Video Games and the Militarization of Society
Chapter 1. Introduction
· 1 · introduction ‘And it had to be a child, Ender,’ said Mazer. ‘You were faster than me. Better than me. I was too old and cautious. Any decent person who knows what warfare is can never go into battle with a whole heart. But you didn’t know. We made sure you didn’t know. You were reckless and brilliant and young. It’s what you were born for.’ — Ender’s Game (Card, 2002, pp. 300–301) This is a war universe. War all the time. That is its nature. There may be other uni- verses based on all sorts of other principles, but ours seems to be based on war. —William S. Burroughs (1992, p. 95) Writing is often a political act. In writing a book about new forms of pop- ular media, such as video and computer games, one can choose one of two approaches. The first views video games and other forms of new and popular media as a form of art or a literature—opening up the domain of literary and filmic critique and analysis. The second emphasizes the technical and opera- tional aspects of media such as video games—the focus of this type of study is more often an examination of the structure of video games, their playability, or the utility of a specific form of new media, for example the use and abuse of Twitter or other social media. As I will argue throughout this book, neither of these approaches is particularly useful when artifacts such...
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