Video Games, Political

Video games officially became a significant cultural force when sales outpaced Hollywood movie ticket receipts in 1999. Apart from games such as The Political Machine (2004), a strategy game that simulates a presidential race, relatively few mainstream games have taken conventional politics as a central theme. Games have become a political force, however, in other ways: (a) through moral panic, (b) by way of the militaryentertainment complex, and (c) as activism.

First, as a new technology, games have spurred moral panic and much public debate. The most prominent cultural debate surrounding video games continues to be those centered on the issue of violence and its imitation. The first game to attract widespread attention on this count was Exidy's Deathrace (1972). This was followed much later by ...

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