Monday, June 30, 2008

Blackwater Helps USO Design Mobile Video Games for Troops

"The USO wants to entertain troops even to the ends of the Earth. So planners there have been working on ways to fit a portable projector and screen, and Xbox, DVDs, magazines, snacks and a global high-speed Internet hookup into a container about the size of an ammo box," Stars & Stripes reports. "They're still trying to figure out how to fit Guitar Hero controllers in there."

Blackwater, according to the troops' newspaper, is helping the United Services Organization (USO) design the mobile gaming system, dubbed "USO in a Box."

"We like to think we’ve become expeditionary with the military," USO President Edward Powell tells Stars & Stripes. "Instead of having a fixed base where we always work out of, now we have to go exactly where the servicemembers are when they need us."
The $5,000 systems, "developed with help from Blackwater," are designed to be dropped into small forward operating bases and other isolated posts with fewer than 50 troops. The first ones should be in the field by September or October.

USO plans to have mobile trailers jammed with TVs, computers, microwave ovens and gaming systems for larger places like Djibouti and Kandahar, Afghanistan.

Blackwater is a strategic partner with USO, in association with AT&T, Coca-Cola and other companies. The lead singer of a rock group has spoken about Blackwater flying them around to play for the troops.

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