From America’s Army to Call of Duty: Doing Battle with the Military Entertainment Complex

  • Robin Andersen Communication and Media Studies and Director of the M.A. Program in Public Communications at Fordham University
  • Marin Kurti
Keywords: Video games industry, Video games political aspects, Military, Military Industrial Complex

Abstract

This paper explores the collaboration between the Pentagon and the entertainment industries at the site of the popular interactive format, the war-themed video game. The commercial media industry is heavily invested in the research and development of digital technologies used to create simulations, graphics, and virtual worlds, which are also essential to the networked protocols of military training and weapons systems. In addition, video games such as America’s Army have been developed by the United States Armed Forces as recruitment tools.

With advances in digital computer-based technologies, warthemed games make increasing claims to realism, authenticity and historical accuracy. Real war footage is frequently inserted into narratives and battlefield sequences. We compare the narratives of the experiences of gamers to narratives of recruits and soldier’s experiences of war. Though war themed interactive games are taking simulated battlefields to higher levels of realism, including more intense graphic violence, the thrilling excitement of entertainment replaces the emotional truth of war, a trend with highly negative consequences.

Author Biographies

Robin Andersen, Communication and Media Studies and Director of the M.A. Program in Public Communications at Fordham University

Robin Andersen, Ph.D., is Professor of Communication and Media Studies and Director of the M.A. Program in Public Communications at Fordham University. She also directs the Peace and Justice Studies Program. She is the author of dozens of book chapters and journal articles, and writes media criticisms for EXTRA! among other publications. Her books include Consumer Culture and TV Programming by Westview Press, and she co-edited the Oxford University Press anthology Critical Studies in Media Commercialism. Her book, A Century of Media: A Century of War by Peter Lang Publishing in 2006 won the Alpha Sigma Nu Book Award for 2007. She co-edited Battleground: The Media, a reference set in 2 Volumes for Greenwood Publishing in 2008. She also edits the book series, New Directions in Media for Praeger, and is a Project Censored National Judge. She is a member of the Board of Directors for F.A.I.R. and Deep Dish TV.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marin Kurti

Marin Kurti is a researcher interested in designing studies that reveal the interconnections between entertainment and violence.

Published
2009-03-01
Section
Articles