Valkyria Chronicles Game and the “Cute” Memory of War

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Iskandar Zulkarnain
Otniel Joviand Christiandrew


In this article we analyzed digital games as a mode of memory production and preservation especially in the genre of World War II games. Using a Japanese-produced PS3 game, Valkyria Chronicles (2008), we demonstrated the ideological aspects of this type of games in (re)shaping the memory of the World War II through what we called “allegorithmic memory” process. Borrowing from Alexander R. Galloway’s conception of “allegorithm,” we argued that the combination of narrative allegory and gameplay algorithm in Valkyria Chronicles has produced a “cute” perspective on the memory of World War II that is closely tied to the historical role of Japan during the War. Set in an alternate 1930s Europe, the game combined the collective memory of Holocaust with an atypical representation of World War II in its allegorithmic structure. We argued that this combination has produced a double screen memory that attempted to invite a shared affection in dealing with Japanese traumatic memory of World War II. In conclusion, our article demonstrated the capacity of digital games as a culturally-specific site of memory production and preservation offering a complex combination of recycled and new perspective of World War II.


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Author Biographies

Iskandar Zulkarnain, Visual and Cultural Studies, President University

Iskandar Zulkarnain is a full time Lecturer in Visual and Cultural Studies at President University. He formerly taught at Hobart and William Smith Colleges as Visiting Assistant Professor in Media and Society. His research deals with global digital media cultures, with particular interest in Indonesian digital cultures. He is also one of the co-founder of the Global Digital Humanities (DH) Working Group within the Central New York Humanities Corridor/Mellon Foundation. He is currently working on two projects: one about digital nationalism in Indonesia, and another one on the history of video games in Indonesia within the period of 1980s-1990s.

Otniel Joviand Christiandrew, Visual Communication Design, Faculty of Computing, President University

Otniel is a third year student in Visual Communication Design at President University.


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