Video Games and the Militarization of Society
Chapter 2. War Culture
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(War) gives us purpose, meaning, a reason for living.
—Chris Hedges (2003, p. 3)
The centrality of war and the willingness to engage in war has become a distinguishing feature of advanced capitalist societies in the twenty-first century. Within the advanced societies of North America, Europe, and Australia, war has become the normal backdrop of everyday life. The act of war, whether it is a low-intensity conflict such as in Afghanistan or the more conventional “shock and awe” of the large-scale invasions we witnessed in Gulf War I and II requires both logistical as well as ideological supports to be effectively prosecuted. The creation of a pro-war cultural milieu has been a hallmark of the first two decades of the twenty-first century. In this chapter I will examine the place of war and warfare within modern society and the relationship between media and entertainment, in the form of video and computer games in the creation of a “war culture” within advanced societies. I will briefly touch on some of the key terms and ideas that will be fully elaborated in subsequent chapters.
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