Recruiting Air Force pilots with the Airman Challenge
Do you think most of our potential military recruits can be found playing Call of Duty of right now instead of serving our country? The Air Force seems to think so and has created the Airman Challenge game to teach prospective recruits more about the Air Force and its available positions.
Before being able to play, you have to register to become apart of a squadron to join. Selecting a squadron is where learning about all the various sectors in the Air Force begins because you’re given the opportunity to choose between 8 different really cool emblems and checking out each emblem will provide information about that squadron’s role in the Air Force. From there on, players need to then select missions and build teams consisting of real positions in the Air Force. Players are required to select the correct specialist operators for each mission and are given explanations as to why some positions are appropriate and when others aren’t Once selected, players can then play some mini-games that are meant to reflect the skills needed for certain jobs. For example, I had to tag a number of insurgents with a reaper drone to track them down so this skills was distilled into a mini-game testing my reaction time for being able to get a variety of shapes into a box within a time-limit. Once the mission has been completed, you receive experience points and rank up with actual Air Force positions and badges (also with explanations for what each badge ranking means in the Air Force). I was fairly pleased to have been promoted to a Staff Sergeant after a few minutes of play.
The Airman Challenge is really well done in its ability to repackage all this information about the Air Force into a videogame context in a fairly subtle way. The gamification of military recruitment isn’t particularly new but as a tool to convey information for generation Y, its well executed. They certainly also did not forget to add that delicious dubstep into the game, neither. Check out the video below for a brief demo on the Airman Challenge and your daily dose of wub-wubs.