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Video Games and the Militarization of Society


John Martino

The impact that First Person Shooter video games have had on the evolution of youth culture over a decade or more has been the focus of attention from political leaders; medical and legal specialists; and the mass media. Much of the discussion concerning these games has focused on the issues of the violence that is depicted in the games and on the perceived psychological and social costs for individuals and society. What is not widely canvassed in the public debate generated by violent video games is the role that military-themed games play in the wider process of militarization. The significance of this genre of gaming for the creation of a militarized variant of youth culture warrants closer interrogation. War/Play critically examines the role that militarized video games such as Call of Duty play in the lives of young people and the impact these games have had on the evolution of youth culture and the broader society. The book examines and critiques the manner in which the habits and social interactions of young people, particularly boys and young men, have been reconfigured through a form of pedagogy embedded within this genre.
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Series index


Minding the Media is a book series specifically designed to address the needs of students and teachers in watching, comprehending, and using media. Books in the series use a wide range of educational settings to raise consciousness about media relations and realities and promote critical, creative alternatives to contemporary mainstream practices. Minding the Media seeks theoretical, technical, and practitioner perspectives as they relate to critical pedagogy and public education. Authors are invited to contribute volumes of up to 85,000 words to this series. Possible areas of interest as they connect to learning and teaching include:

• critical media literacy

• popular culture

• video games

• animation

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