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Killing is Harmless: A Critical Reading of Spec Ops: The Line (English Edition) [Kindle Edition]

Brendan Keogh , Daniel Purvis , Rob Zacny , Benjamin Abraham

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One of the most critically discussed games of 2012, 2K and Yager’s Spec Ops: The Line turns a reflexive lens back onto the genre of the military shooters to ask some hard questions: just what is going on in these games? What does it say about us if we enjoy playing such games? Is virtual violence really harmless? Killing is Harmless isn’t an attempt to answer these questions so much as an exploration of just how the game is able to ask them in the first place. It follow’s the lead character, Walker, in his steps across Dubai to discover just how The Line is able to make so many players interrogate their own complicity in virtual acts of violence.


  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Dateigröße: 6677 KB
  • Seitenzahl der Print-Ausgabe: 161 Seiten
  • Gleichzeitige Verwendung von Geräten: Keine Einschränkung
  • Verlag: Stolen Projects; Auflage: 1 (1. Februar 2013)
  • Verkauf durch: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ASIN: B00B9P2WP6
  • Text-to-Speech (Vorlesemodus): Aktiviert
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Nicht aktiviert
  • Verbesserter Schriftsatz: Aktiviert
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: #228.372 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop (Siehe Top 100 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop)

  •  Ist der Verkauf dieses Produkts für Sie nicht akzeptabel?

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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 4.6 von 5 Sternen  15 Rezensionen
32 von 40 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
2.0 von 5 Sternen An Amateur Book Report 28. Juli 2013
Von Marek Kapolka - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
Keogh's heart is in the right place with this project. Doing a close, critical reading of a video game could be a very fruitful and useful endeavor, and Spec Ops: The Line seems like a game that could warrant such a treatment. Killing is Harmless, however, provides such a shallow, forced level of insight that I'd swear he was stretching to meet the page requirements of an assignment in an undergraduate literature class.

A vast majority of the book is spent simply describing the events of the game along with some obvious interpretation of the emotional cache of those events. I got the impression that I could have gained about as much insight into the game by simply playing it or watching a Let's Play as I did by reading Killing is Harmless. Keogh has no framework with which to critique the game: he vacillates between a personal, emotionally focused interpretation (when he wants to tell us that killing Americans made him feel sad), a vaguely intersectional approach (to explain why killing Americans might make an American more sad than killing faceless brown skinned bad guys), and a more literary approach (when he feels like interpreting a symbol). He also throws in a lil' token feminist critique whenever a woman dies. Brownie points!

There are a number of places where Keogh just doesn't do his research. He paraphrases snippets of conversations rather than quoting them and he forgets where certain pieces of intel (collectables within the game with expository audio clips attached) are located. They're small problems but they make it very clear that he doesn't hold himself to the academic rigor that he is ostensibly trying to emulate.

Keogh's interpretation of symbols is clueless. I cannot sugar coat that statement. Shortly after telling us about how he spent 12 years at a catholic school (which is how he recognizes the arcane quote "forgive them because they know not what they do") he comes across a significant statue. The statue depicts three angels rising to heaven, but the highest angel has fallen to the ground. He reads this FALLEN ANGEL as a reference to Icarus. Earlier, the game makes a reference to a group of CIA agents known as "Gray Fox", which Keogh claims is a "blatant nod" to the character of the same name in the Metal Gear Solid series. Grey Fox was a (real) code name for a CIA intelligence gathering group. Grey Fox, in Metal Gear Solid, is a cyborg ninja.

Throughout reading Killing is Harmless, I found myself asking the question, "what makes Brendan Keogh qualified to write a critical reading of this game?". Keogh claims that Spec Ops: The Line is a game that seeks to ask questions rather than answer them. Perhaps Killing is Harmless is the same way.
5 von 6 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Thoughtful look at the role of the FPS player 20. Mai 2013
Von N. Affolter - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition
I'd heard that Spec Ops: The Line was going to be a different game when I played it, but didn't realize how different. This book does a great job articulating how a game makes you think differently about playing videogames, shooters specifically. As the author states, "I still want to play shooters, but I've been forced to see what my actions in shooters are really signifying." Even if you haven't played Spec Ops: The Line (which I'd recommend doing so first due to spoilers and experiencing anyways), the read is still worthwhile. If you have played the game, you'll find the author dissects aspects you may have missed when playing the game along with reliving thoughts you may have gone through yourself.
2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen We need this. 3. März 2014
Von Kyle - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
As far as I can tell, this is the only critical reading of a video game on Amazon.

And that is really depressing.

While I thought Keogh's work was short of flawless, I commend the effort. May we see more people try to tackle video games with critical integrity in the future.
5 von 7 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen A must read for aware gamers 2. März 2013
Von Lord Baruch - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
This book is an amazingly in depth analysis of the 2012 game "Spec Ops: The Line," and it makes me wonder why there isn't more of this kind of work about video games. It goes level by level, discussing what the game represents and what it means to us as gamers. A meaningful look at a meaningful game, and a must read for people who play modern warfare games.
5.0 von 5 Sternen An insightful view on Spec Ops: The Line 24. September 2015
Von Rita Santoyo - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
The author of this book wants to share his thoughts and views while playing Spec Ops. He's not trying to make and academic study of the game (he has done that in another article, which was published following all the rigors of academia). I enjoyed reading the account of Brendan's multiple playthroughs of the game, a title that I also found compelling, engaging, surprising, and deeply touching. Since he was not bound by academia, he can freely express his thoughts on the game, as well as his feelings and impressions. I applaud Brendan for taking the chance to share this with us, and I greatly enjoyed reading this book and comparing his impressions and interpretations with my own thoughts and experience of Spec Ops.
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