Water Cooler Games
Water Cooler Games served as the web's primary forum for "videogames with an agenda" — coverage of the uses of video games in advertising, politics, education, and other everyday activities, outside the sphere of entertainment.
The site was maintained at watercoolergames.org
from 2003-2009, where it was edited by myself and Gonzalo Frasca
. It is now archived here in full.
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US Army Invades Schools
by Ian Bogost September 18, 2008
The US Army has announced a "partnership" with a group called Project Lead The Way to "to enhance student curriculum by using a variety of Army technologies to promote student interest in the engineering and technical fields." Project Lead The Way is a 501(c)(3) focused on science and engineering education for middle and high school students. From the press release:
The platform for the new curriculum is the America's Army PC game, a free online game that provides civilians with a virtual role in the U.S. Army by introducing them to Army technologies, Rules of Engagement, training and missions. Used as a communications tool, the game has also been adapted for use within the military to produce effective and engaging virtual environments that enhance Soldier training in a number of areas including force protection, convoy survivability and nuclear, chemical and biological detection.
WTF? The Army has already been accused of violating international standards by targeting America's Army at kids under 18, an issue that remained at least somewhat ambiguous. In this case, the intentions are murkier, to say the least.
(thanks to Ben, Noah)