Friday, 16 January 2009

Fun at the Recruitment Arcade

Like the UK, the US is struggling to raise the manpower needed to fight its foreign wars. In a bid to improve recruiting levels, the US Army has started to entice young Americans with video games, Google maps and simulated attacks on enemy positions from an Apache helicopter.
Departing from the recruiting environment of metal tables and uniformed soldiers in a drab military building, the US Army has invested $12 million in a facility that looks like a cross between a hotel lobby and a video arcade. The "Experience Center" at the Franklin Mills shopping mall in northeast Philadelphia has 60 personal computers loaded with military video games, 19 Xbox 360 video game controllers and a series of interactive screens describing military bases and career options in great detail. Potential recruits can hang out on couches and listen to rock music that fills the space.
Although the number of new recruits resulting from this 21st century approach is the same as from the more traitional methods, it gives young people somewhere to go and, hey, it sure sounds fun!

Reuters: U.S. Army recruiting at the mall with video games