Eric Spenk


University of Texas at Arlington


Dr. Scott W. Palmer

Academic Interests:

American Cold War and Society
U.S. Military History
20th Century American Culture
Popular Culture and War
Eastern European Identity and Culture


Gaming the Cold War: The Reification of American Cold War Culture by Confluence of the U.S. Military and Video Games

Bio Note:

Eric graduated from Texas Tech University in 2016 with his B.A. in History and a minor in Political Science. After a brief hiatus from academics, he ventured back and received his M.A. from the University of Texas at Arlington and subsequently entered into the Ph.D. program. Eric currently studies at the University of Texas at Arlington under the direction of Dr. Scott W. Palmer, examining the origin of video games and how the required computer technology progressed thanks to the Military-Industrial-Education complex while the U.S. military and video game industry cross-pollinated one another with ideas and advancements. He will consider questions of military necessity in relation to technological advancements made in the video game sphere and how real Cold War fears inspired video game creation and content.

Eric is currently working on a couple side projects. One analyzes the Comic Code Authority formation in 1954 and how it influenced comic book creators to produce more pro-American and pro-democratic themed storylines throughout the Cold War era. A second examines Dallas County civil defense planning following the Second World War. The paper considers the society perception of a real nuclear threat to the area, the response systems put into place in the event of a nuclear strike, and the failures by the county to implement civil defense measures that would successfully prevent a majority of their community from annihilation.

In addition, Eric is an avid sports fan with an unhealthy but undying loyalty to the Chicago Bears, Blackhawks, Bulls, and Cubs. He also serves as President of the Dallas Australian Rules Football Club.

Added January 2023

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