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On Video Games : The Visual Politics of Race, Gender and Space (Hardcover) (Soraya Murray)
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Video games are a defining part of mass visual culture. Today, more than half of all American households own a dedicated game console and gaming industry profits trump those of the film industry worldwide. In this book, Soraya Murray moves past the technical discussions of games and offers a fresh and incisive look at their cultural dimensions. She critically explores blockbusters including The Last of Us, Metal Gear Solid, Spec Ops: The Line, Tomb Raider, and Assassin's Creed to show how they are deeply entangled with American ideological positions and contemporary political, cultural and economic conflicts.
As quintessential forms of visual material in the 21st Century, mainstream games both mirror and spur larger societal fears, hopes, and dreams, and even address complex struggles for recognition. This book examines both their elaborately constructed characters and densely layered worlds, whose social and environmental landscapes reflect ideas about gender, race, globalization, and urban life.
In this emerging field of study, Murray provides novel theoretical approaches to discussing games and playable media as culture. Demonstrating that games are at the frontline of power relations, she reimagines how we see them, and more importantly, how we understand them.