The basic aim of this thesis is to assess the US Army produced videogame America’s Army (2002) and its online communities for its potential as a public sphere. My exploration of the game, and the communities which have grown around it, will be mainly based on observations of social formations and practices of the game, and interviews with players. Additional data was gathered from a visit to the US Military Academy at West Point where the US Army organization behind the game project, the Office of Economic and Manpower Analysis (OEMA) is based.
About Zhan Li
After graduating from the S.M. Comparative Media Studies program at MIT, Zhan worked as a media & entertainment industry analyst at HSBC in NYC. He then entered the Ph.D. program at the USC Annenberg School for Communication in Los Angeles, from which he graduated in 2014 as a specialist in organizational communication and strategic foresight. Currently he is a senior researcher at the Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute think tank of Zurich, Switzerland.
Thesis: The Potential of America’s Army the Video Game as Civilian-Military Public Sphere