Army Men: Military Masculinity in Call of Duty
Military-themed video games allow civilians to play war, not just as a soldier, but in a particularly constructed, heavily gendered soldier identity, situated in our cultural understanding of militarized masculinity. Call of Duty, the top-selling video game franchise in North America for the previous seven consecutive years, is an exemplar of the military games genre, a significant potential source for representations of masculinity, and a suitable entry point for exploring military masculinity in video games. In this analysis, I examine how militarized masculinity is constructed within the single-player campaigns of Call of Duty, how this construction reinforces the default conflation between military and masculine ideals, and how traditionally entrenched aspects of masculinity are in turn reinforced and challenged throughout the series.
KeywordsMasculinity Militarism First-person shooter Militainment
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