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The Intersectional Internet

Race, Sex, Class, and Culture Online

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Edited By Safiya Umoja Noble and Brendesha M. Tynes

From race, sex, class, and culture, the multidisciplinary field of Internet studies needs theoretical and methodological approaches that allow us to question the organization of social relations that are embedded in digital technologies, and that foster a clearer understanding of how power relations are organized through technologies.
Representing a scholarly dialogue among established and emerging critical media and information studies scholars, this volume provides a means of foregrounding new questions, methods, and theories which can be applied to digital media, platforms, and infrastructures. These inquiries include, among others, how representation to hardware, software, computer code, and infrastructures might be implicated in global economic, political, and social systems of control.
Contributors argue that more research needs to explicitly trace the types of uneven power relations that exist in technological spaces. By looking at both the broader political and economic context and the many digital technology acculturation processes as they are differentiated intersectionally, a clearer picture emerges of how under-acknowledging culturally situated and gendered information technologies are impacting the possibility of participation with (or purposeful abstinence from) the Internet.
This book is ideal for undergraduate and graduate courses in Internet studies, library and information studies, communication, sociology, and psychology. It is also ideal for researchers with varying expertise and will help to advance theoretical and methodological approaches to Internet research.
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Chapter Seven: Grand Theft Auto V: Post-Racial Fantasies and Ferguson Realities

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← 128 | 129 →

CHAPTER SEVEN

Grand Theft Auto V: Post-Racial Fantasies AND Ferguson Realities

DAVID J. LEONARD

 

INTRODUCTION

To much fanfare and anticipation, Rockstar Games released versions of Grand Theft Auto V (GTA: V), its flagship game, for the Sony PlayStation 4 and Microsoft Xbox Live gaming systems on November 19, 2014. (The game was originally released for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in September 2013, and sales from the game had already reached an estimated $2 billion. As of May 2014, 33 million copies had been sold, setting all kinds of world records.) Within two short weeks, this new version was the number one selling game in both the United States and Great Britain (Thier, 2014).

While Rockstar counted its money, and gamers across the nation and beyond sat down to take part of a world of crime, violence, and mayhem, Ferguson, Missouri, erupted in protest. Reacting to the November 24, 2014, announcement of the grand jury’s decision not to prosecute Darren Wilson for the killing of Mike Brown, as well as countless other killings, hypersegregation, and systemic racism, the protest was bigger than this one moment. Yet when looking at my White friends’ Facebook pages, examining “White Twitter,” seeing news reports on who was shopping on Black Friday, and otherwise listening to the topics of conversation within White America, a level of detachment and denial was clear. Maybe they were busy playing GTA: V. ← 129...

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