Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Reed College of Media


Reed College of Media

Committee Chair

Bob Britten.


Speculative fictions present us with stories that ask the question "what if?" In the past decades there has been a noticeable increase in the amount of speculative fiction in Western popular media. War-themed video games represent one of the most popular interactive texts that have embraced the speculative fiction genre. There is a multitude of research that examines non-fiction war games and those based loosely on some actual or historical conflict. This research diverges from that path by analyzing the narrative and structure of a series of fictional war games set in the modern era. The game presents a narrative structured much like that of a theatrical performance. Characters, settings, and conflicts have foundations based on reality that help develop a hyperreal simulation of international conflict in a fictional gameworld. Through the use of narrative analysis, along with an examination of the game's structure, this research shows how concepts of modern socialization, popular war themes, and recollections of past enemies combine to create a fictional portrayal of modern war. The research reveals how the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare series attempts to create a balance between a realistic depiction and a culturally idyllic version of contemporary warfare centered on individual action and those outside Western socially constructed worlds.