Seeing Green

Visual Technology, Virtual Reality, and the Experience of War

in Social Analysis
Author:
Jose N. Vasquez City University of New York jovasquez@jjay.cuny.edu

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This article addresses the question of how visual technology—night vision, thermal imaging, and virtual reality—has changed the experience of war for both combatants and non-combatants. Video and still images are analyzed to draw out some of the phenomenological aspects of how technology mitigates the perception of combat and its resultant casualties. I argue that while visual technology makes the experience of war more intimate, it also generates psychological distance between the viewer and the viewed. Weapons equipped with visual technology facilitate war crimes by dehumanizing the individuals being targeted and filtering the carnage these weapons produce.

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Social Analysis

The International Journal of Anthropology

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