No announcement yet.

The Military Gaming Industry


  • The Military Gaming Industry

    This video-article explores the relationship between the military-industrial complex and the gaming industry. Many scholars argue that military-style first person shooter games invariably promote the ideology of empire, further the agenda of American military interests, and transform gamers into supporters of the "war on terror."

    In the following video, Dr. Strangelove explores one such argument and suggests that gamers such as the members of the Tactical Gaming community are not mindless dupes of the ideologies of empire and American society.

    Strangelove critiques Johan Höglund's paper, "Electronic Empire: Orientalism Revisited in the Military Shooter," wherein Höglund claims that:
    "From the perspective of the gaming experience, the Middle East remains forever a space where Americans can participate in an everlasting War on Terror. Through reducing the Middle East to a perpetual frontier within this game space, war is effectively transformed from an extreme and unusual measure to a state of normality. In other words, in the military shooter, warfare as performed by American soldiers in the Middle East ceases to be a politically problematic and expensive confusion of resources and instead appears to be a part of the natural order. In the end, this effectively conveys to the gamer that continuous warfare lends safety and cohesion to society rather than destabilizing the world."
    While Höglund argues that the "most important purpose" of military-style first person shooters is "undoubtedly that they seek to produce a subject comfortable with the prosecution of a perpetual war" it remains less than clear that this aim is in fact achieved among active audiences as diverse as the Tactical Gamer community. The intention of behind a media product and its actual reception and use are often two very different things.

    In the end, Höglund grossly underestimates the political astuteness and intelligence of the online gaming community. He is quite wrong to suggest that "The generation that grows up reading the mainstream magazines and visiting the most popular game sites and looking for them to explain the game experience, will be very poorly equipped indeed to deal with the political dimension of what they are playing."

    Playing online military-style games and participating in gaming communities such as Tactical Gamer may in fact contribute to the politicization of the individual gamer and create a much more critical and aware media consumer.

    Dr. Strangelove (a.k.a. [TG] E-Male)
    Author of The Empire of Mind: Digital Piracy and the Anti-capitalist Movement, and
    Watching YouTube: Extraordinary Videos by Ordinary People, (University of Toronto Press).

    • Extinct
      Extinct commented
      Editing a comment
      Quite an interesting symbiotic relationship between the media and the military.

    • Spindoc
      Spindoc commented
      Editing a comment
      Interesting use of journalistic license to portray an image, "the ideologies of empire and American society," and "American military imperialism." I find it fascinating how many journalists selectively pick events and issues to portray "facts" in a manner consistent with their own thinking.
      In this case, perpetuating the grand conspiracy that America plans to take over the world and that the government's invisible hand extends so far as to manipulate video games to influence young minds. Perhaps, as Occam's razor suggests, the reality is far more benign, and the video game industry just creates games that sell, without any secret agenda.
      Nah... that'd be boring, and we need to sensationalize our news/art to get attention; you're right, it's part of America's plan to take over the world. You found us out. The secret agents will knock on your door any minute to take you away to our "re-education" camps. ;)

    • E-Male
      E-Male commented
      Editing a comment
      Re: The Military Gaming Industry

      This is not journalism, it is critical theory.

      Very few scholars think that America plans to take over the world. You build a straw man here.

      As to the use of video games, the connection between the military and certain aspects of the industry are well documented -- one does not need a conspiracy theory to analyze what is out in the open.

      Now if you care to actually attend to the argument as I presented it, and not as you imagine it, we could have a conversation . ..
    Posting comments is disabled.

Latest Articles


  • TG is going to Tanoa - Apex of ArmA 3 begins July 11
    Apex DLC is Coming To TG Servers

    Get ready for the ride to the pinnacle of ArmA 3. Bohemia Interactive is releasing their latest achievement on July 11th featuring a Pacific jungle island Tanoa, a plethora of new features and a rich and long awaited set of assets in the ArmA tradition. will be hosting this content upon release. We will be churning out missions immediately!

    Tanoa alone is impressive, with 5 airports, its single main island, four minor islands and a bunch of “mini” islands it’s set to expand the ArmA empire to include much more land/sea battle capabilities and add elements of small island south pacific tropical exotic-ness to the ArmA franchise.

