Playing Soviet soldiers. Virtual communicative memory in Kyrgyzstan
The thesis explores the fields of memory studies and video game studies. As a result, it proposes the concept of virtual communicative memory to encapsulate the special form of memory that can be produced by player interaction with video games. As an instance of modern media, video games bring the added dimensions of player agency, engagement of personal values and ethical sensibilities of the players, and shared experience of simulated historical environments. These factors justify the investigation of the memory-making potential of video games. To explore the feasibility of the proposed theoretical development, the thesis presents an analysis of the game Company of Heroes 2 (Relic Entertainment, 2013). In this analysis, the dominant historical themes of the game are fleshed out and the memory making potential of the game is evaluated with a view to virtual communicative memory. The thesis also contains the results of empirical research carried out during the summer of 2016 in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. The research was designed to explore player engagement with the game and the process by which players negotiate the meaning potentials and historical themes contained in the game. This research provides some support for the concept of virtual communicative memory and points to numerous further research avenues, such as the use of video games in education.
ForlagUiT Norges arktiske universitet
UiT The Arctic University of Norway
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