Feminist War Games? explores the critical intersections and collisions between feminist values and perceptions of war, by asking whether feminist values can be asserted as interventional approaches to the design, play, and analysis of games that focus on armed conflict and economies of violence.

Focusing on the ways that games, both digital and table-top, can function as narratives, arguments, methods, and instruments of research, the volume demonstrates the impact of computing technologies on our perceptions, ideologies, and actions. Exploring the compatibility between feminist values and systems of war through games is a unique way to pose destabilizing questions, solutions, and approaches; to prototype alternative narratives; and to challenge current idealizations and assumptions. Positing that feminist values can be asserted as a critical method of design, as an ideological design influence, and as a lens that determines how designers and players interact with and within arenas of war, the book addresses the persistence and brutality of war and issues surrounding violence in games, whilst also considering the place and purpose of video games in our cultural moment.

Feminist War Games? is a timely volume that questions the often-toxic nature of online and gaming cultures. As such, the book will appeal to a broad variety of disciplinary interests, including sociology, education, psychology, literature, history, politics, game studies, digital humanities, media and cultural studies, and gender studies, as well as those interested in playing, or designing, socially engaged games.

part I|2 pages


chapter |8 pages

Feminist war games?

Mechanisms of war, feminist values, and interventional games

part II|2 pages

Play as inquiry

part III|2 pages

Feminism as war

chapter 6|9 pages

Because we are always warring

Feminism, games, and war

chapter 8|18 pages

‘What is a feminist war game?’

A game jam reflection

part IV|2 pages

Challenging the industry

chapter 9|11 pages

Feminism and the forever wars

Prototyping games in the time of ‘America First’

chapter 10|18 pages

Seven dimensions of a feminist war game

What we can learn from This War of Mine

chapter 12|15 pages

Subversive game mechanics in the Fatal Frame and Portal franchises

Having your cake and eating it too

chapter 13|11 pages

Toxic pacifism

The problems with and potential of non-violent playthroughs

part V|2 pages


chapter |7 pages

Taking binaries off the table