In Gameplay Mode, Patrick Crogan sets out to explore the “military technoscientific legacy” (xii) that has had what he terms a “profound impact on the development of computer games” (xii). Through the course of the book, Crogan investigates this phenomenon through a historical account of the emergence of computational simulation, as well as an analysis of a series of contemporary video games. The book's main thesis is that all video games operate through a shared logic or “gameplay mode” that revolves around the simulation of conflict, a simulation that in turn attempts to close down or foreclose contingency through a “deterrent anticipatory logic” (170). However, rather than simply critique video games, Crogan argues that exploring these simulations and the logics that underlie them is the first step in being able to recognize and respond to such modes.

Crogan is not alone in investigating...

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