Posted on October 2, 2007,

Video Games Change Perspectives of War

medal-of-honor.jpgPatriotism and pride are in, internment camps and other atrocities are out. At least, that’s what Medal of Honor seems to be about.

Aaron Hess, doctoral student in the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication at Arizona State University, recently published a paper suggesting that “playing” war, as in playing video games which centered on fighting in a war, did a good job of instilling patriotism and pride in gamers that played, but changed historical perspectives of the war by leaving out the complexities of issues which affected society at large such as internment camps.

Films do this to an extent, but there’s idea that the “passive” nature of films weren’t quite as dramatic or effective as the “active” nature of video games. The games force you to choose a side and then fight for it, while in films the side is already chosen for you.

The essay focused on Medal of Honor, using the game‘s development as an example of how war is constructed in video games.

One has to wonder if this was the best method of making this determination, but the issue of stripping away reality from war to make it a product of entertainment is an important one to bring up.


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2 Comments on Video Games Change Perspectives of War


On October 2, 2007 at 12:19 pm

What a crock. This fails to take into account the interest that these games generate on the subject, and the subsequent research and learning because of it. Get a clue, Aaron Hess.

Aaron Hess

On October 4, 2007 at 11:54 am


I’m not sure that games spark that sort of interest. In my analysis of Medal of Honor, the story that was told attempted to cover all fronts using newsreel footage and interviews with veterans. Do you think that gamers jump from games to books? The game is constructed like a documentary and a memorial to veterans. Why would anyone care to do further research?

Just some thoughts…