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America’s Army collection

 Collection — Container: digital collection
Identifier: 117.9589
The America’s Army collection contains digital files about the Official U.S. Army Game, America’s Army, developed by Michael Zyda and the MOVES Institute in the early 2000s. Development materials include planning memos, license agreements, presentations, status reports, meeting minutes, and correspondence. Game design documentation includes various image and video files. Presentations and press announcements document the release of the game (at E3 and other trade shows), and publications such as articles and theses discuss the impact (both real and potential) of the game. The bulk of the materials are dated between 1999 and 2005. Additional scope and content information can be found in the Contents List section of this finding aid.

The America’s Army collection has been arranged into three series, two of which have been further divided into subseries. This digital collection can be accessed on-site at The Strong.


  • 1999 - 2018
  • Majority of material found within 1999 - 2005



This collection is in English.

Conditions Governing Access

At this time, digital files in this collection related to administrative history and game development are limited to on-site researchers only. It is possible that certain formats may be inaccessible or restricted. Please see The Strong’s Digital Games Files Access Policy.

Conditions Governing Use

This collection is open for research use by staff of The Strong and by users of its library and archives. Though the donor has not transferred intellectual property rights (including, but not limited to any copyright, trademark, and associated rights therein) to The Strong, he has given permission for The Strong to make copies in all media for museum, educational, and research purposes.


35 Gigabytes (Digital only.) : Accessible on-site at The Strong.


The America’s Army collection is a fully-digital compilation of planning memos, presentations, meeting minutes, correspondence, graphics, videos, articles, and other documentation on the development of America’s Army , the Official U.S. Army Game, by Michael Zyda and the MOVES Institute. The bulk of the materials are from 1999-2005.

Historical Note

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.

System of Arrangement

Series I: Administrative history, 1999-2018

Series II: Game design documentation, 1999-2005

Subseries A: Game screenshots and graphics, 1999-2002
Subseries B: Game play videos, 2001-2005
Subseries C: Reference, 1999-2003

Series III: Publicity and presentations, 2000-2006

Subseries A: E3 conferences, 2002-2004
Subseries B: Formal presentations, 2000-2005
Subseries C: Promotional videos and press kits, 2002-2003
Subseries D: Publications, 2003-2006
Subseries E: News coverage, 2002

Custodial History

The America’s Army collection was donated to The Strong in October 2017 as a gift from Michael Zyda. The digital materials were accessioned by The Strong under Object ID 117.9589 and were received from Michael Zyda on a portable hard drive.
Finding Aid to the America’s Army Collection, 1999-2018
Julia Novakovic
13 December 2018
Description rules

Repository Details

Part of the Brian Sutton-Smith Library and Archives of Play at The Strong Repository

The Strong
One Manhattan Square
Rochester NY 14607 USA
585.423.1886 (Fax)