New Book Probes Link Between Video Games, Capitalism, Militarism & Social Control

August 27, 2009 -

We haven't read this one yet, but we plan to.

Games of Empire: Global Capitalism and Video Games, a new book by Prof. Nick Dyer-Witheford of the University of Western Ontario and Greig de Peuter, a PhD candidate at Simon Fraser University, digs into some territory that should prove fascinating to GamePolitics readers.

From the press release:

Games of Empire forcefully connects video games to real-world concerns about globalization, militarism, and exploitation, from the horrors of African mines and Indian e-waste sites that underlie the entire industry, the role of labor in commercial game development, and the synergy between military simulation software and the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan... the urban neoliberalism made playable in Grand Theft Auto, and the emergence of an alternative game culture through activist games and open-source game development.

Rejecting both moral panic and glib enthusiasm, Games of Empire demonstrates how virtual games crystallize the cultural, political, and economic forces of global capital, while also providing a means of resisting them.

The paperback edition is available for $19.95.


Comments

Re: New Book Probes Link Between Video Games, Capitalism, ...

I'm not touching this with a 10-foot pole.

Re: New Book Probes Link Between Video Games, Capitalism, ...

This book pretty much screams Communism/Fascism/Socialism as an obivious matter

 

Watching JT on GP is just like watching an episode of Jerry springer only as funny as the fights

America has just became its own version of the Jerry Springer Show after a bizarre moment in Florida involving a carnival worker.

Re: New Book Probes Link Between Video Games, Capitalism, ...

Err you could not amke casaul links to such and genreal extra shallow fiction that only dumbs down and placates the masses?

/tinfoil hat


Until lobbying is a hanging offense I choose anarchy! Stop supporting big media and furthering the criminalization of consumers!! http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/


Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Let's renegotiate them.

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http://zippydsm.deviantart.com/

Re: New Book Probes Link Between Video Games, Capitalism, ...

This sounds silly. The leaders aren't the ones who have been playing games, for the most part.

Re: New Book Probes Link Between Video Games, Capitalism, ...

The phrase 'Urban Neoliberalism' used in that context makes me somewhat nervous about the goals of the book. Apparently Liberalism is now the new communism.

Sounds a bit McCarthy-esque over there at the moment...

 

I think it's a good indication of just how far right certain areas of the Right have swung when they put 'Middle of the Road' politics in the same box they tried to put Left-wing politics in 40 years ago.

Re: New Book Probes Link Between Video Games, Capitalism, ...

Umm, neoliberalism is a term normally used by people on the left to describe the uber-free market privatisation policies of the West (particularly as exported to the third world by the likes of Reagan, the Chicago school, the WTO and the IMF) immediately prior to the Bush junta, which added a dogmatic (as opposed to pragmatic, or realpolitik) foreign policy element, privatised a lot of the military and called whatever they did 'neoconservatism'.

(the 'liberalism' here refers to laissez-faire, Adam Smith-style 19th century classical liberalism, not that of the modern US left)

The book as described sounds as though it's coming from somewhere vaguely leftish.

Re: New Book Probes Link Between Video Games, Capitalism, ...

 That's what I was thinking, leftist of the Naomi Klein variety.  I personally wouldn't bother with this book, considering how little most academics know about games.

Re: New Book Probes Link Between Video Games, Capitalism, ...

turns out this was not the first book based on video games by the two authors, I actually found a similar book create by those 2 authors in general

http://www.amazon.com/dp/0773525912/ref=asc_df_0773525912889687/?tag=nex...

 

Watching JT on GP is just like watching an episode of Jerry springer only as funny as the fights

America has just became its own version of the Jerry Springer Show after a bizarre moment in Florida involving a carnival worker.

Re: New Book Probes Link Between Video Games, Capitalism, ...

I think by the phraes in that context, they were talking about the general idea that the hero of the GTA games is a comon criminal, and that the story progresses not by the idea of said criminal turning away from a criminal lifestyle, but by embracing it.  This is not an idea embraced by conservative, who have been accused of not seeing life with any "gray area," but more by liberals, of whom extremists would say or do anything to allow a criminal to go free, i.e. getting OJ Simpson off of double homocide by making a very loose claim of racism by the LAPD, or saying that a teenager didn't murder his parents, the violent video games he played made him do it.

