Down with the Commies: Anti-Communist Propaganda in American Cold War Video Games

Seiwald, Regina (2021) Down with the Commies: Anti-Communist Propaganda in American Cold War Video Games. PAIDIA. ISSN 2363-5630

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Abstract

Video games can be used to communicate stereotypes, ideologies, and even propaganda. Cold War themed video games played from an American perspective frequently draw on ideas of anti-communism in order to generate strong friend-and-foe-images, granting us a biased look onto history. This presentation of an ideology is either achieved through making use of what Louis Althusser has defined as Ideological State Apparatuses, such as media, the family, or specific values, or if the games themselves become Ideological State Apparatuses by communicating a political message or idea through an allegedly apolitical medium. This paper explores various ways in which anti-communist propaganda is realised in exemplary Cold War themed video games released after 2000.

Computerspiele können genutzt werden, um Stereotypen, bestimmte Ideologien und Propaganda zu kommunizieren. Spiele, die den Kalten Krieg von Seiten der Amerikaner thematisieren, beziehen sich auf anti-kommunistische Ideen, um aussagekräftige Freund-und-Feind-Konzepte zu generieren, wodurch sie uns einen einseitigen Blick auf die Geschichte eröffnen. Dieser Aufsatz untersucht die These, dass die Darstellung einer anti-kommunisten Ideologie entweder in Bezugnahme auf die von Louis Althusser definierten ideologischen Staatsapparate, wie beispielsweise Medien, die Familie oder bestimmte Werte, erfolgt oder wenn diese Spiele selbst zu ideologischen Staatsapparaten werden indem sie politische Inhalte oder Ideen in einem vermeintlich apolitischen Medium präsentieren.

Item Type: Article
Date: 21 January 2021
Uncontrolled Keywords: Cold War; video games; anti-communism; propaganda; Ideological State Apparatuses; Althusser; military-entertainment complex
Subjects: P300 Media studies
Q300 English studies
V100 History by period
Divisions: Faculty of Arts, Design and Media > School of English
Depositing User: Regina Seiwald
Date Deposited: 02 Feb 2021 10:15
Last Modified: 02 Feb 2021 10:17
URI: http://www.open-access.bcu.ac.uk/id/eprint/10832

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