Saturday, November 27, 2010

December 2010: No More War Games?

December 2010's topic, No More War Games?, was submitted by graduate student Nick LaLone.

He writes: 

Thousands of video games have used war as a central component of their mechanics or narrative and it isn't surprising. They were created during a time of war and were inspired by the popularity of war board
games like Tactics II, Diplomacy, Risk, and Advanced Squad Leader. These games reflected a changing social landscape as the world metaphorically shrunk. A general fear of what could happen, what had
been happening, made its way into what the people of the 50s,60s, and 70s wanted to play.

Since that time, despite intense competition over the video game market between different cultures, war has remained a central component. As Fallout 3 stated, war never changes. And, through games like Call of Duty, 3rd World Farmer, Minarette Attack, Halo, World of Warcraft, Valkyria Chronicles, Ace Combat, or even Lego Star Wars, the gaming industry has expressed nearly every possible angle on war; war hasn't changed.
  • What would it take start developing games that do not revolve around war?
  • Is violence necessary to explore in video games?
  • How does war change violence and is that change good or bad?
  • If females were featured in a game like Bad Company, how would the game have been different? Why?
Nick LaLone is finishing up his master's in Sociology at Texas State University-San Marcos. He specializes in race, class, and gender studies of popular culture. Lately he has been playing old war games with video game designers who have never played a war game.


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