Explaining gaming’s obsession with World War II

1UP’s Scott Sharkey conducted a survey of all game releases since 1980, and stumbled upon a hella depressing fact: over the last 29 years, 183 titles based on WWII have appeared. In comparison, other 20th century American conflicts were represented in a total of 40 games. If you’re as sick of World War II games as I am, this explains why.

But what’s the fixation with the Second World War? Sharkey sets out to answer this question, and although he makes some obvious points (these games are just really damn popular, which encourages sequel after sequel in the risk-averse games industry), his argument is illuminating in other parts (WWII was the last American conflict which the U.S. clearly won against an unambiguously evil enemy).

(I’d add that WWII being the first conflict to produce so much video footage played a role. For a generation of film-makers, and subsequently game-makers, WWII was the first visual reference point for war.)

You can find Sharkey’s full editorial here, and it’s certainly worth a read!


[Via 1UP]