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Freedom of speech means the freedom to say ANYTHING, so long as it is the truth. This does not exclude anything that might hurt someone's feelings.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: New Book Probes Link Between Video Games, Capitalism, ...

You are retarded if you are saying liberal's (which is such a broad term) would do anything to set a criminal free. Stop parroting what the talking heads on Fox News say and think for yourself. Guess what, American's 'conservative' party and 'liberal' party have WAY more in common than you probably think. For the most part they take money from the same people and tell us the same lies. All the people who buy into the red state/blue state BS are just perpetuating a system wherein American's lose more liberties and control over their lives than ever.

What we really need is to take special interest money out of politics and then see who we start electing to office. But the Dems and Reps are afraid of that, since they both get to hold onto the power under the current two party system.

Re: New Book Probes Link Between Video Games, Capitalism, ...

What part of the word "extremists" did you miss?

Funny though, that you mention that I should stop saying things from Fox News, when you're the one paraphrasing Glenn Beck with the whole Red state/Blue state thing.  As a matter of fact, if you look at my post, directly above yours from the top, I comment that they're the same thing.

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He was dead when I got here.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: New Book Probes Link Between Video Games, Capitalism, ...

Problem is, it makes the generalisation that all Liberals would support the kind of behaviour from GTA 4 in real life, which is a long way from the case. The whole idea that this book was written by someone who assumes everyone on the other side of the political divide must support Violence and Criminal Behaviour is enough to create an enormous 'don't read' flag for me, if even the intro displays blatant political stereotyping, then God alone knows how bad the content of the thing will be.

Re: New Book Probes Link Between Video Games, Capitalism, ...

Well, here's the problem.  Did you read the book?  If not, you really can't judge what the political meaning of said book would be.  Judging by the title of the article here on GP and the content, equating illegal activity overseas to gaming in the US and parallels between WWII shooters and Iraq and Afghanistan, there's enough to go on to believe there could be a very real liberal slant to the message.  Until someone actually reads the book, we can't make judgements on that without looking like an idiot.

Also, Liberalism can't be the new Communism with respect to McCarthyism, as our government would have to be completely restarted from scratch.  If anything, in today's political climate, it's Conservatism that's treated as Communism with respect to McCarthyism, as conservatives are called, by our President, Vice President, Press Secretary and Speaker of the House of Representative, liars, Nazis, mobsters, un-American and out to undermine our nation, all to avoid true discourse over the President's policies.

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Freedom of speech means the freedom to say ANYTHING, so long as it is the truth. This does not exclude anything that might hurt someone's feelings.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: New Book Probes Link Between Video Games, Capitalism, ...

No one has ever said anything like that, ever, and if you think conservatives have been shut out of the political discourse since Obama was elected you are a fool.

Re: New Book Probes Link Between Video Games, Capitalism, ...

You're right, I can't judge the entire book without reading, but that isn't what I said, what I said was that the assumptions made in the introduction to it were quite enough to put me off, and I had read the introduction.

As for calling people names, I don't think either side can declare a 'sqeaky clean' record in that respect, both sides are as bad as each other when it comes to thinking up utterly non-related insults to people in the opposite political circle, I really don't think either side can declare innocence on those grounds.

With the McCarthyism, I will say only this, I hear someone saying Liberal as a kind of insult far, far more often than calling someone a Republican is used. Admittedly, there are a lot of stereotypes about Republicans (and Democrats), but the word in my experience, isn't used as an insult nearly as often as 'Those evil, Nazi baby-killer, healthcare introducing Liberals'. And there is always a heavy implication, as in that write-up above, that Liberals are somehow anti-civilisation and anti-law which is utter rubbish.

Re: New Book Probes Link Between Video Games, Capitalism, ...

I personally don't hold that view of Liberalism, because, what most people don't get, is liberals and conservatives want the same thing, just disagree on how to implement them.  There are crazy liberals out there who believe that no criminal should go to jail, because the crime they commited wasn't really their fault, and all jail will do is force them into more crime.  There are crazy conservatives out there who believe that all criminals should be put to jail for the maximum sentance, regardless of circumstances involved in the crime.  The problem comes when these crazies speak for the party.  Dems have a lot of crazies speaking for them, such as Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and Barney Frank.  I'll give the President until Christmas before making a real judgement on his character, but I'm leaning towards crazy for the investigation into the CIA.

