It was fun while it lasted; the Us Army has stopped their bizarre bait-and-switch tactics to enlist young, impressionable youths on the Twitch streaming platform.
The news comes less than a day after Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC, colloquially) filed an amendment to the House Appropriations bill which forbids taxpayer dollars going to the funding of live-streaming.
Even if it is for recruitment. Thankfully, the military will still be present in high schools around the nation to lure in teenagers with the promise of getting away from the misery that is growing up, or at least suspending their further ambitions for some of that sweet college money.
Not to put too sharp of a note on it, but we called this happening well in advance.
Unfortunately, this means that the US Army will no longer be able to operate war-time operations on the back of bits and Twitch subscriptions, which is a wildly amusing thought to entertain however briefly.
After mounting pressure from the ACLU and Columbia University’s First Amendment Institute claiming that they may have violated the US Constitution by deleting the questions regarding what their favorite war crime was in Twitch chat (equally hilarious to entertain), the US Army has completely vacated their presence on Twitch.
However, they will likely still be present within the gaming scene: the US Army holds an esport team for various titles, and have been known to sponsor tournaments in exchange to appear a bit cooler and ‘hip’.
The top contenders from USAE take on @AirmenFight in a series of exhibitions spanning 4 titles. Who will come out on top?
— U.S. Army Esports (@USArmyesports) July 1, 2020
Unless there continues to be pressure on the service regarding their presence and usage of discretionary funds to promote themselves in this space, it’s unlikely that it will be going anywhere anytime soon.
The official wording of the bill introduced by AOC, however, means that may come into contention relatively soon: the bill outlines the barring of using funds to ‘maintain a presence on Twitch.com or any video game, e-sports, or live-streaming platform.’
Like or not, this means that the US Army may be fighting domestically to get the vague wording changed for something greater due to the ambiguity of precisely what esports are, which is where the next prediction of how all of this will play out, comes to fruition.
The US Army maintains a football team and other sports, including Olympic level sports, using funds granted to the military that ultimately come from taxpayer dollars. Esports, arguably, are no different than standard sports which have a long history and following within their respective leagues.
If this is merely competition, which esports share with standard physical sport, then it will be an interesting case to argue for the US Army, as service members are authorized (depending on their command) to participate. If they participate in esports, they will inevitably end up on Twitch; this calls into question the wording of the bill, if not the bill entirely. This fascinating segue isn’t dead yet; we’re going to see more.