War, time and military videogames: Heterogeneities and critical potential

Lee Jarvis, Nick Robinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
11 Downloads (Pure)


This article contributes to a small, but growing, scholarship on military videogames. Focusing, specifically, on diverse manifestations of temporality within these games, it demonstrates that this genre is both more diverse, and has greater critical potential, than is often recognised. The article begins with a brief overview of contemporary scholarship on temporality, war and global politics. A second section then identifies three different ways in which temporality features in military videogames: (i) as a horizon, or historical background, against which they are produced and consumed; (ii) as a dramatic setting around which games and their narratives are structured; and, (iii) as duration – which may be accelerated or decelerated – experienced by those playing these games. These three instantiations of time are then investigated via a new typology of military videogames, ordered around: mainstream military shooters, critical military shooters, critical procedural military games, and civilian-centred military games. This typology enables us, first, to show the centrality of temporal assumptions, arguments and experiences to the ways in which war is made meaningful across these games. And, second, to demonstrate the significance of distinct productions and experiences of temporality for the critical potentiality thereof.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)192-211
Number of pages20
JournalCritical Military Studies
Issue number2
Early online date4 Feb 2019
Publication statusPublished - May 2021


  • global politics
  • militarism
  • military videogames
  • temporality
  • time
  • videogames
  • war

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