Responding to Call of Duty

Critical Essays on the Game Franchise


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About the Book

Call of Duty is one of the most culturally significant video game franchises of the 21st century. Since the first game was released for PC in 2003, the first-person shooter has sold over 250 million copies across a range of platforms, along with merchandise ranging from toys and comic books to a special edition Jeep Wrangler. Top players can compete for millions in prize money in tournaments sanctioned by the Call of Duty World League. While the gaming community has reported on and debated each development, Call of Duty has received little scholarly attention. This collection of new essays examines the ideologically charged campaign mode of major franchise releases, with a special focus on militarism, realism and gender.

About the Author(s)

Nate Garrelts is a professor of English at Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Michigan.

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

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Nate Garrelts

Series Editor Matthew Wilhelm Kapell
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 218
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliographies, index
Copyright Date: 2018
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6875-8
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3124-0
Imprint: McFarland
Series: Studies in Gaming

Table of Contents

Introduction: Activision Wants YOU!
(Nate Garrelts) 1

“Charlie Oscar Delta”: An Exploration of Militarism and the Call of Duty Franchise
(Vanessa Hemovich) 5
Framing and Ideological Discourse in the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Series
(Rémi Cayatte) 18
Imperial Neoliberalism, Colonial Games
(Christopher Cartright) 35
New Media, Same Stale Ideology: Recurring Themes and Global Representations in the Modern Warfare Trilogy
(Claudius Stemmler) 51
Everything Will Be OK! Dystopia Becomes Utopia in Modern Warfare
(Tal Tovy) 64
In Search of More Than Just “A few lines of snappy, expository dialog”: Tracing the Narrative and Interdisciplinary Shift in the Call of Duty Franchise
(Zachary Holtzman and Christopher Allen Varlack) 78
Remediating, Remodeling and Reframing the Machines of Modern War
(David Murphy) 94
I, Terrorist
(Tim Kucharzewski) 107
All Due Respect: The Evocation and Enactment of Ritual in Advanced Warfare
(Gavin Davies) 119
Advanced Warfare, Advanced Masculinity?
(Łukasz Muniowski) 132
“War doesn’t make boys men”: How Representations of Gender Have Evolved in the Call of Duty Franchise
(Erin Maclean) 142
She Was Just a Glitch: The Ludic Erasure of the Feminine in Call of Duty: Black Ops III
(Marc A. Ouellette) 158
“The poster child for bro game culture”: Fans and Female Avatars in Call of Duty: Black Ops III
(Esther ­MacCallum-Stewart) 173
Heart Breakers and Life Takers: Negotiated Readings of Military Masculinities in Modern Warfare’s Fanfiction
(Jessica E. Tompkins) 187

About the Contributors 205
Index 209