    Covering over 100 square Kilometers (about one third of the original ArmA Altis map) it is a tropical island paradise. Set in an idyllic setting it’s not militarized like Stratis, Altis or many other maps and this one is truly a clear slate for scenarios. With that said it’s not without its history, exploited for its rich mining productivity the island has been industrialized and ravaged for what looks like decades. There is a new faction, "The Syndikat", a local criminal organization with deep roots on Tanoa. This initial primary faction is made up of armed thugs and ex-paramilitaries, and is involved in many illicit operations throughout the region. Armed with mostly ‘classic’ weaponry such as AKs, RPGs, and 9 mm pistols their knowledge of the island and local hiding spots will make them a formidable enemy when the DLC is released.
    07-11-2016, 06:00 AM
  • Exciting CitizenCon Reveals and How Trolls Helped Push the Community Over 1M Backers

    Some People Live Under Bridges

    There has long been a small but ongoing undercurrent of Star Citizen criticism in some corners of the internet, mostly consisting of (IMO, baseless) accusations of "vaporware", "scam", etc. Apparently, in at least one case (Derek Smart) they have gotten so bad recently that Chris Roberts felt the need to publicly reply. Prior to this, I had never even heard of Derek Smart, but it didn't take me much research to find out that the guy is basically a professional troll. Apparently, once upon a time he had developed a couple games, that many people panned as unfinished and pretty bad in general. So, unable to achieve success on his own, he has apparently turned to latching onto more successful projects in a sad attempt at keeping his own name relevant. And seeing as how I had never heard of him prior to this drama, I suppose successful troll is successful. Although I really can't get my head around why anyone would set out to make that sort of name for themselves.
    10-19-2015, 06:41 AM
  • Elite: Dangerous - Horizons

    Frontier Developments released Elite: Dangerous last year and is now getting ready to release a new season of updates entitled Horizons. That’s right, I said season, not expansion. Frontier has been releasing new features and updates to the game on a periodic basis over a long window of time that they refer to as a "season". The base game released as a single season and we saw a few new features, ships, and other items added to the game.

    If you have been paying attention to the game, you might have seen that some of these updates included the ability to form wings with other players (Wings Update), the ability to pledge with and support a minor power (Powerplay Update), the upcoming area combat (CQC Update), and eventually the Ships update which will bring the current total number of ships up to 30; or 31 depending on if you have Horizons coming to you in some fashion. This will bring Season One (or up to patch 1.5) to an end. Don’t worry if you did not buy Horizons, they will still patch and update the base game and you will still be able to play. You will just not get to enjoy some of the newer features that this new season will bring.
    10-15-2015, 10:37 AM
  • ArmA Insurgency New Life and New Blood on Altis
    "Pandora: The Insurgency" Unique version hosted at TG

    Keen on tactics and strong team based play? Stop by’s Insurgency server for ArmA 3 and join the team as we take on the insurgents on Altis. It’s a 24/7 job. No MODs and no requirements to get in on some amazing ArmA 3 action. Join us today!!

    Built on a persistent framework it calls troops to join in the fight to clear the island of Altis of a scourge of insurgents. These aren’t your average insurgents; they possess skills and weaponry that keeps the best squads on their toes. Their flanking tactics and relentless aggression are legendary. Anti-armor capabilities that keep the armor in the rear and, squads need to take special note that “noise” in a region with other enemy cells nearby may cause those cells to activate and respond to the threat. So small cells that seem “easy” to clear suddenly become beehives of insurgents attacking and flanking a small expeditionary force....
    09-24-2015, 02:47 PM
  • Project Reality Server is Back!
    As some of you saw today, the PR server is back online!

    We will be running the server on a part-time basis, most likely 3 days/nights a week, possibly 4. It is our opinion that this will work best in lieu of running the server 24/7 and having it sit empty most of the day. Additionally, the last time we tried to re-boot the server, we had big issues with getting people to help the seed the server. It is our hope that with a schedule that is known for the week, everyone will look forward to the days that server is up (much like we all looked forward to Thursday password nights) and the server will be full very quickly.

    So, what's the schedule? Great question! We don't know yet. The admin team will make a post later this week with specific dates and times, but the weekend is a pretty safe bet for right now.

    In the meantime, if you have any questions or suggestions, please get a hold of the admin team in the Contact An Admin forum.

    Look forward to seeing everyone on the battlefield!
    07-20-2015, 09:39 AM
  • TacticalGamer / Squad Kickstarter Promotional Offer
    Tactical Gamer is pleased to announce that we are offering a special offer for our members on the upcoming first-person tactical shooter, Squad. Squad is an online multiplayer first-person shooter that aims to capture combat realism through communication and team play. Large open maps combined with strong squad cohesion mechanics, vehicles and player-constructed bases create a heart-thumping, visceral gaming experience which mixes organized tactical multi-squad planning with split second decision-making in real world scale firefights, with up to 50 players per side.
    05-29-2015, 04:11 PM