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Publication Date


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Game Studies






1-16 pp.


Although critics and scholars have considered the extent to which the terror attacks of 11 Sept. 2001 influenced subsequent media productions, video games comprise a largely unexamined form. This oversight also applies to related forms of media production and among those who study video games is in part attributable to the ongoing debate regarding the relationship(s) between narrative and play. Even so, as early as 1997, JC Herz was investigating the role of video games in the military-entertainment complex. That said, the focus of this paper will not be the obvious games which draw settings and plots directly from the terror attacks, from the "war on terror" or from the overwhelming popular responses to them. Instead, it will consider games which function allegorically (at the very least metaphorically) and pedagogically through their imbrication with the web of so-called "post-9/11" narratives. Syphon Filter 3 and Medal of Honor: Rising Sun both represent installments of successful video game series which were affected by the post-9/11 mindset. Through an examination of the games' content and pedagogical functions, the tension between audience expectations and the media's ideological manipulations will be examined, including how this occurs in and through the playing of the games.


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Original Publication Citation

Ouellette, M. A. (2008). "I hope you never see another day like this": Pedagogy & allegory in ‘"post 9/11" video games. Game Studies, 8(1).