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The dubious nuclear politics of of Fallout video games,

The ambivalent nuclear politics of Fallout video games, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, By Cameron Hunter, October 17, 2018 The late French filmmaker, François Truffaut, once claimed “There’s no such thing as an anti-war film”—referring to the adventure and thrill of combat, the (usually) clear-cut heroes and villains, and the opportunity for the film-maker to indulge in spectacular pyrotechnics and loud, cinema-shaking explosions of sound. And the loudest and most impressive explosion of all is the nuclear mushroom cloud.

The same may be proving to be true of video games—perhaps even more so.

Just like war movies, video games have frequently exploited the exciting and dramatic aspects of war. Yet, unlike movie-goers, gamers do not passively consume their media; instead, they make choices and influence the narrative. The result is a medium that trades heavily on visceral, simulated experience. And what could be more visceral than up-close and personal exposure to a nuclear strike?

Trading heavily on its nuclear theme, the Fallout video game series has so far teetered between satirizing the Bomb, and reveling in its power. But now it may be toppling over that fine line.

These games are almost certainly the most well-known (and well-loved) media that deal with nuclear weapons today. Fallout must therefore be taken seriously as an influence on the real-world politics and culture of nuclear weapons in the 21st century.

…..As the series has progressed, the developers have given the player more and more access to their own nuclear weapons. A franchise that began by mocking nuclear technologies now appears to be actively encouraging nuclear use by the players in the brand-new Fallout 76.

…….. perhaps most important of all, these sanitized representations risk teaching a misleading version of humanity’s nuclear predicament to a massive audience. https://thebulletin.org/2018/10/the-ambivalent-nuclear-politics-of-fallout-video-games/

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October 20, 2018 - Posted by | 2 WORLD, culture and arts

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