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New Version of Army's Video Game Recruiter

Boot Camp feature for Wednesday, November 12, 2003

The Army updates its high tech recruitment tool. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. So what is this high tech recruitment tool? It's a video game. America's Army was first introduced on July 4th of last year... .and project head, Colonel Casey Wardynski says...

"So far we think we've had about eight million downloads of the game and its various upgrades. We've probably had about three million CDs distributed via gaming magazines and add-in card producers and things like that. Today, we have about 1.3 to 1.4 million folks who've played through at least the beginning part of the game where you see what basic training looks like and you go on into units in the Army."

The newly released update is called America's Army: Special Forces. Players get to experience Special Forces training and then take part in missions. While Iraq may not be specifically mentioned... the Colonel says the game includes unconventional warfare... and the training of indigenous troops. The idea is to reach potential recruits where they live... so to speak. And Colonel Wardynski says... some pilot projects in recruiting centers indicate the mission has been successful...

"And they name the game as being the most effective tool they have in things like getting young folks that are pretty tech savvy ... into a space where now they are thinking about the Army."

The government has actually hired programmers with video game experience to create the titles. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.