Recruiting soldiers with videogames?

Some may find this disturbing (I do, because it somehow seems more intrusive than just producing yet another shooter videogame called America's Army): One way the US Army is recruiting young people is by putting sophisticated videogaming stations – essentially war-game arcades – in shopping malls. The Open Education blog puts a thoughtful twist on this, linking to NBC News's report from one of these recruiting stations at Philadelphia's Franklin Mills Mall. But before any young person buys into this sophisticated form of advertising, I wish he or she could first see Canadian photographer Louie Palu's portraits of US soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. These amazing faces captured by Palu – one of The Aftermath Project's 2009 grant winners – reflect his focus "on the emotional and psychological issues faced by soldiers who return from war and the long-term effects they deal with as they try to reintegrate into their families and society" (The Aftermath Project is "a non-profit organization committed to telling the other half of the story of conflict").

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