I live in philly, and theres a ton of malls here, one in particular is Franklin Mills.
Recently a place called the Arm Experience just opened up there right next to the woodward skate park there.
Everything there (except for the clothes they had) is completely free.
the whole place is very modern looking. it has lounge areas. it has three life size military vehicles with wrap around screens in these special room where they run simulations of real combat situations using America's Army
They have this gaming area. There are about 20 XBOX360's in there, all with nice hdtvs about between 20-30" big (mind you they all have these gaming recliner chairs that have built in subwoofers, suround sound speakers, and vibration place about 2 3 feet away from the screens!). about 8 people were playing madden 09, 4 were playing cod4, 4 were playing halo, and 4 others were playing rainbow six vegas 2.
They have like atleast 2 dozen top of the line alienware pc's, and i saw some kids playing america's army, some playing cod4, and i even seen 2 kids playing world of warcraft.
its unbelievable. There are no recruiters there, and they totally leave you a lone the whole time you're there. im 20 so i doubt ill be going there much, but i seen a lot of kids who just got out of school. they had tutoring for them for their homework, and then they would all get into tournaments together on the machines and nobody bothered them.
all you do is sign up like registering on a website, they give you an id card. any time you want you can just go in there swipe your card and do what you want.
i spent like an hour in there with my brother in law we tried out their simulators (they have M4 with sweet red dot sights - all real- just modified for the sim. they basically attached a light gun to the front of it and removed the clip. the guns have nice recoil when you pull the trigger felt realistic, and depending on whats happening in the sim, the vehicle you are in (they have a black hawk, an apache, and a humvee) would rock and jolt around make crazy loud bangs and sound like bullets were hitting it all over when the guys in the screen would fire at you.
dude i know that was a lot of reading, but damn, the army must be fucking desperate right now. they just created this sweet ass fuckin gaming center for teens to chill right in philly, a very populated city where theres really not much to do oddly except drink when you're in high school. it seems nice. even if theyre just trying to get kids to be interested and signing up for the army, theyre actually doing a lot for the community, like fundraisers and stuff.
next week theyre hosting a madden tournament! lol i might enter.
That's pretty cool. The fact that they offer tutoring and the like is really great, too.
"“It’s not a recruiting center (although it will handle enlistments),” said Walters. “It’s really a place for the American public to get educated about the Army and for us to show that the Army is very high-tech and relevant.”" Yeah, but a place like this is going to get teens interested in joining.