WATCH YOUR BACK!
After a few months resting, here I come again. Blogging can be addictive, and sometimes you need to take a break. In my case, as I write five or six different blogs, I opt for stop adding posts in one of them from time to time. Those last months have been this blog turn. But now it's over. Back to job again.
Of course during those months I've not stop playing at all. In fact, those months have been a very active ones. I have played and replayed Resident Evil 4, Men of Valor, Brothers in Arms Earned in Blood (veteran level), Brothers in Arms Road to Hill 30 (authenticate level), Doom 3, Spartan, Legion Arena (demo), Warriors Kings, Shadow of Rome, Kingdom under Fire The Crusaders, America's Army, Medal of Honor Breakthrough, Call of Duty Finest Hour, Sniper Elite and Kuma War. So no time for boring over here.
SHOT THE MOSQUE FIRST, THEN ASK
During the next weeks I will post on these games. But today I want to introduce two of my current research areas, as an scholar.
The first area is related to track islamophobia in digital games. My starting point is that I realize that in some games islamic symbols or related patterns are shown as dangerous or suspicious. As a consequence people playing these games tend to associate islamic universe with terrorism. The example I always put is the role assigned to mosque towers in those games. Guess what? You're right it is the place where the bad guy is hidden, armed with an RPG, waiting to whack you. So if you are a newbie in games such as Full Spectrum Warrior, Kuma Wars or American Army, and you're in a MOUT scenario, as soon as you see a mosque, be prepared because from there will arrive the enemy fire.
So the association goes, mosque is a dangerous place, mosques must be destroyed. "Shot the Mosque first, then ask" it seems to be the undelying message. From here to the clash of civilizations there is less than one step forward. To understand the enormous implications of these association, may be we can image the other way around. We can imagine a game where churches, cathedrals, and other christian buildings are systematically the places where the bad guys attack. You may say, well let's take a look to Resident Evil 4, but is not the same case. The reason is that in Resident Evil 4 we assist to an endogenous clash between people from the same civilization (westerners, christians). On the contrary, in Islamophobic games, the conflict is an exogenous one (christians versus muslims, west vs south). Since you portray the enemies as something like aliens, they are not humans, so they do not deserve a human treatment, they can be wiped out without mercy.
Well, in this research I try to identify some others islamophobic signs in order to emphasize that digital games, because of their popular success as an entertainment tool, can be misused to disseminate racist and xenophobic messages. This also happens in television, radio and printed press, so it is not a digital games particularistic pattern. But if we, as players, want to avoid digital games stigma, we must be the first to warn about these dangers.
The second area of research is dedicated to Nam Wars. I will write on it in a next post.