TAMPA, Fla. — The popular arcade game "Whac-A-Mole" has released a new "Jihadi Edition" designed specifically for game rooms in U.S. Central Command's (CENTCOM) Moral, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) facilities. The game, which involves hitting plastic insurgents with miniature rubber Hellfire missiles as they pop out of fighting holes, has been overwhelmingly successful among troops and senior officers alike.
The headquarters, which is in charge of U.S. military operations in the Middle East, has already installed the game in all of its deployed locations to serve as a "strategic training aid." In the current edition, the moles are interchangeable between ISIS fighters, the Taliban, al-Qaeda, or local goatherds, depending on where the MWR is located.
"This is the first simulator I've seen that teaches commanders how to kill a never-ending series of targets one at a time indefinitely into the future," said CENTCOM Commander, Gen. Joseph Votel. "It's also realistic because every time you hit one, two more pop up right next to him."
Thus far, no one at CENTCOM has been able to devise a strategy to beat the game.
"We wanted to use our feet to hold down all the moles at once," said Votel, "But the MWR manager has a strict 'No Boots on the Board' policy. We even had to stop letting Marines play the game because of collateral damage. They would just yell, 'Waste the motherfuckers!' and destroy everything in the room."
But Votel is determined to find a winning strategy. He has tried an information campaign where soldiers can sync the game to Twitter on their cell phones to counter tweets by radicalized moles. He has also deployed some of the military's most advanced Close Air-conditioning Support (CAS) technology to ensure players don't overheat mid-game.
Still, the game has been successful enough that an extension pack for the Africa Command (AFRICOM) Theater is currently in the testing phase.
"The AFRICOM extension pack is great," said Votel. "Because when we get bored of whacking Afghans and Iraqis, we can always switch to Libyans or Somalis."