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‘Killer Games’ Versus ‘We Will Fund Violence’

The Perception of Digital Games and Mass Media in Germany and Australia

Jens Schroeder

While the assessment of digital games in Germany is framed by a high-culture critique, which regards them as an ‘illegitimate’ activity, they are enjoyed by a wider demographic as a ‘legitimate’ pastime in Australia. The book analyses the social history of digital gaming in both countries and relates it to their socio-cultural traditions. Concerning social history, Australia almost depicts an inverse mirror image of Germany. Its foundational dynamics, closely associated with different egalitarianisms, led to a different form of distinction than in Germany – a country whose national self-conception was closely related to groups which perpetuated an idealistic notion of Kultur and later integrated it into a rigid class system. The book not only demonstrates how the discourses on games follow long-established patterns of rejection and approval of mass media but also regard them as an access to the inner workings of both societies. How the games are perceived tells us a lot about German and Australian identity.

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