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ERIC Number: EJ1046737
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-May
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0004-3125
Violent Video Games and the Military: Recruitment, Training, and Treating Mental Disability
Derby, John
Art Education, v67 n3 p19-25 May 2014
This article adds to the small collection of art education studies on video games (Parks, 2008; Patton, 2013; Sweeny, 2010) by critically examining the association between violent video games, the U.S. military, and mental disability--from a critical disability studies perspective. Derby overviews the controversies surrounding violent video games and reviews suggestions on how the art classroom can function as a site for examining visual culture. Derby then examines the series America's Army (2000), a blockbuster, free game that the U.S. Army developed for recruiting teenagers and marketing. Next, Derby examines the sibling games Full Spectrum Leader (FSL) and Full Spectrum Warrior (FSW) (2004), a combat simulation game that was recycled into a commercially successful video game. Finally, Derby critiques the Virtual Iraq project, in which FSW was recycled into a virtual reality environment for clinical treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder caused by combat-related mental disability. The final example ironically demonstrates the problematic marriage between violence and entertainment, characterized by the very real, disabling consequences of war: the same game structures that are used to recruit young soldiers are recycled for treating the mental disabilities that soldiers acquire in combat. Derby concludes with thematic ideas for addressing violent video games in secondary art and post-secondary art education classrooms. While the intersection of violent video games, the military, and disability warrants additional research, secondary and postsecondary students' investigations of the topic to produce artworks and lesson plans would expand this discussion in important, meaningful ways.
National Art Education Association. 1916 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191. Tel: 703-860-8000; Fax: 703-860-2960; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A