Jason Hawreliak is an Associate Professor of Game Studies and the director of the Centre for Digital Humanities at Brock University.
Although his most recent research focuses on meaning conveyance in videogames broadly speaking, Hawreliak has studied, taught, and published on the use of videogames as conveyors of propaganda for over a decade. Through rhetorical and semiotic analysis, he has examined how popular game franchises like Call of Duty essentially serve as pro-Western military propaganda. Additionally, he has also researched how game developers in Syria and Palestine have appropriated many of the tropes used in Western games to create pro-Palestinian propaganda. For example, Hezbollah has commissioned development of the First-Person-Shooter, Special Force series, in which players take the role of a Hezbollah soldier fighting against Israeli enemies.
Working with his PhD student, Venus Torabi, they are currently working on a publication examining ISIS’s use of videogames as recruitment tools, which is based on her dissertation.