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 investigates how military cultures and the evolution of games have been closely linked, from video gaming’s ancestors like chess and go, to the popularization of the 19th century Kriegspiel, to the development of computers for use during World War II and the invention of video games by Defense Department-funded scientists. Readers will discover how war fantasies played out from the early arcade years to the rise of online gaming, how the military began working with companies like Nintendo, Atari and Microsoft to produce training devices, and how today’s generals hope to sell recruitment to a new generation of joystick warriors.