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U.S. Army Sets Up in Second Life

While the rest of the U.S. government is typically wary to embrace new trends in technology, the Army has always been quick to try new ideas and strategies that may lead to higher recruitment numbers. Aside from the massive advertising campaign, the Army, and the rest of the Armed Forces blitz the public with on TV and Radio. The Army also uses video games like "America’s Army" to entice the willing into military service.

The Army has now taken it one step further, and will open several "islands" to the public in Second Life. "Over the next 30 to 45 days you might, if you’re one of them Second Life avatar dudes that likes to go populate islands within Second Life, you will find an Army island in Second Life," said Gen. William S. Wallace during an Army Science Conference.

One of the two islands (or bases?) it plans to open will act as a virtual recruitment center, offering information on what the Army offers and how to get in contact with a real-life recruiter. The second island plans to offer a virtual Army experience, with activities like parachuting, rappelling off of towers, as well as firing weapons. "If you perform well in the activities you get points and those points can be used to buy virtual T-shirts and baseball caps," said Gen. Wallace to Danger Room.

Gen. Wallace, who heads up the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) division, explained why the Army is now targeting Second Life. "there’s about 4 million young people that routinely interface in Second Life. [That’s] the age group of the young people who we’re trying to encourage to join the military."

While firing a virtual M16 and jumping out of virtual planes might sound fun, it’s 100-percent business for the Army. With two active wars going on overseas, and a less than popular administration leaving the White House, recruitment numbers are much lower than anyone in the Armed Forces would like. However, this is not the Army’s first foray into the virtual world. Along with the game America’s Army, the Army has expressed interest in creating its own sort of MMORPG, and already uses a number of virtual training programs and simulators internally.

  • malveaux
    Second Life is disgusting. Army is targeting a bunch of sloths. That is stupid.

    Failed tax money effort.

    We want it back, bozos.
    Reply
  • Claimintru
    Yep, go bribe people playing Crysis, Cod4/Cod5, Counter Strike 1.6, Counter Strike Source, Unreal Tournament, Quake and Old versions of Doom. Those are your future heroes right there.
    Reply
  • giovanni86
    Can't win me. Only games, if i can't play a game within 1 week in boot camp then fuck you i ain't joining. My soul and body require a PC, games, soda, junk food, and a schedule that i can at least game for 3 to 6 hours a day, if there cool with that i will join if not then go fuck yourself. Enough said.
    Reply
  • neiroatopelcc
    ClaimintruYep, go bribe people playing Crysis, Cod4/Cod5, Counter Strike 1.6, Counter Strike Source, Unreal Tournament, Quake and Old versions of Doom. Those are your future heroes right there.I don't think you're right on this assessment. Players of those games might be a bit more triggerhappy than the army wants. People with faith and a strong belief in the system is what they need. A good soldier isn't just a guy with a gun, but a guy that doesn't question a superiors orders, yet doesn't forfeit the use of his brain. fps'ers don't use the brain (conciousness) while shooting - reflexes/routines are much faster. That's probably good when under fire, but may not be good when they open fire or otherwise react too intuitively without proper thought.

    Anyhow, right or wrong marked - doesn't matter. At least they try. I don't think our army's even trying to recruit people. Not that I mind much. Eats too much tax money anyway.
    Reply
  • NuclearShadow
    I am disgusted by this. Its bad enough that recruiters will lie through their teeth and I was angered more than anything when the American's Army game came out and now this...

    Well its time to download second life and show them one angry veteran.
    Reply
  • JonnyDough
    Idiots.
    Reply
  • gm0n3y
    Second-lifers are not the kind of people that you want to entrust your countries national defense to.
    Reply
  • JonnyDough
    Nor would I trust my national defense to someone who can not spell "country's".
    Reply
  • Milleman
    Ok great...
    Will there be an Iraq island as well, where people can test klling Iraqies? Or try getting blown into pieces by a car bomb?
    Reply
  • neiroatopelcc
    imo your goverment should just built a bunch more of those remote controlled light tanks (the wheeled version) and stop killing your future workers.
    Reply