Playing with the Guys

Masculinity and Relationships in Video Games


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SKU: 9781476671390 Categories: , , , , Tag:
Imprint or Series:Studies in Gaming

About the Book

A lot of work has been done talking about what masculinity is and what it does within video games, but less has been given to considering how and why this happens, and the processes involved. This book considers the array of daily relationships involved in producing masculinity and how those actions and relationships translate to video games. Moreover, it examines the ways the actual play of the games maps onto the stories to create contradictory moments that show that, while toxic masculinity certainly exists, it is far from inevitable. Topics covered include the nature of masculine apprenticeship and nurturing, labor, fatherhood, the scapegoating of women, and reckoning with mortality, among many others.

About the Author(s)

Marc A. Ouellette is an award-winning educator who teaches cultural and gender studies at Old Dominion University, where he is the Learning Games Initiative Research Fellow.

Series editor Matthew Wilhelm Kapell teaches American studies, anthropology, and writing at Pace University in New York.

Bibliographic Details

Marc A. Ouellette. Series Editor Matthew Wilhelm Kapell
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 249
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2021
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7139-0
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4349-6
Imprint: McFarland
Series: Studies in Gaming

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii
Introduction 1
Chapter 1. Essentially Playing: Considering Gender, Sex and Sexuality in Video Games and Game Scholarship 17
Chapter 2. Builders of Boys, Makers of Men: Examining the Ludic Processes of the Masculine Apprenticeship 45
Chapter 3. “Putting some work in”: Masculinity, Labor and ­Hypo-ludicity 80
Chapter 4. “I am sworn to carry your burdens”: Eliminating and Scapegoating Women in Video Games 111
Chapter 5. “Welcome to the family, son”: Maligned and Misunderstood Fathers in “Dadified” Video Games 144
Chapter 6. “It’s the terror of knowing”: Resurrection, Melancholia and the Elegiac Game 178
Afterword 208
Chapter Notes 213
References 217
Index 239

Book Reviews & Awards

• “Recommended”—Choice

• “This is a tour de force fusion of gender studies, game studies, and critical theory. As with the very best, it transcends the dry label of ‘academic book’ and instead operates more as a detective novel. It asks the reader to follow a trail of evidence, puzzles, clues, and consider more than a few red herrings the author-as-detective picks apart in meticulous, incisive style. The reader is led, piece-by-piece, to frequently surprising, always insightful deductions. The rigour Professor Ouellette demonstrates in dissecting and analysing masculinity is in and of itself praiseworthy, but what really leaps towards the reader is the original and provocative thought accompanying such precision. Ouellette performs a dance between various disciplines, thinkers and concepts, offering ways of thinking through and with masculinity that feel wholly fresh and novel; a thrilling, timely read.”—Steven Conway, Swinburne University of Technology

• “This book provides a much needed framework for thinking about constructions of masculinity in media and game studies—balancing much needed critiques with larger questions about the generation and transmission of notions of the masculine.—Josh Call, professor of English, Grand View University