"Bodies, No-bodies, and Anti-bodies at War: Operation Desert Storm and the Politics of the "Real." 1994.

Abstract: Bodies, No-bodies, and Anti-bodies at War: Operation Desert Storm and the Politics of the "Real" is an analysis of the 1991 war in the Persian Gulf, authored as an interactive CD-ROM. It is a critical response to a popular and academic discourse that had an overwhelming tendency to claim Operation Desert Storm heralded a new era of high-tech combat that served only to remove us from the horror and reality of war. I argue instead that the massively mediated representation of The Gulf War was neither particularly new nor unreal, and that what was more interesting than the professed newness or unreality of this war was how it generated a whole discourse about its being unreal, and the role technology played in shaping this discursive field.

PLEASE NOTE: this is the text portion of a sociology doctoral thesis authored as an interactive CD-ROM, defended at UC Santa Barbara in Spring of 1994. Apparently it was the first Ph.D. submit as a CD-ROM in the social sciences and got a little bit of local media coverage because of it (ABC Affiliate, NBC Affiliate, SB News Press). You can see several screen shots of the UI by clicking on the image of the Iraqi men surrendering in front of the tank. Clicking the other subtitled images and the "Introduction" will take you text dumps of those chapters.

If you are a glutton for punishment (and use a Mac) you can opt to download the multimedia version in its entirety (~318MB) and experience it as it was intended to be experienced. Be aware that it was coded in HyperCard in the early to mid nineties, so it comes with no guarantee of any kind! It should still self-extract and run reasonably well though...