AP NEWS
Related topics

From Broadway To Iraq: Two Quarters And Bombs Away

January 28, 1991

NEW YORK (AP) _ Want to bomb Iraq?

Just head to Broadway, arm yourself with 50 cents, gear up your laser-sharp imagination, grab a joystick and guide your smart bombs across a video-machine desert.

The Broadway Arcade, a 20-by-80-foot battlefield of terror-screaming video machines, presents the electronic version of Operation Desert Storm.

In the cockpit of the F-15 ″Strike Eagle,″ an 11-year-old pilot bounces bombs off an electronic screen - shooting glitzy explosions into desert targets and floating oil platforms.

It’s billed as ″The World’s First Real 3-D Flying Game,″ a combat flight simulator for today’s bellicose pinball player.

For some people it seems much like the war being shown on a dusty black- and-white TV perched atop a nearby machine, with the on-screen target disintegrating as it’s hit by a U.S. smart bomb.

″The war news on TV sometimes looks like (the video game),″ says Milton Jiminian, 11, of New York City, clutching the controls of ″Strike Eagle.″

His red baseball cap turned around, Jiminian loops, rolls and turns his fighter jet, locking a target at the center of the cross hairs as he cocks the throttle. Then ″Fire missile now 3/8″

″Flashing missiles are out to get you,″ a machine voice warns. ’Yee- hah 3/8″ it adds after a direct hit. Instant Bronze Medal.

But that’s only a pilot training mission - for real combat, insert another quarter. Extra bombs? Two bits more.

″This is mental stimulation,″ says Jason Barkan, 24, a Manhattan musician. ″But I don’t agree with the real air raids in the Gulf, they’re done out of U.S. greed, for the American corporate structure.″

The bombing in the Gulf ″is absurd, horrible,″ he says.

Meanwhile, in the middle of the arcade, Operation Thunderbolt - a 25-cent ground assault video game - is rolling. The player is armed with rockets, gun laser sights, body armor and a secret weapon.

The ″Green Beret″ player gets a special ″power drink″ to machine-gun Middle Eastern terrorists and rescue American hostages off an Africa-bound plane. Helicopters explode and incinerated bodies fly into the dust. Until, of course, you make a mistake.

″You are fatally wounded, your mission has failed,″ the machine declares.

End of game.

AP RADIO
Update hourly