale use of videogame technology by the United States government, leveraged as a strategic communications and recruiting system in support of the US Army “, reads” Three major titles and more than 20 million active players later, the series has continued to move forward. There have been over 30 million goals completed, 180 millions of missions successfully completed, 250 million companions helped and many other unlocked achievements “. Finally, America’s Army: Proving Grounds has finally come to an end.

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