AOC Amendment Taking Aim at Military Recruitment Activities in esports Heads to House VotePosted by Esports July 30, 2020 in
An amendment that would forbid U.S. Armed Forces from spending appropriated funds to recruit young people for military service through live-streaming platforms such as Twitch or other esports activities has made it out of committee and will be voted on by the full House. The amendment to House appropriations bill H.R. 7617 was put forward July 22 by U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY).
Several branches of the military either have a presence in esports through sponsorships and partnerships, or esports teams composed of active-duty personnel.
Another related amendment from Rep. Ocasio-Cortez and Rep. Ayanna Soyini Pressley (D-MA) also calls for an end to recruitment activities in public high schools. On Tuesday Rep. Ocasio-Cortez told The New York Times that the military needs to stop recruiting in public high schools because it primarily targets “low-income students.”
“In many public high schools where military recruiters have a daily presence, there is not even a counselor,” she told the New York Times. “As a result, the military stops feeling like a ‘choice’ and starts feeling like the only option for many young, low-income Americans.”
The Army, Navy, and National Guard have been active participants in the esports industry: The Army signed multiple partnership and sponsorship deals this year with esports leagues and organizations including Complexity Gaming, Call of Duty League, and Chicago Huntsmen, among others.
The Army National Guard partnered with World of Warcraft raiding guild Complexity-Limit in April.
The U.S. Navy announced in December that it would shift its advertising budget away from television to focus 97% of its budget to digital–including esports and YouTube. In February it became the official festival partner of DreamHack Anaheim and Dallas events, with plans to host its own LAN stations for attendees to challenge naval officers and veterans in various video games. Those plans were sidelined by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Also in February, the Navy signed partnerships with Twitch and DBLTAP and revealed that esports organization Evil Geniuses would help select and train its first-ever Counter-Strike: Global Offensive squad.