27th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival
Serious Games I
director: Harun Farocki
original title: Ernste Spiele I
running time: 8 min.
synopsisThe U.S. military not only routinely employs virtual reality and gaming technology for recruitment and combat training purposes, but also for treating its war veterans suffering from PTSD. These combat simulators are often difficult to differentiate from the freely available video games used primarily for “abreaction therapy.” Four standalone films, originally video installations, were shot directly at American military combat centers. In each of the films, Harun Farocki calls attention to the subtle differences between computer simulations and real war exercises while critically reflecting on the ever-closer links between war, the entertainment industry, and modern technology.
“Knowing that digital landscapes and scenarios are used to prepare soldiers for war, we found it interesting to show a simple opposition: that very similar images are used for both preparation and for helping to treat the consequences of war!” — Harun Farocki
biographyHarun Farocki (1944–2014), a native of Nový Jičín, was a German director, an editor for Filmkritik magazine, a teacher, and a video installation artist. From the late 1960s, after having graduated from the Berlin Film Academy, he went on to create dozens of subversive films and videos, in which he often revisited themes of war and technology and the production and reception of motion pictures.
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