The winner of the 2017-18 Jennifer and Eric Spiegel Book Award competition
Thomas Wick has been granted this award for his essay:
"The Persuasive Procedural Rhetoric of Spec Ops: the Line"
Thomas's Essay explores the use of procedural rhetoric in the 2012 First Person Shooter Spec Ops: the Line. Set in the desert of Dubai, the narrative of the video game follows a squad of American soldiers tasked with investigating the city. They discover the city has been placed under martial law and the soldiers have to restore order to the city. Taking narrative influences from Heart of Darkness and Apocalypse Now, Spec Ops: the Line uses Ian Bogots concept of procedural rhetoric to persuade the player about the true terror about war and how often times soldiers are forced to commit heinous acts to achieve victory. Thomas's analysis incorporates various scenarios from the game, comparisons to other video games, as well as the tedious gameplay of Spec Ops: the Line to demonstrate the effectiveness of the games rhetoric, even more so then books, photographs, and films.