chapter  7
An uncomfortable genre: the Japanese war game
WithRachael Hutchinson
Pages 26

Videogames are widely recognized as an artistic medium by which people can experience history and make sense of the past. According to industry reports, the best-selling videogame genres played on consoles in America have historically been Action, Shooter, and Sports, while the best-selling game genres on the PC have been Strategy, Casual, and Role-playing. Strategy games involving feudal wars abound in Japan, with titles like Nobunaga’s Ambition dominating the PC market. A large part of the appeal in Western games about modern warfare is the feeling of winning the war, playing as the Allies and recreating a feeling of victory, or perhaps playing as the Axis powers, secure in the knowledge that the Allies did eventually win the war and secure world freedom. 1942 is a shooting game from Capcom, released for arcades in 1984. The use of historical aircraft in 1942 was made even more significant in the sequel, 1943: Battle of Midway, released for arcades in 1987.