chapter  16
4 Pages

Virtuous war and Hollywood: The Pentagon wants what Hollywood’s got

Last August prominent political leaders, military officers and representatives from the computer and entertainment industries gathered at the University of Southern California to announce the opening of a new “Institute for Creative Technologies” (ICT). The innocuous title concealed a remarkable joint project: to produce stateof-the-art military simulations by pooling expertise, financial resources and the tools of virtual reality. Onstage for the signing ceremony and press conference were Steven Sample, president of USC; Louis Caldera, Secretary of the Army; “Rocky” Delgadillo, deputy mayor of Los Angeles; Rick Belluzzo, CEO of Silicon Graphics; and Jack Valenti, president and CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America. Even Governor Gray Davis made an appearance, virtual and gargantuan onscreen via satellite link from the Capitol. The front rows of the auditorium were sprinkled with uniforms and suits, the military’s top computer war-gamers swapping stories with executives from the entertainment industry. Toward the back of the room the major network and print media, including CNN, had installed themselves to broadcast this new alliance to the world.