Annotated Bibliography – Lesson 7
Green, C. Shawn, and Daphne Bavelier. "The cognitive neuroscience of video games." Digital
media: Transformations in human communication (2006): 211-223.
C. Shawn Green and Daphne Bavelier are experienced scholars in the field of video game neuroscience, having previously written papers on the cognitive effects of video games on visual selective attention. In this article, the authors explore the theory that video game playing provides practical gains in enhanced perceptual capabilities, including hand-eye coordination, faster reaction times, benefits in peripheral vision and more. Evaluating the literature on hand for this type of neuroscience, the authors determine that video games do, in fact, have a decided effect on the cognitive abilities of players, leading to the aforementioned enhancements in motor skills and so on. The source itself does not perform any objective studies of its own, preferring to perform a metatextual study of the existing literature, and so it is merely recontextualizing previously studied results. The authors are likely biased toward video games, given their assertion as to their cultural significance of late. The intended audience of the paper are fellow academics in the realm of neuroscience and consumers of digital media, and is a helpful first start in understanding how video games affect the brain. My search strategy was to search through Google Scholar for the keywords ‘video games + cognition.’
Höglund, Johan. "Electronic empire: Orientalism revisited in the military shooter." Game
Studies 8.1 (2008).
Hogland is a senior lecturer at the School of Human Sciences at the University of Kalmar in Sweden, and has presented this paper at international conferences. In this paper, Said’s Orientalism is used as a framework to examine recent military video games (including Call of Duty) to examine the relationship between those games and the War on Terror. The article comes to the conclusion that the games place the player in a state of enlistment in the military-industrial complex, giving the impression that the Middle East will perpetually be in a state of war and to follow the ideological perspective of the MIC. This work in particular shares similarities with Edward Said’s Orientalism, as it provides a major part of its theoretical framework. This source in particular offers specific examples of characters and situations in various military shooters that play into the Orientalist perspectives of its creators and the American capitalist ideology as a whole. The intended audience are political and media scholars looking for sociopolitical content in mass media. I believe that this source is extremely solid and contemporary, and provides a vital link between theory and practice in my intended subject. My search strategy was to search through Google Scholar for the keywords ‘orientalism + Call of Duty.’
Huntemann, Nina B., and Matthew Thomas Payne, eds. Joystick soldiers: The politics of play in
military video games. Routledge, 2010.
Huntemann is an associate professor of media studies at Suffolk University, with an extensive career in media criticism. In this book, a series of essays are given exploring how military video games feed the military-industrial complex and vice versa, as well as how the messaging of action video games like Metal Gear Solid give certain assumptions about military duty, sacrifice, and the Other. This is similar to the Hoglund text in that it explores the military-industrial complex’s grip on video gaming as well. The intended audience are both academic and casual follows of video games and mass media. While the essays vary in quality, many of the essays, particularly ones involving textual analysis of a particular game, offer insight into the ways in which the military is presented in the world of gaming. My search strategy was to search through Google Scholar for the keywords ‘Orientalism + Video Games’; I found an online version of the book.
of peace." SIMILE: Studies in media & information literacy education 4.4 (2004): 1-8.
David Leonard is a prolific media studies writer, focusing on ethnic studies in media; he also teaches in the Department of Comparative Ethnic Studies at Washington State University. In this article, Leonard explores post-9/11 Islamophobia and American foreign policy as a major influence on many video war games, which are seen to reflect the patriotic fervor that came after those attacks. Games like Call of Duty are shown to increase support for the War on Terror and the military-industrial complex, concluding that video games militarize everyday life and cements the close relationships between the video game and military industries. This paper will build on the concepts of Orientalism and the military-industrial complex as they relate to video games, as shown through the Boglund and Huntemann sources. My search strategy was to search through Google Scholar for the keywords “orientalism + Video Games.’
Losh, Elizabeth. "The palace of memory: virtual tourism and tours of duty in Tactical Iraqi and
Virtual Iraq." Proceedings of the 2006 international conference on Game research and
development. Murdoch University, 2006.
Elizabeth Losh is a media studies professor, and the Director of Academic Programs at Sixth College. In this article, the actual concepts of video game construction and theory are used to examine potential alternate versions of Iraq that are created by the US military for rehabilitation. The concepts of digital experience, virtual reality and exposure therapy are described, with the author believing that these video games offer the potential for rehabilitation for soldiers suffering from PTSD. This paper offers a deconstruction of the military-based video game that does not involve military action, but instead facilitates greater interactions with the native Iraqis. This provides an interesting counterpoint to the Huntemann and Leonard texts, as it shows that it is possible for a video game to be military-based and not be combat-focused. This paper explores substantial ideas of game theory and immersion, including the ‘method of loci’, but may be more tangential to my paper than others given the subjects’ status as specialized games not meant for mass market use. The intended audience are neuroscientists, military psychologists and game theorists who wish to learn the effectiveness of these interventions. My search strategy was to search through Google Scholar for the keywords ‘Military Video Games.’
Said, Edward. Orientalism. Vintage Books, 1978.
Edward Said is considered one of the foremost experts in this realm of cultural studies and literary theory. In his seminal book Orientalism, Said explores the dichotomy between the Orient and the Occident, particularly in terms of how Occidental media and culture tends to view the Orient as ‘exotic’ or the big “Other.” This serves to marginalize and establish stereotypes and other false cultural assumptions for the Other, making cultural divides even wider and stoking international tensions. This misrepresentation of the Orient includes a certain prejudice of Europeans against the East, particularly of Islamic and Arabic peoples, and can fuel a lot of the negative images perpetuated against them in the West. I feel that book is important for my study, as it provides the basis for the theoretical framework (explored by other sources like Boglund) of Orientalism in military video games, establishing the images and codification that occurs in the practice that is present in these works. The intended audience for this book includes academics and scholars of sociology. My search strategy was to search through Google Scholar for the keywords ‘Orientalism + Said’ – an ebook version was found.
Swalwell, Melanie. ""This isn't a computer game you know!": revisiting the computer
games/televised war analogy." DIGRA Conf.. 2003.
Melanie Swalwell is an Associate Professor at Flinders University, focusing on media arts, cultural theory and history. In her article, the Gulf War of 1991 is shown to be the beginning of an increasing distance and lack of engagement between the civilian and the war theater, especially due to the distancing effect of the televised footage of war on the human psyche. This is extended to video games, though Swalwell’s eventual conclusion is that television distancing cannot be equated to the engagement of a player with a game. The intended audience of this paper are media studies scholars who wish to examine military video games and war spectatorship. This paper, I believe, will help to shed some light on the relationship between media and the military-industrial complex, just as with the Leonard paper. My search strategy was to search through Google Scholar for the keywords ‘Military Video Games’.