Soft Power Unit




American superheroes such as superman, Ironman and Spiderman arebeing used in video games and mobile application games to popularizeAmerican popular culture to gain soft power all over the world. Thesegames where played on video consoles, computers or mobile phonesportray a culture of the game developers and have a story to tell.

Video game developers, producers and even the characters havenarrative which shapes the game and the very life of the charactersin the game. The US and Japan are two of the world’s largestproducers and developers of these games. These games as exportscontain and spread some elements of these countries’ culture andway of life (Marie &amp Kersel 2013). The US has played a centralrole in the development of these games especially on those gamesbased on American superhero characters.

Video games are more interactive than movies and hence more effectivein spreading American popular culture (Hiscock 2006). This is becauseof their interactive nature that allows the game players to assumethe identity or life of a superhero in those games. For instance, inThe Amazing Spiderman game, a player takes the identity of Supermanand makes a range of choices based on the game and the Americanculture that provides a more enhanced American experience. Othergames also enable players to use the first person shooter technologythat is an embodiment of American culture that reveres individualism,patriotism, democracy, justice and the fight for one country (Nye2004). This enables players from all over the world to interact withAmerica, Americans and American culture and not just the game and thesuperhero.

It is therefore evident that video games as popular culture can beused to popularize American way of life, understanding of justice andeven the rule of law. Additionally, the games are used to portray apredetermined image of America as country and Americans as people.


Hiscock, G.(2006). `Soft power` part of balancing. CNN. Retrieved onlineon 16th June 2014


Marie, C. &ampKersel M. (2013).U.S. cultural diplomacy and archaeology: softpower, hard

heritage.New York: Routledge.

Nye, J. (2004).Soft Power: The means to success in world politics. New York:Public Affairs.