Alicante Journal of English Studies / Revista Alicantina de Estudios Ingleses

Race, Battlefield 1 and the White Mythic Space of the First World War

Stefan Aguirre Quiroga

DOI: https://doi.org/10.14198/raei.2018.31.12

Abstract

The popular perception of the First World War has remained an inherently white mythic space in which white men fight against other white men and where minorities, when and if they are featured, are given an anonymous secondary role and are subject to the will and motivation of their white heroic leaders. This article will be considering the white mythic space of the First World War by focusing on the video game Battlefield 1 (2016) and investigating the backlash by players on online message boards against the inclusion of soldiers of color in the game’s multiplayer features. In the online discourse, these players diminish the role that minorities played in the First World War and although the presence of minorities in the historical First World War is to a minor extent acknowledged, their space in the video game is nonetheless denied. I argue that this backlash is based on a rejection of the inclusive collective memory as portrayed in Battlefield 1, supported by racist arguments against the backdrop of the white mythic space of the First World War and that their rejection of the presence of minorities in Battlefield 1 can be constructed as a continuation of the denial of agency for soldiers of color by white individuals that took place during the First World War and the postwar period.

Keywords

Racism; First World War; Historical Memory; Collective Memory; Race

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.14198/raei.2018.31.12

Copyright (c) 2018 Stefan Aguirre Quiroga

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