I'm not really seeing a lot of crazy Republicans right now in the government, but that's probably because they're so drowned out with their lack of power in Washington.  That may change in 2010.

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Freedom of speech means the freedom to say ANYTHING, so long as it is the truth. This does not exclude anything that might hurt someone's feelings.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: New Book Probes Link Between Video Games, Capitalism, ...

Absolutely none of the people you listed are in any way, shape, or form crazy. And you cannot compare the two parties in terms of craziness when you have Republican politicians openly entertaining things like the Birther nonsense.

Re: New Book Probes Link Between Video Games, Capitalism, ...

That's not exactly the point, McCarthyism is still as it's defined, regardless of whether it's based on something that some people believe to be a falsehood or not, making an 'enemy of the state' out of political positions that are not your own is NOT the sort of behaviour I'd expect from a country that supposedly supports free speech.

 
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MaskedPixelanteI suspect Howard will show up in Guardians of the Galaxy 2 as a bartender on Knowhere or something.11/22/2014 - 9:52am
Michael ChandraWonderkarp, try games where you don't get interactive cutscenes and only the main character really talks to people. Or games with a silent protagonist. I think the Bechdel test is a nice indicator (though flawed) for movies and such, but not games.11/22/2014 - 7:56am
ZippyDSMleeWymorence: HTD was a fun and very messed up film I love it. A new one would be nothing like it sadly.11/22/2014 - 1:57am
Andrew EisenOnly if we lived in a world where a bad movie meant every subsequent attempt would suck. Seriously though, after the last few years, I'll give Marvel the benefit of the doubt that it could make a great Howard the Duck movie.11/22/2014 - 1:29am
Wymorenceisn't that a GOOD thing there isn't a movie after the abomination that was the first?11/22/2014 - 12:27am
Andrew EisenNo movie in sight but Howard the Duck is returning to comics! https://games.yahoo.com/news/howard-duck-series-announced-184400635.html11/21/2014 - 10:48pm
MechaCrashThe point of the Bechdel Test isn't "is this film sexist," it's to illustrate "this is an incredibly low bar and most movies STILL can't pass it."11/21/2014 - 10:11pm
mthielNew report on Adam Lanza http://tinyurl.com/pnj9os611/21/2014 - 8:07pm
Andrew EisenIf you missed the HuffPost segment I guested on, the replay is now embedded in the story.11/21/2014 - 6:05pm
Wonderkarphttps://pbs.twimg.com/media/B2__4yZCcAA9Ytp.jpg these look amazing. Peach is the only one I'm tempted to open cause her packaging is bent. get another nonbent one....man. toycollector me and gamecollector me is fighting11/21/2014 - 5:51pm
WonderkarpJust finalized my Smash Bros free Sound Track Order. Also got 4 amiibos and they look fantastic. I'm afraid to open them. they look spectacular!11/21/2014 - 5:45pm
james_fudgeCan we all agree that Andrew cleans up nicely and can go on any program?11/21/2014 - 5:01pm
Wonderkarpthank you for that line, Andrew. alot of great films fail the bechdel test. Gravity fails it and it has a female lead.11/21/2014 - 4:48pm
Andrew EisenAw, thanks James! Well, now I have to drive back to work!11/21/2014 - 4:45pm
Andrew EisenDidn't have a chance to say this on the HuffPost segment but while the Bechdel test is useful as a broad examination of gender representation in media, it's not at all appropriate as a judgment of quality.11/21/2014 - 4:45pm
james_fudgeAndrew you killed it!11/21/2014 - 4:44pm
WonderkarpMadeline Bergman. second female, they never speak of men, just a computer program. it passes the test11/21/2014 - 4:34pm
E. Zachary KnightDoes Other M have more than one woman in it?11/21/2014 - 4:31pm
Wonderkarpyet Metroid Other M, a game where people cried sexist due to the commanding officers restricting Samus, passes the test....11/21/2014 - 4:21pm
Wonderkarpwait...they are using the bechdel test to determine which games are sexist?.....how does that work with a game like Super Mario Bros when there is no Dialogue? test itself is BS. Alien doesn't pass it11/21/2014 - 4:20pm
 

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