digital arabs

Vit Sisler

ŠISLER, VÍT. 2006. “Representation and self-representation: Arabs and Muslims in digital games,” in Gaming realities: A challenge for digital culture edited by M. Santorineos and N. Dimitriadi, pp. 85-92. Athens: Fournos.
Available online [.pdf | 480KB]:

This paper presents the ways in which Muslims and Arabs are represented in mainstream European and American digital games. It analyzes how games—particularly of the action genre—construct the Arab or Muslim ‘Other’. Within these games, one finds the diverse ethnic and religious identities of the Islamic world reconstructed into a series of flat social typologies, often presented within the framework of hostility and terrorism. The second part of the paper deals with selected digital games created in the Middle East, whose authors are knowingly working with the topic of self-representation. Recent digital games originating in the Middle East can be perceived as examples of an ongoing digital emancipation taking place through the distribution of media images and their corresponding meanings. A key part of this ongoing digital emancipation involves the construction of Arab and Islamic heroes, a process accomplished by exploiting distinctive narrative structures and references to Islamic cultural heritage.

After the articles I linked to in digital intifada, arabs, and aliens, this is the next piece in Vít’s series of publications on this otherwise completely neglected issue of computergame research.

via e-mail from Vít Šisler—mucho appreciated, tnx a lot