Research Topic

My present plan for research is to investigate the idea of war without death and the connection that sports emulating war have with war itself. As professor Izenburg explained, “war is the artifactualization of death”, yet what happens to war when the concept of death is removed? The games replicating war, such as Medieval Combat, see combatants fight to the death and even die in epic manners, only to rise again in eternal conflict and recurring fighting. These sports go to great ends to reproduce war as it is imagined, and it is possible that we can infer different things from these man-made conflicts.

Many questions linger around the nature of this research. Why should games of war have anything to say about human nature of any relevant concept if they lack true death, a death that incurs some sort of loss in the combatants? Is death integral for a war to be considered anything more than a scuffle or a game? Do the mechanisms that describe conduct in a game lack any application to war and the conducting of such? All of these questions are paramount to the project as a whole, and will be discussed in full.

Sources for this project are, in short, low in supply. Since I have access to several meeting grounds for Medieval Combat, as well as several sports teams practicing in the ARC, I will be using the previous assignment’s experiences with gathering interviews and trying to gather my own sources to supplement what is available to me through the libraries and online archives.


Brandt, R. B.. “Utilitarianism and the Rules of War”. Philosophy & Public Affairs 1.2 (1972): 145–165. Web. 2 May 2016

Caston, Victor. Our Ancient Wars: Rethinking War Through the Classics. Digital image. Amazon. N.p., 6 Feb. 2016. Web. 2 May 2016.

Ikegami, Eiko. “Shame and the Samurai: Institutions, Trusthworthiness, and Autonomy in the Elite Honor Culture”. Social Research 70.4 (2003): 1351–1378. Web. 2 May 2016

ROBESON, LISA. “Noble Knights and ‘mischievous War’: The Rhetoric of War in Malory’s “le Morte Darthur””. Arthuriana 13.3 (2003): 10–35. Web. 2 May 2016

Walzer, Michael. Just and Unjust Wars: A Moral Argument with Historical Illustrations. New York: Basic, 1977. Print.

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