An army of 7,000,000
If you thought it was strange that rock musician Jeff "Skunk" Baxter would become a consultant to the Defense Department, what would you say to a video game champion becoming a general?
Well that may not be so far fetched.
America's Army, an online game that started out as a recruiting tool, now boasts nearly 7,000,000 players. America's Army was first made available as a download on July 4, 2002. The idea was to offer a simulation of the army that would make it attractive to young men and women.
By 2004 the project was such a success that the army created a video game studio and became a multiplayer online game. The America's Army office has leveraged its expertise in simulations for other applications.
A version of America's Army has been used to help develop the Talon robot for disarming mines. A specialized (classified) version has been developed to train the Secret Service.
Though the office won't say how much, America's Army makes money. It also saves money by doing simulations in house that would cost millions to contract out.
Perhaps that's why America's Army just won an award for excellence in government.Technorati tags: America/'s army.