Games of Empire: Global Capitalism and Video Games - download pdf or read online

By Nick Dyer-Witheford, Greig de Peuter

Within the first decade of the twenty-first century, games are a vital part of worldwide media tradition, rivaling Hollywood in profit and impression. now not limited to a culture of adolescent men, games this day are performed by means of adults all over the world. while, games became significant websites of company exploitation and armed forces recruitment.

In Games of Empire, Nick Dyer-Witheford and Greig de Peuter provide an intensive political critique of such games and digital environments as Second Life, World of Warcraft, and Grand robbery Auto, examining them as the exemplary media of Empire, the twenty-first-century hypercapitalist advanced theorized via Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri. The authors hint the ascent of digital gaming, examine its effect on creators and gamers alike, and delineate the relationships among video games and truth, physique and avatar, reveal and street.

Games of Empire forcefully connects games to real-world matters approximately globalization, militarism, and exploitation, from the horrors of African mines and Indian e-waste websites that underlie the whole undefined, the position of work in advertisement online game improvement, and the synergy among army simulation software program and the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan exemplified by way of Full Spectrum Warrior to the enormous digital economies surrounding World of Warcraft, the city neoliberalism made playable in Grand robbery Auto, and the emergence of another online game tradition via activist video games and open-source online game development.

Rejecting either ethical panic and glib enthusiasm, Games of Empire demonstrates how digital video games crystallize the cultural, political, and monetary forces of worldwide capital, whereas additionally delivering a way of resisting them.

Games of Empire is not just an awfully wide-ranging, wealthy, empirically grounded, and theoretically-savvy contribution to the sector of video game reviews, but in addition an example of that playful genius of immaterial exertions that the ebook crucially investigates. The publication is a must-read for all scholars and students of gaming cultures, and an eye-opener to the an important significance of gaming to the wider point of societal strength for everyone else.” —Tiziana Terranova, writer of Network tradition: Politics for the knowledge Age

“Riffing productively on Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri’s influential Empire, Dyer-Witheford and de Peuter supply a strong, readable Marxian disclose of the video-game industry.” —Choice

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Military computer laboratories were assisting electronic battlefi eld projects like Operation Igloo White, the remote- control B-52 bombing of the Ho Chi Minh trail, but the students in those labs were resisting the war. ” There were thus two red scares at work in the origin of virtual games: the external threat of the Kremlin, inspiring the Pentagon to an escalating trajectory of digital research, and the internal subversion of counterculture where hacking met the New Left. John Markoff (2005) has traced this interweaving of hacking with political radicalism through forums such as Ted Nelson’s 1974 Computer Lib (its cover sported a power-to-the-people clenched fist on a black background and the imperative “You Can and Must Understand Computers NOW”) and organizations such as the San Francisco People’s Computing Company (PCC), founded by programmers involved in the Berkeley Free Speech and War Resisters League, whose philosophy was “You make the software available for free, and anyone could do anything they wanted with it” (Markoff 2005, 262).

From the mid-1980s, manga was changed from an anti- to a pro-establishment medium (after this commercial absorption, amateur manga once again became a target of suspicion and censorship in the panics about “antisocial” manga otaku, or “manga nerds,” that swept Japan in the 1990s). Companies such as Nintendo were part of this recuperation and normalization of manga dissidence, which was smoothed out within the highly disciplined machinery of Japanese game studios. When Ken Kutaragi, designer of the PlayStation, fi rst came to work at Sony, he looked at the red flags of the “spring labor offensive,” symbol of the labor militancy with which manga had once been associated, with incomprehension and distaste (Asakura 2000).

But simulations could also be a diversion from working on mass death if they were cut loose from serious application, enjoyed for their technical “sweetness” and oddity without instrumental purpose, transformed into play. Such escapes were possible because the military allowed its immaterial workers a lot of latitude. Computer scientists and engineers were the only people who understood the new digital machines. Transgressing standard procedures, fooling around with computers, was at least tolerated because that was the way to discover new uses and options (Kline, Dyer-Witheford, and de Peuter 2003).

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