Play 'World of Warplanes' in the belly of a WWII battleship

World War II battleship USS IOWA is getting a gaming-centric overhaul, adding a virtual recreation of a its role in the landings at Okinawa and granting visitors the chance to virtually defend the ship during matches of World of Warplanes.

World War II battleship USS IOWA is getting a gaming-centric overhaul, granting visitors the chance to virtually defend the ship from attacking Zeros during matches of World of Warplanes.

The battleship, which recently made its final voyage to the Port of Los Angeles, becomes a museum in July and with the help of Wargaming America, it's going to have some neat digital exhibits.

The ship's below-deck digital theater will drop museum-goers into a virtual video experience from the bridge, recreating the ship's role in supporting the American landings at Okinawa in 1945. The virtual recreation, which will include the turrets and 16-inch guns tracking and firing at targets, was created by Wargaming America, the U.S. arm of Wargaming.net. The developer is responsible for World of Tanks and the upcoming World of Warplanes and World of Battleships.

The gaming stations feature modified versions of World of Warplanes.

Perhaps more interesting is the game room that Wargaming created on board the ship. The 15 gaming stations will be running a special version of World of Warplanes, letting visitors fly Grumman F6F Hellcats as they defend the USS IOWA from attacking Japanese Mitsubishi A6M Zeros.

"The USS Iowa is such an important piece of U.S. Naval history and we're extremely proud to be able to sponsor it," Jeremy Monroe, General Manager, Wargaming America, wrote in the press release. "One of our core tenets as a battle-focused gaming company is military history and preservation, so it means a lot to us to be able to provide a virtual view of the USS IOWA in its past glory for its many upcoming visitors."

The battleship left Port of Richmond on May 26 on its four-day tow to the Port of Los Angeles where it was cleaned. On June 9, the ship was moved to its permanent home at Berth 87 at the port. The USS IOWA opens as a museum on July 7. More details can be found at the ship's webpage.

The USS IOWA is the only ship in her class to serve in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans during World War II. She served through the Korean War and Cold War and was decommissioned in 1990.

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