Anonymous, 25 May 2019
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A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

The Terrorists' Network: An Analysis of 'Pro-Arab' Video Games

The Terrorists' Network: An Analysis of 'Pro-Arab' Video Games
Arab children prefer spending their time on the computer playing games that recreate their political conflicts. Hizballah began the trend in “pro-Arab” video games when it released Special Force in 2003. Based on the resistance against Israeli occupation in Southern Lebanon during the 1980s, the game became an instant hit. Following suit, a Syrian-based gaming company released 2 other games Under Ash and Under Siege, simulated around the events of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. These videogames have created political combat zones on multiple levels. The games share common political themes in their deliberately political and overtly “pro-Arabness”. The creators of the games claim that they are seeking to “correct” the influence of western gaming concepts on the Middle East, and combat the view that the “oppressor” always defeats the Arab. Critics of the games claim that these are nothing short of propaganda enticing kids to join Islamic resistance groups, and part of the larger battle over children’s minds. Based on content analysis of video games, and interviews with game users and creators, this paper looks at the controversies surrounding these games, and analyzes the growing trend in religious media, the use of media to politically engage children, and the significance of the appropriation of Western technologies by Islamic groups. The paper also challenges essentialist and reductionist explanations of the role of Islam in Arab societies, and the ethno-centrism of scholars’ analyses of the “technical illusion” (Virilio) and “hyperrealist logic” (Baudrillard) of war in the digital age.
paper
28 p.
eng