Feminist War Games explores the critical intersections and collisions between feminist values and perceptions of war, by asking whether feminist values can be asserted as interventional approaches to the design, play and analysis of games that focus on armed conflict and economies of violence.
Focusing on the ways that games, both digital and table-top, can function as narratives, arguments, methods, and instruments of research, the volume demonstrates the impact of computing technologies on our perceptions, ideologies, and actions. Exploring the compatibility between feminist values and systems of war through games is a unique way to pose destabilizing questions, solutions, and approaches; to prototype alternative narratives; and to challenge current idealizations and assumptions. Positing that feminist values can be asserted as a critical method of design, as an ideological design influence, and as a lens that determines how designers and players interact with and within arenas of war, the book addresses the persistence and brutality of war and issues surrounding violence in games, whilst also considering the place and purpose of video games in our cultural moment.
Feminist War Games is a timely volume that questions the often-toxic nature of online and gaming cultures. As such, the book will appeal to a broad variety of disciplinary interests, including sociology, education, psychology, literature, history, politics, game studies, digital humanities, media and cultural studies, and gender studies, as well as those interested in playing, or designing, socially-engaged games.
Jon Saklofske, Alyssa Arbuckle and Jon Bath
Section One: Play As Inquiry
1. Are There (Can There Be/Should There Be) Feminist War Games?
Jon Saklofske, Emily Cann, Danielle Rodrigue and Derek Siemens
2. Whose Fantasy is it Anyway?
3. "Can I Be a Feminist and Still Play Assassin’s Creed?" An Anxious Interrogation
4. From Strategy to Tactics
5. Game Design as Liberating Practice: A Case for Implementing Feminist Values, Women and Diversity into the Video Game Community
6. Life on the Battlefield: Reframing the Domestic Experience of War in this War of Mine
Part Two: Feminism as War
7. This Suburb is a War Zone: Feminist Pleasure in Avatar Anger
8. We are always off to War
Jennifer Jenson and Suzanne de Castell
9. The Choices We Make in Feminist War: A Post-Game Jam Reflection on Dontnod Entertainment’s Life is Strange
10. A Game Jam Reflection: What is a Feminist War Game?
Part Three: Challenging the Industry
11. Asking for What?: Sexual Harassment and Assault Prevention Training Games
12. "Go make me a sandwich, cunt.” Language, Narrative, and Gender in Video Games
13. Six Dimensions of a Feminist War Game: What We Can Learn from This War of Mine
Christopher Kampe and Sarah Evans
14. Intervening in a Destructive Genre: Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, Feminism, and Militarism
15. Having Your Cake and Eating it Too: Subversive Game Mechanics in the Portal and Fatal Frame Franchises
16. Competitive Non-Violence: The Quest for Zero Kills
Jon Bath and Elly Cockcroft
Digital technologies are increasingly important to arts and humanities research, expanding the horizons of research methods in all aspects of data capture, investigation, analysis, modelling, presentation and dissemination. This series, one of the first and most highly regarded in the field, covers a wide range of disciplines and provides an authoritative reflection of the 'state of the art' in the application of computing and technology. The titles in this peer-reviewed series are critical reading not just for experts in digital humanities and technology issues, but for all scholars working in arts and humanities who need to understand the issues around digital research.