WAR/GAME: Memory, Militarism, and the Subject of Play

This AHRC-funded network brings together scholars from games studies, media & cultural studies, psychology, sociology and international relations, as well as academic-practitioners with games industry expertise, to focus on three relatively neglected but crucial issues:

1. the role of videogames in the formation and negotiation of collective and cultural memory of past wars;

2. the ways that game narratives and design position the gaming subject in relation to history, war and militarism; and

3. the extent to which critical, anti-war/peace games offer an alternative or challenge to mainstream commercial titles and their cultural and political implications.

The overall aim of the network is to develop a new inter-disciplinary understanding of the complex variety of ways that both mainstream and alternative videogames can mediate past conflicts, relate to current cultures of militarism, and address players as subjects.

Principal Investigator:

Phil Hammond (LSBU)


Holger Pötzsch (UiT Tromsø)


The network launch meeting was held at LSBU on 14-15 September 2017, with contributions from Joakim Arnøy (Narvik War Museum), Adam Chapman (Gothenburg), Mateusz Felczak (Kraków), Emil Lundedal Hammar (Tromsø), Phil Hammond (LSBU), Kristine Jørgensen (Bergen), Chris Kempshall (Sussex), Tomasz Majkowski (Kraków), Dimitra Nikolaidou (Thessaloniki), Holger Pötzsch (Tromsø), Vít Šisler (Charles University, Prague), Piotr Sterczewski (Kraków) and Jamie Woodcock (LSE).

Network participants Phil Hammond (LSBU), Holger Pötzsch (UiT Tromsø), and Stephanie de Smale (Univ. of Utrecht) convened a panel on the project's work at the annual conference of the Media, Communications and Cultural Studies Association (MeCCSA) in January 2018 in London.

A one-day industry networking event at LSBU will be held at LSBU on 21 February 2018, involving Phil Hammond (LSBU), Siobhán Thomas (LSBU), Vit Sisler (Charles University, Prague), Jessica Hardy and Jonathan Ferguson (Royal Armouries Museum), Tomas Rawlings (Design Director, Auroch Digital), Simon Parkin (Games Journalist and author of Death by Video Game), Chris Sharpe (Imperial War Museum), and others.

A further, two-day network meeting will be held at UiT Tromsø on 12—13 March, and the final network conference is planned for late June / early July 2018 at LSBU.

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