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Krigslekar: En studie i hur krig omvandlas till lek inom wargaming
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology, Ethnology.
2015 (Swedish)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 30 credits / 45 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The aim of this study is to examine the transformation of war into play in the context of the hobby called wargaming. The main focus is around Military Simulations (Milsims) using so called airsoft guns, and the miniature game-rules called Force on Force. It also studies how participants create a common understanding of the plays content, and how conceptions of modern conflicts, soldiers and the traumatizing effects of war are perceived and mirrored in wargaming.

The investigation is based on interviews with airsoft and figure gamers, as well as an analysis of rulebooks and observations of said wargames. The theoretical frame is Gregory Batesons play frames (as used by Lotten Gustafsson), discourse theory and Actor-Network-theory, showing the importance of human and material interactions – articulations - within the context of playing. This investigation also relies heavily on the conclusions regarding Wargaming made by P.A.G. Sabin.

Using meta-communication and performance, participants create the play frame where their conceptions of modern warfare are played out. Physical objects are an important part of the play frame, affecting the performance of the participants. The study also shows how common prejudices, like the portrait of an irrational and bloodthirsty Muslim, prevail. Women are welcomed to join these male dominated games, but are strongly feminized, making it difficult to enter on even terms.

The study concludes that the articulations used to transfer war into game reflect the participants apprehensions of gender, culture, anti-heroes and the military; even though wargamers themselves see their play as being relatively distanced from the ”real” worlds opinions and conceptions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 76 p.
Keyword [en]
Ethnology, Wargames, Games, Air-soft, Milsim, Actor-Network-theory, Play frames, Discourse
Keyword [sv]
etnologi, wargaming, milsim, spel, airsoft, krigsspel, krigslekar, diskursteori
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-252018OAI: diva2:808456
Subject / course
Available from: 2015-10-07 Created: 2015-04-28 Last updated: 2015-10-07Bibliographically approved

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