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War/Game Networking Event

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Room B471

London South Bank University

103 Borough Road

SE1 0AA

United Kingdom

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It may now be a truism that videogames have ‘become ways to think about war’, but important questions remain about how videogames – from mainstream commercial titles to alternative ‘critical’ games – can and do deal with past wars, how they relate to contemporary militarism, and how they engage and empower (or disempower) players.

Although not universally shared, there seems to be a consensus that military-themed videogames promote dominant cultural and historical narratives, offering players a fantasy experience of power and control, while ‘serious’ games tend to be uncritically welcomed as offering a more worthy alternative.

Participants include:
• Simon Parkin (games journalist and author of Death by Video Game)
• Tomas Rawlings (design director, Auroch Digital)
Chris Birch (publisher, Modiphius Entertainment)
• James Carroll (director, Evil Twin Artworks)
• Chris Sharpe (Imperial War Museum)
• Jessica Hardy and Jonathan Ferguson (Royal Armouries Museum)
• Vít Šisler (Charles University, Prague)
• Siobhán Thomas and Paul Sinnett (LSBU)

The workshop seeks to explore:
• What are the key issues and problems that designers and developers need to address – or cannot address – when representing war and conflict?
• What is the role of videogames in the formation and negotiation of collective and cultural memory of past wars?
• How far do critical, anti-war/peace games offer an alternative or challenge to mainstream commercial titles and their cultural and political implications?

This workshop is part of the AHRC-funded network, War/Game: Memory, Militarism, and the Subject of Play, which bring brings together scholars from games studies, media & cultural studies, psychology, sociology and international relations, as well as academic-practitioners with games industry expertise.

The network launch meeting was held at LSBU in September 2017, and project participants convened a panel on the network's themes at the annual conference of the Media, Communications and Cultural Studies Association (MeCCSA) in January 2018.

A further, two-day network meeting will be held at UiT Tromsø on 12—13 March, and the final network conference is planned for late June / early July 2018 at LSBU. For further information email Holger.Potzsch@uit.no and/or Phil.Hammond@lsbu.ac.uk.

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Room B471

London South Bank University

103 Borough Road

SE1 0AA

United Kingdom

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