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      Settler Colonialism in the Digital Age: Clash of Clans, Territoriality, and the Erasure of the Native

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          Abstract

          In the past ten years, two seemingly unconnected fields of study have risen to prominence. Patrick Wolfe’s 2006 theorization of settler colonialism called for the development of a distinct set of literature and analytical tools to analyze the relationship between indigenous peoples and occupying settlers. Meanwhile, Ian Bogost’s 2007 elaboration of the notion of procedural rhetoric provided a theoretical framework to approach the critical analysis of the ideology modeled by a game’s rules and design. While each of these theories have proliferated and prospered within their disciplines, this article seeks to bring the two fields together in order to establish a critical framework that can be used to highlight the presence of settler colonialism in popular mobile videogames, in particular Supercell’s 2012 mobile game Clash of Clans. Within this framework, the essay analyzes how the game engages in a system of play driven by its focus on improvement, progression, and expansion, which ends up operating under the same principles settler colonialism has used to justify the expansion of settler-states and the eradication of indigenous populations. Through an examination of the game’s economy, enemies, maps, and music, the essay connects the game’s systems of play to the embedded nature of settler colonialism in the videogame industry—particularly the mobile or casual scene—and contemporary life in settler-states. The ultimate goal is to explain how social meaning is derived from these types of games and what that means for both players and creators in terms of developing new, progressive opportunities for play.

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          Most cited references 17

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          What Is Video Game Culture? Cultural Studies and Game Studies

           Adrienne Shaw (2010)
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            Climate change games as tools for education and engagement

             Joey Lee,  Jason S. Wu (2015)
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              The Social Discourse of Video Games Analysis Model and Case Study: GTA IV

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                2056-6700
                Open Library of Humanities
                Open Library of Humanities
                2056-6700
                23 March 2018
                2018
                : 4
                : 1
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of English, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, US
                Article
                10.16995/olh.212
                Copyright: © 2018 The Author(s)

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC-BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. See http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

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                Self URI (journal-page): https://olh.openlibhums.org/
                Categories
                Postcolonial perspectives in game studies

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