Representing Conflicts in Games : Antagonism, Rivalry, and Competition book cover
1st Edition

Representing Conflicts in Games
Antagonism, Rivalry, and Competition

ISBN 9781032285597
Published December 30, 2022 by Routledge
258 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This book offers an overview of how conflicts are represented and enacted in games, in a variety of genres and game systems. Games are a cultural form apt at representing real world conflicts, and this edited volume highlights the intrinsic connection between games and conflict through a set of theoretical and empirical studies. It interrogates the nature and use of conflicts as a fundamental aspect of game design, and how a wide variety of conflicts can be represented in digital and analogue games.

The book asks what we can learn from conflicts in games, how our understanding of conflicts change when we turn them into playful objects, and what types of conflicts are still not represented in games. It queries the way games make us think about armed conflict, and how games can help us understand such conflicts in new ways.

Offering a deeper understanding of how games can serve political, pedagogical, or persuasive purposes, this volume will interest scholars and students working in fields such as game studies, media studies, and war studies.

Table of Contents

List of Contributors

The Inevitable Relation Between Games and Conflict: An Introduction
Jonas Linderoth and Björn Sjöblom

Part I: Game Systems, Transformation, and Learning

1. Red in Bits and Bytes: Evolutionary Conflicts in Biological God Games
Péter Kristof Makai

2. On Bikers at War: Transformations of Non-Fictional and Fictional Conflicts from Hamlet to Sons of Anarchy: Men of Mayhem
Ulf Wilhelmson

3. From Zero-Sum Business Games to Coopetitive Simulation
J. Tuomas Harviainen

4. The Limits of ‘Serious’ Play: Frame Disputes Around Educational Games
Jonas Linderoth, Adam Chapman and Sebastian Deterding

Part II: Representing War and Armed Conflicts

5. On Wargames and War: Modelling Carl von Clausewitz’s Theory of War
Ville Kankainen and llmari Käihkö

6. Wargames as Reenactment: An Ecological Framework for the Development of Military Games for Education
Adam Chapman and Jonas Linderoth

7. The Grasping Eye: Wargames and the Ideal-Typical Field Commander’s Inner Vision
Tomas Karlsson

Part III: Critical Perspectives on Conflicts in Games

8. War Never Changes? Creating an American Victimology in Fallout 4
Ryan Scheiding

9. Are the Bullets Going Over our Head? Designed Ambivalence in the Representation of Armed Conflict in Games
Patrick Prax

10.  Where are the White Perpetrators in all the Colonial Board Games? A Case Study on Afrikan Tähti
Sabine Harrer and J. Tuomas Harviainen

Part IV: Alternative Ways of Representing Conflicts in Games

11. Narrative and Mechanical Integration: Playing with Interpersonal Conflicts in Life is Strange
Fatima Jonsson and Lina Eklund

12. The Most Intimate Conflict of all: Marriage as Conflict in Digital Games
Jakub Majewski and Piotr Siuda

13. All Smoke, No Fire: The Post-Mortem of Conflicts in the ‘Walking Simulator’ Genre
Jakub Majewski and Piotr Siuda


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Björn Sjöblom is Senior Lecturer at the Department of War Studies and Military History at the Swedish Defence University.

Jonas Linderoth is Professor in the Department of Education, Communication and Learning at the University of Gothenburg, and Visiting Professor at the Department of War Studies and Military History at the Swedish Defence University.

Anders Frank is Senior Lecturer at the Department of War Studies and Military History at the Swedish Defence University.