Sources at Blizzard confirmed today that the US Army would begin combat training operations inside World of Warcraft, effective immediately. “The Army needs to train its soldiers on how to handle complex tasks amid a chaotic atmosphere.  We can think of no environment more akin to the crisis in Iraq then a typical session of WOW”, said Blizzard company spokesmen at a joint press conference with Army and Air Force representatives Friday.


“It’s totally awesome”, Corporal I. M. Uber continued, “Before I was in the Army I would just lay around on the coach P0WNing N00bz in WOW – I had no idea that would qualify me to face random IEDs and the other horrors I’ll see every day in Iraq.”  Corporal Uber and his squad where among the first soldiers to spend time on the simulators at the Army’s new Cyber training center. While its location is top secret the center’s commander, Major Ed Leet, was enthusiastic about the new facility, “We are very encouraged! Not only is the WOW Combat simulator, helping prepare our troops, but its bringing in many new recruits as well.”    


But not everyone is as supportive of the new training curriculum. Anti-military/war groups were quick to condemn the new simulator. Ned Ludd, denounced the move as “a first step to creating cyber-soldiers addicted to direct neural stimulation”, though he later acknowledged he really had no idea how any of this “computer stuff” worked anyhow.


Anonymous protesters at a recent anti-war march lead by Cindy Sheehan, commented that all forms of violence should be ended whether they are simulations or not. But when pressed further, most had mixed feelings about the ethics of killing a level 80 Hoard Blood Elf.  The Elf Defamation League had no comment on the matter, but did state it was keeping all legal options open, and would continue to monitor for Elven rights violations.


When pressed for a response to the critics, Major Leet emphatically defended the program, “We are simply using the best tools that are available to us.” As a veteran of Vietnam, Leet’s seen his share of horrors in combat. He added, ”I’ve seen chaos on the battle field, the fog of war, and other atrocities too tragic to describe; but let me tell you, a few million screaming 14 year olds savagely attaching you on the Plaguelands of Lordaeron – that, that is terror! WOW is preparing our soldiers for the harshness of today’s real world warfare, one flame war at a time!”


Blizzard officials have nothing but positive to say about the project’s future. “Frankly we have not seen this kind of server load and new user creation since the South Park WOW episode”, Blizzard company spokesman said. And with over 8 million users before the US Army deal, you can see why the company is all smiles.


I guess you can now find World of Warcraft, at Best Buy and your local Army Recruiter! Happy April Fools!