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The Troubled Relation Between Video Games and War

"About this video essay: What do video games really communicate to us about the reality of war? This in-depth analysis examines how our interaction with video game violence is contextualized through game design and storytelling, how they reflect and shape our perception of war, and explores the real purpose and meaning of immersing yourself in virtual warfare. Chapters: 0:00 Introduction: A New Art of (Anti-)War 8:01 Part 1: Engaging the Video Game 16:44 Part 2: The Gamification of Combat 24:34 Part 3: In Search of Meaningful Gameplay 33:27 Part 4: Hero Simulators 43:44 Part 5: The Struggles of Narrative 53:58 Part 6: The Good Fight 1:03:00 Part 7: Righteous Warriors 1:16:18 Conclusion: A Liberating Ideal" from video introduction.

The Cost of Our Wars

“Support our troops” is an unconditional American mantra. We’re told to celebrate them as warrior-liberators, as heroes, as the finest fighters the world has ever known. They’re to be put on a pedestal or plinth, holding a rifle and a flag, icons to American toughness and goodness.

What we’re not told to do is listen to them.

Today, I’d like to suggest six vows we should make when it comes to those troops..

Let’s stop consoling ourselves with the myth that all our troops are volunteers -- a myth which leads most Americans to pay remarkably little attention to and take no responsibility for the wars our “volunteers” are fighting...

Let’s stop putting a happy face on our wars. Americans should start taking them in for what they truly are in all their waste and inhumanity. Only then might we be moved to put an end to them.

As we glamorize war, or, if not war itself, the “voluntary” decision of young soldiers to fight and possibly to die in them for us, we continue to play down the hardships involved, while refusing to consider the hopelessness of the tasks we’ve assigned them...

..Some things are worth fighting and dying for, others aren’t. It’s time for us to do a far better job of figuring out the difference.

With respect to how we fight, the email message that hit me the hardest lately came from a recently retired general and former infantry division commander. In his considered words:

“As an old warrior, I keep wondering how it is our leaders keep praising our supposedly superior arms while licking wounds inflicted by [Afghan] village warriors armed with little more than IEDs and small arms. As for the drones, if I were a Jihadi/Taliban, I would think them a coward’s way of doing business -- an obvious sign of cultural weakness. [Because of the end of the draft,] our leaders breathe war and our people care not. We reap what we sow.”

Are we as a nation breathing war more and yet caring less precisely because the killing in our name is now being done by “volunteers” and ever more of it by remote control? And here’s a question: As we praise ourselves for our innovative, comparatively low cost (to us) high-tech weapons like our “Predator” and “Reaper” drones, is our reliance on massive firepower only serving to strengthen the resolve of the enemies we’re fighting? Which leads to my next vow:.. from the article: The Cost of Our Wars

Lies of Heroism – Redefining the Anti-War Film

"About this video: An in-depth examination of the potential for and meaning of anti-war films. Chapter list: 0:00 Introduction: A Cinema of (Anti-)War 6:30 Part 1: Cultures of Heroism 14:01 Part 2: The Nature of Evil 21:28 Part 3: Glorious Suffering 27:21 Part 4: Holy Wars 33:44 Part 5: Sacrificial Lambs 40:21 Part 6: Hero Worship 45:13 Part 7: Comfortable Icons 52:38 Conclusion: A True Christ." from video introduction.

What Real Death Looks like in a War!

Dead man in street
War in Ukraine

U.S. Soldier Survives Taliban Machine Gun Fire During Firefight

A Brief Examination of “Biblical” Justifications for War

"Attempts to provide biblical warrants for Christian participation in warfare have long been offered by those who reject Christ-centered nonviolence. Some of the arguments that have frequently been offered in defense of Christians on the battlefield go back to the fourth century to Ambrose and Augustine. Below in bold type are brief statements of some of the more common “biblical” justifications for the Christian’s participation in war. Following each of them is a short response that indicates why the argument fails to make the intended case.

Jesus said that there must be “war and rumors of war.” Antiwar advocates are working for something that Jesus said would never exist before the Second Coming.

Actually Jesus didn’t say there would always be wars. He said, “When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed; this must take place, but the end is still to come” (Mark 13:7, also Matt. 24:6, Lk. 21:9). He certainly doesn’t suggest that war either should exist or that it is sanctioned by him. He makes a descriptive statement, not a prescriptive one. Working for peace and refusing to fight in wars in no way contradicts what Jesus says in this passage. Rather, to do so is to follow in his nonviolent steps.."from the article: A Brief Examination of “Biblical” Justifications for War

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