Virtual Killing: "This is So Cool! This Is So Cool!"

by
Abby Zimet

Declaring their (highly questionable) "Mission Accomplished," the Army is shutting down a high-tech, $14 million recruiting
center in a Philadelphia mall where gung-ho teenagers could sit atop a
Black Hawk Simulator and "blow people away" in a virtual Afghan village
in video games like Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. Strategically set between a skateboard park and arcade, the so-called Army Experience Center also
featured Apache and Humvee simulators, a Global Base Locator and Career
Exploration Area. Meant as a pilot program, it was said to be hugely
successful. It was also repeatedly targeted by protesters, who claimed a
victory at the closing.

"The
heat, people screaming, blood, flies, horrible smells, smoke in your
eyes stinging, sand - the list goes on and on - and they've taken all of
that out. What they've effectively left is what they
consider the 'fun' part." - Combat veteran Staff Sgt. Jesse Hamilton

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