- Aug 25, 2020
The House of Representatives has voted down an amendment designed to prevent the US Army from recruiting through video games, with U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) expressing concern at tech literacy within Congress. Ocasio-Cortez filed the measure earlier this month after backlash against the Army's activities on Twitch forced it to suspend activities on the livestreaming platform. The amendment would have stopped the military from using funds to “maintain a presence on Twitch.com or any video game, e-sports, or live-streaming platform.” Ocasio-Cortez opened her statement to the house by quoting the Marine Service, saying, "War is not a game". She continued by pointing out that the majority of viewers on Twitch are below recruitment age for the Army, and that the military was found to be linking to recruitment forms, not educational material on the service. 126 Democrat representatives voted for the amendment, but 103 Democrats, 188 Republicans and 1 Independent voted against it, putting an end to the proposal as it currently stands. Ocasio-Cortez has posted a thread of tweets (below) about the decision, and expressed concern about the level of tech literacy among those in Congress, and how that affects decisions such as this.
"When our legislative bodies aren’t sufficiently responsive to tech, then that means we don’t have the tools required to protect people", Ocasio-Cortez wrote. "This is partially why companies know way more about you than you may even be aware of - bc it’s legal, and Congress is struggling to keep up." The New York representative did strike a hopeful note, however, pointing out that the majority of House Democrats voted in favour of the amendment. "That’s a really solid start for this being the first time this issue has been brought before Congress," she wrote, signalling a possible intent to bring similar proposals to Congress in future. CNN's Shannon Liao has said that the US Army and Navy have confirmed that they will continue to stream on Twitch. [poilib element="accentDivider"] Joe Skrebels is IGN's Executive Editor of News. Follow him on Twitter. Have a tip for us? Want to discuss a possible story? Please send an email to [email protected].