The Post–9/11 Video Game

A Critical Examination


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SKU: 9780786499021 Categories: , , , Tags: ,

About the Book

This critical study of video games since 9/11 shows how a distinct genre emerged following the terrorist attacks and their aftermath. Comparisons of pre and post–9/11 titles of popular game franchises—Call of Duty, Battlefield, Medal of Honor, Grand Theft Auto and Syphon Filter—reveal reshaped notions of identity, urban and suburban spaces and the citizen’s role as both a producer and consumer of culture: New York represents America; the mall embodies American values; zombies symbolize foreign invasion. By revisiting a national trauma, these games offer a therapeutic solution to the geopolitical upheaval of 9/11 and, along with film and television, help redefine American identity and masculinity in a time of conflict.

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.

Jason C. Thompson is an associate professor of English at the University of Wyoming. and an active member of the Learning Games Initiative. He lives in Laramie, Wyoming.

Bibliographic Details

Marc A. Ouellette and Jason C. Thompson

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 200
Bibliographic Info: 8 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2017
pISBN: 978-0-7864-9902-1
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2700-7
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments viii
Preface 1
Introduction: Pedagogy and Allegory in “Post–9/11” Video Games 5
One. The City: Metonymies and Allegories of New York 23
Two. Showrooming the “War on Terror”: Consumerism and the Marketplace as Battlefield 60
Three. The War Game: Life and Death 76
Four. War Brothers: Letters Home 91
Five. Being with the Guys: Masculinity as Apprenticeship and the Homosocial 121
Six. Ready for Deployment: Masculinity and Technology in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 148
Conclusion 165
Chapter Notes 171
Works Cited 177
Games Cited 185
Index 189

Book Reviews & Awards

“useful and intriguing”—Press Start.