The House of Representatives recently defeated a bill which, had it passed, would have prevented recruiters in the US military using Twitch and esports.
Currently, the US military advertises for new recruits on Twitch, with some esports teams even receiving sponsorship from the Navy, the Army and the Air Force of the United States. What's more, banner and video advertising for recruitment in the military is served to children and teenagers well below sign-up age, some even as young as 12.
At one point, Twitch had to step in and stop the US Army in promoting a fake giveaway that redirected users to a sign-up recruitment form. Not only that, but Twitch users were also banned from the US Army's Twitch channel when they brought up questions about war crimes carried out by the military in the chat bars around their videos.
The amendment, put forward by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, was designed to "specifically to block recruitment practices and funding for recruitment practices on platforms such as Twitch.tv, which are live-streaming platforms which are largely populated by children well under the age of military recruitment rules."
Previously, games such as 'Call of Duty' and 'Battlefield' had been linked to military recruitment campaigns in the US, with targeted advertising for recruitment to players of those games. Not only that, but the US Army themselves also have their own gaming franchise, with the most recent entry, 'America's Army: Proving Grounds', being made free-to-play on the PS4 and PC.
Republicans unanimously opposed the amendment, however, Democrats were evenly divided on it, with the amendment eventually being defeated in a vote. During the debate, members of the Defence Appropriations Subcommittee argued that the US military should be able to cast a wide net to "encourage young Americans to serve their country", however Ocasio-Cortez believed that "(children) on platforms such as Twitch are bombarded with banner ads that link to recruitment sign up forms that can be submitted by children as young as 12 years old."
In Ireland, the Irish Defence Forces, including the Navy and the Air Force, only accept recruits over the age of 18 and under the age of 25 and 27.