A Problem In Video Game Scholarship

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I’ve said it a million times and I’ll probably say it a million more: Video games as a medium are constantly being dumped on. Too many people write them off as children’s toys, unworthy of serious attention and potential for analysis. That’s part of the reason why I’m writing my senior thesis on the modern military shooter genre. I want video games to be taken as seriously as any piece of literature or any film could be. In my thesis, I’m looking specifically at Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and Spec Ops: The Line and analyzing their uses of violence and how they justify themselves. What’s sad is that it seems like a lot of other critics and scholars aren’t willing to put similar time and effort into seriously analyzing the works about which they’re writing.

Often critics will overly simplify and generalize their discussions about games. Many readings of modern military shooters approach games of this genre merely as extensions of the US military complex, ignoring other narrative or ludic nuances embedded in them.…

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