War Games

Author: Philipp von Hilgers
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262300370
Format: PDF, Docs
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For centuries, both mathematical and military thinkers have used game-like scenarios to test their visions of mastering a complex world through symbolic operations. By the end of World War I, mathematical and military discourse in Germany simultaneously discovered the game as a productive concept. Mathematics and military strategy converged in World War II when mathematicians designed fields of operation. In this book, Philipp von Hilgers examines the theory and practice of war games through history, from the medieval game boards, captured on parchment, to the paper map exercises of the Third Reich. Von Hilgers considers how and why war games came to exist: why mathematical and military thinkers created simulations of one of the most unpredictable human activities on earth. Von Hilgers begins with the medieval rythmomachia, or Battle of Numbers, then reconstructs the ideas about war and games in the baroque period. He investigates the role of George Leopold von Reiswitz's tactical war game in nineteenth-century Prussia and describes the artifact itself: a game board--topped table with drawers for game implements. He explains Clausewitz's emphasis on the "fog of war" and the accompanying element of incalculability, examines the contributions of such thinkers as Clausewitz, Leibniz, Wittgenstein, and von Neumann, and investigates the war games of the German military between the two World Wars. Baudrillard declared this to be the age of simulacra; war games stand contrariwise as simulations that have not been subsumed in absolute virtuality.

Playing War

Author: Matthew Payne
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 147980522X
Format: PDF, Mobi
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No video game genre has been more popular or more lucrative in recent years than the “military shooter.” Franchises such as Call of Duty, Battlefield, and those bearing Tom Clancy’s name turn over billions of dollars annually by promising to immerse players in historic and near-future battles, converting the reality of contemporary conflicts into playable, experiences. In the aftermath of 9/11, these games transformed a national crisis into fantastic and profitable adventures, where seemingly powerless spectators became solutions to these virtual Wars on Terror. Playing War provides a cultural framework for understanding the popularity of military-themed video games and their significance in the ongoing War on Terror. Matthew Payneexamines post-9/11 shooter-style game design as well as gaming strategies to expose how these practices perpetuate and challenge reigning political beliefs about America’s military prowess and combat policies. Far from offering simplistic escapist pleasures, these post-9/11 shooters draw on a range of nationalist mythologies, positioning the player as the virtual hero at every level. Through close readings of key games, analyses of marketing materials, and participant observations of the war gaming community, Playing War examines an industry mobilizing anxieties about terrorism and invasion to craft immersive titles that transform international strife into interactive fun.

Digital Games as History

Author: Adam Chapman
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317553861
Format: PDF, ePub
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This book provides the first in-depth exploration of video games as history. Chapman puts forth five basic categories of analysis for understanding historical video games: simulation and epistemology, time, space, narrative, and affordance. Through these methods of analysis he explores what these games uniquely offer as a new form of history and how they produce representations of the past. By taking an inter-disciplinary and accessible approach the book provides a specific and firm first foundation upon which to build further examination of the potential of video games as a historical form.

Destruction Rites

Author: Mona Hadler
Publisher: I.B.Tauris
ISBN: 1786721597
Format: PDF, Docs
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In the early sixties, crowds gathered to watch rites of destruction – from the demolition derby where makeshift cars crashed into each other for sport, to concerts where musicians destroyed their instruments, to performances of self-destructing machines staged by contemporary artists. Destruction, in both its playful and fearsome aspects, was ubiquitous in the new Atomic Age. This complicated subjectivity was not just a way for people to find catharsis amid the fears of annihilation and postwar trauma, but also a complex instantiation of ideological crisis—in a time with some seriously conflicted political myths.

War Games

Author: John D. Seelye
Publisher: Univ of Massachusetts Press
ISBN: 9781558493865
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This is a study of the early writings of Richard Harding Davis, the premier American journalist of the 1890s, best remembered for his coverage of the Spanish-American War. The emphasis of the book is on Davis's reporting-including several volumes of travel writing, covering trips to the Near East and South and Central America. Some account is also made of his fiction, most especially Soldiers of Fortune (1897), which critics have seen as a romantic treatment of the imperialist élan. As such, the novel serves as a prolegomenon to the war in Cuba, which Davis covered during its insurrectionist stage. He later accompanied Theodore Roosevelt's Rough Riders when U.S. forces invaded the island in 1898, an action he had urged and may have in part inspired. John Seelye argues that Davis, rather than supporting the notion of an American empire on the Roman or British plan, advocated what would become U.S. strategy over the next century: a limited engagement in support of embryonic democratic movements in the Caribbean, followed by withdrawal of armed forces once a stable government had been established. While approving British methods when they seemed in accord with his ideas of fairness, Davis was critical of the English presence in Egypt and was scathing in his treatment of the Boer War, championing the Dutch settlers over the invading army. Like many others associated with the Spanish-American War, Davis was an ardent fan of football: fair play and good sportsmanship were integral to his notions of democratic expansionism, hence the title of this book. Seelye not only brings Davis into the mainstream of recent historical treatments of American imperialism, but makes a case that Davis was, as his contemporaries regarded him, a master of journalistic style.

War and Games

Author: Tim Cornell
Publisher: Boydell Press
ISBN: 9780851158709
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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These comparative studies focus on the relationship between war and games in an effort to achieve an understanding of the phenomenon of war, in order ultimately to avoid it.

Civil War Humor

Author: Cameron C. Nickels
Publisher: Univ. Press of Mississippi
ISBN: 9781604737486
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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In Civil War Humor, author Cameron C. Nickels examines the various forms of comedic popular artifacts produced in America from 1861 to 1865, and looks at how wartime humor was created, disseminated, and received by both sides of the conflict. Song lyrics, newspaper columns, sheet music covers, illustrations, political cartoons, fiction, light verse, paper dolls, printed envelopes, and penny dreadfuls—from and for the Union and the Confederacy—are analyzed at length. Nickels argues that the war coincided with the rise of inexpensive mass printing in the United States and thus subsequently with the rise of the country’s widely distributed popular culture. As such, the war was as much a “paper war”—involving the use of publications to disseminate propaganda and ideas about the Union and the Confederacy’s positions—as one taking place on battlefields. Humor was a key element on both sides in deflating pretensions and establishing political stances (and ways of critiquing them). Civil War Humor explores how the combatants portrayed Jefferson Davis and Abraham Lincoln, life on the home front, battles, and African Americans. Civil War Humor reproduces over sixty illustrations and texts created during the war and provides close readings of these materials. At the same time, it places this corpus of comedy in the context of wartime history, economies, and tactics. This comprehensive overview examines humor’s role in shaping and reflecting the cultural imagination of the nation during its most tumultuous period.


Author: Martin van Creveld
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 110703695X
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Explores the history and development of wargames, and how they relate to real war and society in general.