A work in progress
The WarGames Tactical Media Collective uses socially engaged art games to critique the "military-entertainment complex" and challenge the recruiting practices of the US Military. This large-scale, multiyear project is currently in production, with an expected release on Veterans Day 2018.
From the popular game America's Army to the expanded use of remote warfare via drones, videogames have become a cornerstone of the US military's recruiting, training and operations. The project critiques the hyper-militarized aesthetics of contemporary videogames and challenges the ideologies embedded in their gameplay. The WarGames Collective is an ad hoc group of artists who are military veterans (Eric J. Garcia and Michael Figueroa) and artists who make socially engaged new media (Steve Ciampaglia, Jonatan Martinez and Kerry Richardson). We are collaborating on a game about the experiences of a vet returning home and re-acclimating to civilian life. The WarGames project also includes a community component in which we will create additional mini-games with Chicago teens who are themselves the targets of US Military recruiters.
WarGames will be released (for free) to the Steam platform and app stores on Veteran's Day 2018. This game will be accompanied by the body of research that we have compiled while producing the project, from a taxonomy of military-themed videogames to accounts of personal experiences from recent vets.
The WarGames Tactical Media Project is generously supported by Propeller Fund/ThreeWalls Gallery, the Shapiro Center for Collaboration and Research at SAIC, and Northern Illinois University.