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All the animals are gone? The politics of contemporary hunter arcade games.
journal contributionposted on 2010-03-26, 00:00 authored by Naarah Sawers, Kristin DemetriousKristin Demetrious
Recent proliferation and popularity of personal computer and console games has meant that scholarship around video arcade games has been largely ignored. Arcade games had their halcyon days during the 1970s and 1980s when 'Space Invaders', 'Pong' and 'Donkey Kong' were household names. The inception of scholarship into games occurred in the 1990s; a time when arcade games were writ small in the cultural imagination, at least compared to the newer home computer and video games. Thus in games theory they are typically discussed only in terms of their role as antecedents to their more popular kin. Moreover, they seem innocuous because they are so publicly accessible. Against this assumption, and lack of scholarship, this paper explores a selection of contemporary arcade games which we describe as 'hunting' games. Arcade hunting games are first-person shooter (FPS) involving one or more players shooting simulated wild animals. They are commonly situated in cinema foyers, hotels, and family entertainment centres. However, despite a presumption of institutional moderation afforded by the public accessibility of these spaces, this paper argues that this genre works through a range of political modalities that require more scholarly consideration than currently given.