The US Army's 13-Million Dollar Arcade Has Snagged 35 Recruits


Posted January 7, 2009 - By Raymond Padilla

The US Army's 13-million dollar arcade attraction at Philadelphia's Franklin Mills Mall has recruited a whopping 35 new soldiers. Dubbed the Army Experience Center (AEC), the facility has been open since late August 2008. According to The NY Times, the AEC includes:

"14,500 square feet of mostly shoot-’em-up video games and three full-scale simulators, including an AH-64 Apache Longbow helicopter, an armed Humvee and a Black Hawk copter with M4 carbine assault rifles. For those who want to take the experience deeper, the center has 22 recruiters. Or for more immediate full-contact mayhem, there are the outlet stores."

An article on the US Army's official site states, "It is manned by more than 20 Soldiers who are available to share their stories with visitors and answer questions they may have about the Army. Although the Soldiers who run the center are trained recruiters, the AEC is not a recruiting center, according to Ryan Hansen of Ignited Corporation, who partnered with the Army on the project." Uhm, so what exactly is the Army Experience Center?!?

I'm totally not getting this project at all. It just seems like an enormous waste of money. Don't get me wrong -- I think 13-million dollars on recruiting would be money well spent if it effectively bolstered the military. That much money on an "attraction" seems kind of ridiculous. The America's Army games were much smarter and much cheaper forms of entertainment that generated a lot of interest in the military.

What do you make of the Army Experience Center? Have any of you actually visited the place? Do you think something like this would change your perception of the Army? Could it get you to enlist?


The US Army's 13-Million Dollar Arcade Has Snagged 35 Recruits


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