Reality is a Game

Game thinking from Adam Clare

Tag: propaganda

Collection of Propaganda Games Part 1

Propaganda is about changing public opinion on something for political or other motives and many games aim to that very thing. In my opinion both advertising games and educational games aim to change the way people think and can therefore be lumped together under propaganda games.

Like many things in the world of games Hollywood have already tackled with putting propaganda in their entertainment properties, the most blatant and perhaps comical example of this comes from Wayne’s World:

Games don’t tend to be that blunt or honest, or get nearly as much money for tossing in such blatant advertising. Still, we can look at what;s out there in the world of games.

Here’s a fairly random selection of games that lean to the educational side but can also be considered propaganda because of the message they carry.

Super Tofu Boy by PETA

Moonbase Alpha by NASA (article on the game).

Real Lives allows you to simulate what it’s like to live anywhere on the planet.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s games to help kids understand citizenship.

Save the Silly Earthlings from their climate change.

Phylo a trading card game inspired by Pokemon, instead it’s abut real animals.

Sweatshop a game about the horrible working conditions that too many people on the planet suffer through in order for cheap products to exist.

Mayor Munch is a game about the most pathetic mayoral race in Toronto’s history (article in the Toronto Star).

Urgent Evoke an interactive story about saving the world.

World Without Oil is all about getting players to be more conscious of how oil is used in everything.

The Bail Out Game is a chance to relive the welfare the banks got from the USA during the banker caused bank implosions of a few years ago.

The NRA has a pro-gun game for ages 4 and up, which is quite ironic.

For more explicitly educational games please check out the great list at Games for Change.

Somewhat related stuff:

Here’s a previous post on the Canadian military looking into using virtual reality and things like America’s Army.

It’s worth looking at how Angry Birds has been manipulated into propaganda in this post at MetaFilter.

Video Games are Propaganda for the Military(?)

Recently I posted about the Canadian military using virtual reality to treat PTSD, and with that in mind I think it’s time to take a look at the idea that video games are used as training and propaganda tools.

A few months ago an article in the Guardian looked at using video games as propaganda and they looked closely at Kuma Games. Kuma is best known for their game Kuma\War games that take recent battles from headlines and lets players re-enact them in the game itself.

It turns out that Kuma may have received financing from the CIA to produce propaganda games (of course there’s no direct proof – yet). This revelation came out because Iran accused a game developer of aiding the enemy and sentenced him to death. The case has since been overturned and will likely be reassessed.

Kuma aside, we cannot ignore official government-sanctioned efforts like America’s Army which is considered soft propaganda like the movie Top Gun. There are other examples covered in the article that are worth looking at too.

If people think that a video game is anything close to the monotony of actual military service they have another thing coming.

I’ll leave you with this:

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