Do Video Games Emulate NSA Tactics? KillScreen Writer Says Yes.

One KillScreen contributor compares the video gamer and the forces she faces in her games to the tactics employed by the NSA to track our movements in real life.

In a recently published KillScreen article, contributor David Chandler examined video games in the context of surveillance and panopticism, a term outlined by French philosopher Michel Foucault in his book Discipline and Punish

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In his article titled “Think the NSA is bad? Games are masters of surveillance,” Chandler avoided centralizing the article on the obvious Watch Dogs in favor of old school games like Mortal Kombat and Ocarina of Time, making his way through the history of video games (and ending with the abovementioned Ubisoft game) as regards the sensitive subject of everpresent observation.

The central figure of Chandler’s theory is the panopticon, an architectural philosophy invented by Jeremy Bentham and immortalized in Battlefield 4‘s map, “Operation: Locker.”

Chandler envisioned the famous boss battle at the end of any video game episode as the very embodiment of Foucault’s philosophy, the boss’s presence and awareness as symbolic of the guards in the middle of the prison.

Chandler says a lot more and in greater detail than I could ever relay to you, so instead of wasting any more of your time, go ahead and check out his article


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Evan Lower
GameSkinny lackey. Gamer for like 10 years. Somewhat decent gamer for 2-3 years. English major at Pennsylvania State University, Capital Campus. Useless detail informant for 26 words, and counting.