Video Games and the Militarization of Society
Chapter 4. Video Games, Digital Culture, and the Militarization of the Young
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VIDEO GAMES, DIGITAL CULTURE, AND THE MILITARIZATION OF THE YOUNG
Under the rubric of war, security and anti-terrorism, children are “disappeared”from basic social spheres that once provided the conditions for a sense of agency and possibility, just as they are rhetorically excised from any discourse about the future. What is so troubling about the current historical moment is that youth no longer even symbolize the future. And yet, any discourse about the future has to begin with the issue of youth because more than any other group they embody the projected dreams, desires, and commitment of a society’s obligations to the future.
— Henry Giroux (2004a, p. 85)
Young people have, over the past half-century or more, endeavored to create distinctive ways of engaging with each other and the world in order to confront the issues associated with the transition to adulthood. In the process young people have carved out a distinct space for themselves, a space that has its own set of rules, language, dress code, music, artistic taste, and style. This space has been described as “adolescence”—usually in the context of medical or psychological approaches to young people and the ideas surrounding them. A broader, less medicalized way of referring to young people is the postwar term “youth” within which authors have identified a range of cultures or subcultures (Bennett, 1999; Bennett & Kahn-Harris, 2004; Giroux, 2013; Grossberg, 1983; Haenfler, 2010). The postwar creation of the...
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