Video Games

Video Games as War Propaganda


Al-Manar; U.S. Army/YouTube

Ever wonder what it would be like to participate in an Islamic holy war? Hezbollah has you covered. A Lebanese media company affiliated with the militant group has released Sacred Defense, a first-person shooter video game in which players defend Shiite Muslim shrines and take down ISIS warriors. It's "a tool to confront the savage culture that invades our markets through games that are stripped of feeling and belonging" and "a tribute to the souls of the martyrs," according to a Newsweek translation of the official description. But don't think Western governments are above blending propaganda with commercial entertainment. Since 2002, the U.S. military has produced a first-person shooter series called America's Army. The franchise serves as a recruitment and communications tool, primarily aimed at teenagers.