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Die Tryin’

Videogames, Masculinity, Culture

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Derek A. Burrill

Die Tryin’ traces the cultural connections between videogames, masculinity, and digital culture. It fuses feminist, psychoanalytic, Marxist, and poststructuralist theory to analyze the social imaginary that is produced by – and produces – a particular form of masculinity: boyhood. The author asserts that digital culture is a culturally and historically situated series of practices, products, and performances, all coalescing to produce a real and imagined masculinity that exists in perpetual adolescence, and is reflective of larger masculine edifices at work in politics and culture. Thus, videogames form the central object of study as consumer technologies of control and anxiety as well as possibility and subversion. Moving away from current games research, the book favors a game-specific approach that unites visual culture, cultural studies, and performance studies, instead of a sociological/structural inspection of the form.