In 1999, the U.S. Army theorized that the creation of an Army-sponsored video game would be helpful to provide information to prospective soldiers. Working with Michael Zyda at the Naval Postgraduate School’s (NPS) MOVES Institute in Monterey, California, the project team developed a multiplayer, first-person shooter video game branded as a strategic communication device. The result, America’s Army, represents the first large-scale use of video game technology by the U.S. government as a platform for communication and recruitment. The first version was released in 2002, followed by America’s Army: Special Forces in 2003. The MOVES Institute withdrew from the project in 2004, but subsequent titles in the series were published in 2008 and 2012, with a fifth installment announced in 2018.
As both a game and a recruitment tool, America’s Army has been adapted for U.S. Army special events and for other government agencies. The game has received multiple awards and praise from media outlets worldwide.