Video Games and the Militarization of Society
Chapter 5. Propaganda and Video Games
· 5 · propaganda and video games Today propaganda has replaced progress. —(Virilio, Richard, & Hodges, 2012, p. 38) War is an area of human activity that spans both the physical and psycho- logical domains. Killing and getting people to kill, or to acquiesce to killing occurring in their name, has been a crucial aspect of the preparation for and the actual conduct of war. Propaganda has been a widely used tool for the positioning of societies to engage in war, and then once the commitment to the conflict has been made, to maintain that commitment, whatever the cost. Recent history is peppered with examples of this process—the Total War that engulfed Europe in mid- twentieth century with Germany fighting almost to the last man, woman, and child is perhaps the quintessential case study. The fanatical determination of the Germans to continue the war owes much to the power and sophistication of the propaganda apparatus that Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels was able to set in motion. Definitions of what con- stitutes propaganda and how it functions in advanced society have been richly debated. The form, mechanism, and impact of propaganda have evolved over the past decades. From our vantage point in the twenty- first century it is pos- sible to look back and identify a range of practices and strategies that have helped to define the evolution of this powerful political weapon. 66 war/play: video games and the militarization of society Propaganda and the Formation of Attitudes According to Jacques Ellul,...
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