First Person Shooter: Baden Pailthorpe, Video Games and the Biopower of War

Andrew Yip

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    If the first Gulf War was known as the ‘Nintendo War’ for its introduction to mass media of the godlike cruise-missile camera, then the apotheosis of this vision was captured during the second Gulf War in the WikiLeaks video Collateral Murder. The 12 July 2007 attack by two Apache helicopters in the Baghdad neighbourhood of Al-Amin al-Thaniyah, which killed, among others, two Reuters correspondents
    and a father-of-two who had stopped to assist the wounded, has become one of the defining media moments in the War on Terror.
    The events proceed with a clinical inhumanity. The pilots spot a group of men (‘fucking prick … have individuals with weapons … request permission to engage …’). They manoeuvre into position (‘just fuckin’, once you get on ’em, just open ’em up … light ’em all up … keep shoot’n’, keep shoot’n’.’). They fire. There is a brief delay before the bullets register their targets and the men evaporate. The Apaches circle around the heap of bodies. More chat (‘look at those dead
    bastards. Nice. Good shoot’n’. Thank you.’).1
    All of this is filmed through the lens of the chopper’s 30-millimetre cannon and viewed third-hand on YouTube.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)413-419
    Number of pages7
    JournalARTAND Australia
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2014


    • War Art
    • Contemporary Art
    • Baden Pailthorpe

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
    • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


    Dive into the research topics of 'First Person Shooter: Baden Pailthorpe, Video Games and the Biopower of War'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this