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Playing TIE Fighter, Destroying Terrorists

 by Bennett Gordon

Tags: Politics, video games, Star Wars, Popmatters,

TIE FIghter Video GameTo win the videogame Star Wars: TIE Fighter, players must defend a galactic empire against an overmatched, guerilla “terrorist” insurgency. Players capture suspects for “interrogation,” spy on their fellow officers, and quell ethnic strife using force. Writing for PopMatters, L.B. Jeffries writes that the 1994 videogame “reveals how easy it is to slip into a mindset of blind loyalty, nationalism, and unquestioning service to a greater authority.”

This isn’t the first time the United States has been compared to the Empire from Star Wars. Jon Stewart often portrays Dick Cheney as Darth Vader. The difference is that Star Wars: TIE Fighter forces players to identify with the Empire as they pull the trigger and destroy the rebels. Jeffries writes that players must struggle to maintain perspective, while being “constantly assured that you are spreading peace and order with each battle.”

Source: PopMatters