In this Book

Gameplay Mode

From flight simulators and first-person shooters to MMPOG and innovative strategy games like 2008’s Spore, computer games owe their development to computer simulation and imaging produced by and for the military during the Cold War. To understand their place in contemporary culture, Patrick Crogan argues, we must first understand the military logics that created and continue to inform them. Gameplay Mode situates computer games and gaming within the contemporary technocultural moment, connecting them to developments in the conceptualization of pure war since the Second World War and the evolution of simulation as both a technological achievement and a sociopolitical tool.

Crogan begins by locating the origins of computer games in the development of cybernetic weapons systems in the 1940s, the U.S. Air Force’s attempt to use computer simulation to protect the country against nuclear attack, and the U.S. military’s development of the SIMNET simulated battlefield network in the late 1980s. He then examines specific game modes and genres in detail, from the creation of virtual space in fight simulation games and the co-option of narrative forms in gameplay to the continuities between online gaming sociality and real-world communities and the potential of experimental or artgame projects like September 12th: A Toy World and Painstation, to critique conventional computer games.

Drawing on critical theoretical perspectives on computer-based technoculture, Crogan reveals the profound extent to which today’s computer games—and the wider culture they increasingly influence—are informed by the technoscientific program they inherited from the military-industrial complex. But, Crogan concludes, games can play with, as well as play out, their underlying logic, offering the potential for computer gaming to anticipate a different, more peaceful and hopeful future.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. pp. 1-7
  3. restricted access Download |
  2. pp. vii-9
  3. restricted access Download |
  2. pp. ix-x
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Introduction: Technology, War, and Simulation
  2. pp. xi-29
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 1 From the Military-Industrial to the Military-Entertainment Complex
  2. pp. 1-18
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 2 Select Gameplay Mode: Simulation, Criticality, and the Chance of Video Games
  2. pp. 19-36
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 3 Logistical Space: Flight Simulators and the Animation of Virtual Reality
  2. pp. 37-58
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 4 Military Gametime: History, Narrative, and Temporality in Cinema and Games
  2. pp. 59-86
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 5 The Game of Life: Experiences of the First-Person Shooter
  2. pp. 87-110
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 6 Other Players in Other Spaces: War and Online Games
  2. pp. 111-134
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 7 Playing Through: The Future of Alternative and Critical Game Practices
  2. pp. 135-156
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Conclusion: The Challenge of Simulation
  2. pp. 157-176
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. NOTES
  2. pp. 177-208
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. INDEX
  2. pp. 209-254
  3. restricted access Download |
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.