War Propaganda Is Fun On Your Xbox 360

from the the-battle-in-your-livingroom dept

Historically, film has been a dominant medium for propaganda, as filmmakers working for and against governments have used it to express certain viewpoints. It appears, though, that propagandists are increasingly shifting towards videogames as the way to promote their message. In Iran, a new videogame is being developed depicting a scenario in which a top Iranian nuclear scientist has been taken hostage by US forces. The mission, of course, is to secure his release. Videogames are used similarly here as well. Recall that a few years ago, the Army released its own videogame for recruiting purposes. Recently, Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez lashed out at an American company for creating a game that simulates an invasion of Venezuela. Chavez' fears are somewhat understandable, since an invasion of Venezuela wouldn't normally be something on people's minds (unlike say an invasion of Iran, which wouldn't be surprising to find in a game). Furthermore, as author Ed Halter notes, the company that developed the game, Pandemic, has a history of working side by side with the Army to develop training games. Halter's book From Sun Tzu To Xbox: War And Video Games delves deeply into the historical and ongoing ties between the military and the video game industry. So as videogames continue to capture attention that was historically owned by the film industry, expect games to be a home of fierce propaganda battles. If only the wars could be fought virtually as well.

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  1. identicon
    Hairball, 30 May 2006 @ 8:56am

    A Virtual War?

    Well what good is that going to do??? I was under the impression that the purpose of war was to kill members of the opposing faction because ... quite barbarically ... death is the easiest way to rid ourselves of ideas we don't agree with. Now. If the wars were completely virtual, wouldn't that be like playing a game of battleship? or chess? "Ok! game over, you got us this time, but we've got your strategy down pat!" ... No casualties ... nothing accomplished (not that killing people accomplishes anything...) but two countries wasting a ton of money on technology for fighting technology.

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