Ender’s War Games: The Simulation of War as Weapon and Tactic


This talk was given at the 2015 PCA/ACA Conference in New Orleans

Presentation Slides: Ender’s War Games PCA 2015 PCA/ACA 2015 presentation – Ender’s Game

Presentation Paper: PCA/ACA 2015 presentation – Ender’s Game

The rising acceptance of game theory in combination with increasingly complex and sophisticated computer simulators has drastically changed the modern war machine. While such a shift was Popularly reflected in War Games (1983) and the publication of Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game (1985), simulated war, with the possible exception of the war movie, was kept largely from the public eye. Yet, as Jean Baudrillard and Paul Virilio have theorized, beginning with the Gulf War, recent warfare has pushed the depiction of real-life war into the realm of unreal model and constantly mediated simulation. Acknowledging Manuel De Landa’s work alongside the shifting genre of the war movie and the simulated roots of cinema itself, such a dangerous shift is reflected in the film version of Ender’s Game (2013) wherein the simulation itself becomes the war which then reveals the traumas caused, on both civilians and soldiers alike, by a distanced military over dependant on technologies, specifically the Internet.