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From Sun Tzu to Xbox: War and Video Games

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  59 ratings  ·  3 reviews
Part of an industry that now earns more yearly than the Hollywood box office, video games have entered the forefront of the militarization of popular culture. How did this once-innocent pastime become a key player in America’s entry into global warfare? And is this blurring of reality changing the way we think about war? Stretching from 3000 BC to today, this book investig ...more
Paperback, 364 pages
Published May 31st 2006 by Thunder's Mouth Press (first published 2006)
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Angel
Quick impressions: The book overall is a bit of dry reading. The topic sounds interesting, but aside from the early history, it's another story of military interests funding something they want, and by some good chance we get civilian applications, games in this case. In addition, a significant part of the book is getting seriously dated. Gaming technology has leaped forward significantly since 2006 when this book was published.

(Full review on my blog later)
...more
Sheehan
Aug 04, 2008 rated it really liked it
Very straightforward easy to read exploration of the relationship between the practice war making and the advent of video games as a natural outgrowth of a long history of simulation and strategy gaming.

The best parts of the book are the early chapters which tie thousands of years of non-video games to the tradition of play which eventually led to a government funded effort to use computers for more dynamic war-making. Now, I may not advocate all the work personally, but it is clear so much of t
...more
James
A very good survey of the intersection of video games, military training, and the American culture's treatment of warfare. The author also looks at differing views in other cultures, especially in the Moslem world, and at ways that some game designers are trying to use the medium to teach children and adolescents that there are better solutions than war to many problems. I would have given this five stars, except that the author neglected to look into the psychological consequences of people lea ...more
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