Open Access (free)
The computer game as fictional form
Author: Barry Atkins

This book is dedicated to the study of computer games in terms of the stories they tell and the manner of their telling. It applies practices of reading texts from literary and cultural studies to consider the computer game as an emerging mode of contemporary storytelling. The book contains detailed discussion of narrative and realism in four of the most significant games of the last decade: ‘Tomb Raider’, ‘Half-Life’, ‘Close Combat’, and ‘Sim City’. It recognises the excitement and pleasure that has made the computer game such a massive global phenomenon.

Uses and Misuses of International Humanitarian Law and Humanitarian Principles
Rony Brauman

flamethrowers from the battlefield in 1978. In one article on the subject, an officer who had fought in Vietnam explained that, aside from its negative image, the weapon was considered useless in the hypothetical context of a war with the Soviets, but that in contemporary conflicts – where close combat has made a comeback – that argument no longer holds. He welcomed their lawful return to the US military arsenal in 2003, saying, ‘The use of weapons that employ fire, such as tracer

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)
Reading Close Combat
Barry Atkins

4 Replaying history: reading Close Combat Close Combat [inc. Close Combat (1996), Close Combat II: A Bridge Too Far (1997), Close Combat III: The Russian Front (1998), Close Combat IV: The Battle of the Bulge (1999), Close Combat: Invasion Normandy (2000)]. Real-time strategy/wargame. As the titles indicate, various episodes are set in different military campaigns during the Second World War. The game is split between the strategic management of large formations on campaign maps and the tactical control (in ‘real-time’) of small numbers of troops on battlefield

in More than a game

By expanding the geographical scope of the history of violence and war, this volume challenges both Western and state-centric narratives of the decline of violence and its relationship to modernity. It highlights instead similarities across early modernity in terms of representations, legitimations, applications of, and motivations for violence. It seeks to integrate methodologies of the study of violence into the history of war, thereby extending the historical significance of both fields of research. Thirteen case studies outline the myriad ways in which large-scale violence was understood and used by states and non-state actors throughout the early modern period across Africa, Asia, the Americas, the Atlantic, and Europe, demonstrating that it was far more complex than would be suggested by simple narratives of conquest and resistance. Moreover, key features of imperial violence apply equally to large-scale violence within societies. As the authors argue, violence was a continuum, ranging from small-scale, local actions to full-blown war. The latter was privileged legally and increasingly associated with states during early modernity, but its legitimacy was frequently contested and many of its violent forms, such as raiding and destruction of buildings and crops, could be found in activities not officially classed as war.

Open Access (free)
Reading SimCity
Barry Atkins

narrative pretensions in their reliance on the telling of lengthy ‘quest’ or ‘escape’ narratives with a strong drive towards the specific conclusion of an already emplotted story, and Close Combat’s campaigns showed its potential for the construction of an extended counterfactual narrative, any comparable narrative ambition in SimCity is less than obvious. As the manual for SimCity 2000 informs the new player, this is a different kind of text: ‘When you play SimCity 2000, you become the planner, designer and mayor of an unlimited number of cities. You can take over and

in More than a game
Barry Atkins

1 The computer game as fictional form For when the One Great Scorer comes To write against your name, He marks – not that you won or lost – But how you played the game. (Grantland Rice) Life’s too short to play chess. (H. J. Byron) The origins of this project can be located in an experience that could not have been further distanced, at the time, from the academic practice and teaching of cultural and literary criticism which usually fills my days: the successful conclusion of Close Combat II: A Bridge Too Far (1997), a strategic wargame set in the Second World

in More than a game
Open Access (free)
Barry Atkins

Matters of structural organisation inevitably contribute to meaning, and what might appear to have been an odd or even eccentric ordering of the chapters of this volume would probably benefit from some belated explanation. Faced with the task of looking in detail at four specific examples, the simple question of the order in which to place the individual readings comes to the fore. To fall chap6.p65 147 13/02/03, 14:24 148 More than a game back on the standard of chronological sequence (sequels aside, something like SimCity, Tomb Raider, Close Combat, Half

in More than a game
The expansion and significance of violence in early modern
Richard Reid

violence. But caution is needed here: interestingly, there is some evidence that, on battlefields at least, the close military formations of the seventeenth century sometimes gave way to more open, fluid deployments in the eighteenth, often involving smaller and more mobile units. A number of African armies now sought to avoid close combat altogether and amassed musketeers at vantage points from which fields of fire were designed to overwhelm enemies at distance. Exceptions to this loosening up of battlefield formation were to be found in the frontier zones between

in A global history of early modern violence