• Popular geopolitics ‘beyond the screen’: Bringing Modern Warfare to the city

      Bos, Daniel; University of Chester
      Popular culture – in this case military-themed videogames – has been argued to mould and shape popular understandings of the geopolitics of the ‘war on terror’. To date, most attention has been focused on the geopolitical representations of a ‘final’ popular cultural text or object. Less attention has been paid to how popular understandings of geopolitics and military violence have been constructed and commodified prior to, and ‘beyond the screen’. Empirically, the paper examines the marketing campaign of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. Through the use of experiential marketing, I show how the game’s launch night incorporated spectacular displays, performances and consumer interactions to sell the pleasures of virtual war by drawing on geopolitical fears of terrorism and military violence within major Western cities. Firstly, I demonstrate how marketing engaged with and transformed urban spaces extending the popular geopolitics of virtual war. Secondly, the paper reveals how experiential marketing targeted and encouraged connections with and between attendees’ bodies. Thirdly, I demonstrate how such events promote geopolitical encounters which extend beyond the temporal and the spatial confines of the marketing event itself. Ultimately, the paper reveals how urban fears surrounding the global ‘war on terror’ were employed to sell the pleasures and geopolitics of virtual war.