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War Games: A research on the representation of international relations and war in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Journalism, Media and Communication (JMK).
2011 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The nexus between world politics and popular culture is diverse and complex. One could make adistinction between, on one hand, popular culture that helps to create and sustain the conditions forcontemporary world politics, and, on the other hand, popular culture that challenges the boundariesof common sense and contests the ‘taken-for-granted’. Although the research field of politics andpopular culture is growing, little research has been done on video games as an exponent of popularculture. Therefore the video game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 serves as the object of analysis inthis research. This video game is one of the bestselling war themed videogames of all time and byresearching the content of this popular militaristic entertainment product, this study reveals how war,the global war on terror, and international relations are regarded in Western society. These warthemed video games are not only a reflection of the Western entertainment and war culture; they alsoplay an active role in shaping it. A combination of a story schema from game studies and a discourseanalysis is applied to the plot of the campaign mode of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 in order touncover how the world is shaped in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. The results of the researchshow that the campaign mode’s narrative and discourse contain many similarities with the ongoingglobal war on terror in the real world wherein the ‘other world’ is depicted through militaristicAmerican eyes with a strong anti-Russian discourse. This video game can therefore be considered asa good example of militainment. Even for an independent video game with no governmental ties,Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 still shows a one-sided, American perspective and confirms that isan integral part of the militarized American media.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. , 51 p.
Keyword [en]
video games, international relations, militainment, discourse analysis
National Category
Media and Communications
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-59079OAI: diva2:425174
Humanities, Theology
Available from: 2011-07-25 Created: 2011-06-20 Last updated: 2011-07-25Bibliographically approved

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