Joystick Soldiers: The Politics of Play in Military Video Games

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Nonspecific Binding
  • Copyright: 2009-08-06
  • Publisher: Routledge

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Joystick Soldiers is the first anthology to examine the reciprocal relationship between militarism and video games. War has been an integral theme of the games industry since the invention of the first video game, Spacewar! in 1962.While war video games began as entertainment, military organizations soon saw their potential as combat simulation and recruitment tools. A profitable and popular relationship was established between the video game industry and the military, and continues today with video game franchises like America's Army , which was developed by the U.S.Army as a public relations and recruitment tool.This collection features all new essays that explore how modern warfare has been represented in and influenced by video games. The contributors explore the history and political economy of video games and the "military-entertainment complex;" present textual analyses of military-themed video games such as Metal Gear Solid ; and offer reception studies of gamers, fandom, and political activism within online gaming.This volume is essential reading for anyone interested in the relationship between war and media, and it sheds surprising light on the connections between virtual battlefields and the international conflicts unfolding around the globe.

Author Biography

Nina B. Huntemann is Associate Professor of Communication and Journalism at Suffolk University in Boston, Massachusetts. She produced and directed the documentary film Game Over: Gender, Race, and Violence in Video Games, distributed by the Media Education Foundation. Matthew Thomas Payne is a Media Studies doctoral candidate at the University of Texas at Austin. He has served as a coordinating editor for FlowTV (www.flowtv.org), a critical forum for television and new media culture, and is a co-editor of the anthology Flow TV: Television in the Age of Media Convegence (Routledge, forthcoming).

Table of Contents

List of Figures and Tablesp. ix
Forewordp. xi
Acknowledgmentsp. xv
Introductionp. 1
Historicizing the Joystick Soldierp. 19
Living Room Wars: Remediation, Boardgames, and the Early History of Video Wargamingp. 21
Target Acquired: America's Army and the Video Games Industryp. 39
Training Recruits and Conditioning Youth: The Soft Power of Military Gamesp. 53
Interview with James F. Dunniganp. 67
Representing Warp. 73
Behind the Barrel: Reading the Video Game Gunp. 75
Wargames as a New Frontier: Securing American Empire in Virtual Spacep. 91
Future Combat, Combating Futures: Temporalities of War Video Games and the Performance of Proleptic Historiesp. 106
Interview with Rachel Hardwickp. 122
Producing Pedagogical Warp. 129
Mobilizing Affect: The Politics of Performative Realism in Military New Mediap. 131
A Battle in Every Classroom: Gaming and the U.S. Army Command & General Staff Collegep. 146
A Battle for Hearts and Minds: The Design Politics of ELECT BiLATp. 160
Interview with Colonel Casey Wardynskip. 178
Playing Warp. 189
"No Better Way to 'Experience' World War EI": Authenticity and Ideology in the Call of Duty and Medal of Honor Player Communitiesp. 191
"F*ckYou, NoobTube!": Learning the Art of Ludic LAN Warp. 206
Playing with Fear: Catharsis and Resistance in Military-Themed Video Gamesp. 223
Resisting Warp. 237
Playing Against the Grain: Machinima and Military Gamingp. 239
"Turn the Game Console off Right Now!": War, Subjectivity, and Control in Metal Gear Solid 2p. 252
Dead-in-Iraq: The Spatial Politics of Digital Game Art Activism and the In-Game Protestp. 272
Gameographyp. 287
List of Contributorsp. 294
Indexp. 298
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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