Business in Virtual Worlds, Second Life

US Army Attacks Second Life with two islands

Picking up some dropped threads from my blog reader, and can’t help coming back to the US Army’s presence in SL. I mean, you knew it would happen eventually - Warcraft didn’t make sense, after all, too hard to bring in custom content. We already posted on the Vancouver Police Department using SL as a recruitment mechanism, and we’re pretty sure all types of law enforcement - the FBI, the RCMP, Interpol - has or will eventually have recruitment drives in SL. But onto the US Army.

Their effort in SL, according to Nick Turse, writing on the Wired blog from the 26th Army Science conference, will consist of two islands. One island will be a recruitment center, sort of a welcome mat for all things US Army. The other, way cooler, island, will consist of, as Gen. William S. Wallace, the commander of the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC), said, “virtual experiences like jumping out of airplanes, and rappelling off of towers and using a weapon, to see if we can get some kind of recruiting benefit out of this social networking.”

I’m assuming that Wallace is waiting for server deploy 1.25 and Mono to be fixed and so on, but regardless, sounds like a fun night on the town in SL.

Turse interviewed Wallace, and despite the General’s mild skepticism about social networks, he still found SL appealing, and states it in no uncertain terms:

“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.”

Not sure Wallace has actually read the age stats for SL - but then, maybe they’re targeting slightly older these days?

The most popular item on isle #2: “using a weapon.” Looking at the army Web site, I can’t wait to get my hands on individual weapons like a bayonet - totally old school - a grenade machine gun, and other rifles and pistons. Here’s hoping they don’t skimp on the visual excitement of carpet bombing and other visual treats as part of their recruitment package, and that they remember to leave the health meter on.

speak up

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site.

Subscribe to these comments.

*Required Fields

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.