From Doom to Full Spectrum Warrior, the military has long been using videogames to train and recruit soldiers.
Last year, Philadelphia saw the opening of the Army Experience Center, a 14,500 square foot facility that, according to its site, is "a twenty-first century destination for people to get accurate information about the Army directly from the source. Conceived and built over a ten-month period in the Franklin Mills Mall in Philadelphia, the ...technology and education center is fast becoming a model for Army recruiting nationwide. Touch screen kiosks, state-of-the-art presentation facilities, community events and high-action simulators are just a few of the AEC features helping to shatter outdated stereotypes and start new career conversations."
But the AEC is now a subject of protest. A group called the United for Peace and Justice-Delaware Valley Network has been holding vigils outside the center, accusing it of using games to lure kids into joining the military. "War is not a game," the group has said in a statement. They hope to convince the Franklin Mills Mall to shut the facility down.
David Kushner is the author of many books, including Masters of Doom, Jonny Magic & the Card Shark Kids, Levittown, The Bones of Marianna, and Alligator Candy. A contributing editor of Rolling Stone, he has written for publications including The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Wired, and The New York Times Magazine.