"This isn't what war is like" : an ethnographic account of ArmA3

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Mack, Amy C.
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Arts and Science
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Lethbridge, Alta : University of Lethbridge, Dept. of Anthropology
This thesis examines the social practices of the Armed Assault 3 (ArmA 3) gaming community and their attempts to recreate a realistic combat experience online. Using an ethnographic approach, I explore the numerous military simulation (milsim) gaming practices employed by the community, many of which relied heavily on modeling and simulations processes. I contend that these practices were a response to the ‘gaps’ between the ‘real’ and the ‘virtual,’ which disrupted the gaming community’s ability to achieve the desired combat experience. An analysis of these practices makes evident what was deemed necessary for a meaningful and realistic online experience by a diverse community, as well as the new layers of gaps produced by the gamers themselves.
video games , digital anthropology , milsim , military , cyber