The Australian Defense Force has released a new recruitment campaign that looks suspiciously like an advertisement for a mobile phone game.
Advertisements for the ADF’s Interactive Battlespace have slowly been appearing in banner advertisements on Twitter and Facebook, in a recruitment drive presumably aimed at the target demographic of mobile video games: young teenagers.
The advertisement — we shit you not — actually encourages players to complete an AR “mission” on their phones, displaying a variety of infantry military roles like they were classes in a video game.
You’re instructed to watch on high as small figures move into position painstakingly slowly and occasionally asked to tap the screen mindlessly a few times to enact your “orders”.
Making the Defense Force look like a video game seems pretty fucked up? pic.twitter.com/lr292VvxxZ
— Samuel McEwen 🤠 No Way Home (@Samuel_McEwen) September 22, 2022
“The front line and ground forces of Australia’s combat capability. Infantry Soldiers are trained to handle advanced weaponry to seek out and engage enemy threats in all conditions and phases of warfare,” reads the stat sheet for a job that — despite equipping you with “advanced weaponry” — pays a minimum salary of $48,325.
After completing the game, you’re congratulated before being swiftly directed to a military recruitment website to “find your role in the action” — so 1/10 for replayability.
Obviously, these advertisements gloss over some of the horrible realities of war that Australian veterans have raised in a Royal Commission recently, namely — lasting psychological trauma, a toxic culture of masculinity, and endemic rates of ex-serviceperson suicide.
The Minister for Veterans Affairs Matt Keogh recently apologised to Australian ex-servicemen and women after reports that over 40,000 veterans’ compensation claims are currently stuck in a processing backlog, which, according to The Guardian, has worsened suicide rates.