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

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.

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  1. 0
    AndrewB says:

     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.

  2. 0
    Nucleic Acids says:

    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.

  3. 0
    Nucleic Acids says:

    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.

  4. 0
    jedidethfreak says:

    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.

    He was dead when I got here.

  5. 0
    Shahab says:

    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.

  6. 0
    jedidethfreak says:

    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.

    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.

  7. 0
    GoodRobotUs says:

    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.

  8. 0
    jedidethfreak says:

    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.

    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.

  9. 0
    GoodRobotUs says:

    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.

  10. 0
    aIM hERE says:

    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.

  11. 0
    jedidethfreak says:

    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.

    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.

  12. 0
    GoodRobotUs says:

    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.

  13. 0
    PHX Corp says:

    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

  14. 0
    GoodRobotUs says:

    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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