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“It was just a prank, Han!”: Wendibros, Girlfriend Woes, and Gender Politics in Until Dawn

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“It was just a prank, Han!”: Wendibros, Girlfriend Woes, and Gender Politics in Until Dawn

Waldie, Rebecca (2018) “It was just a prank, Han!”: Wendibros, Girlfriend Woes, and Gender Politics in Until Dawn. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

Horror video games utilize conventional stereotypes to replicate the hegemonic power structures of the cultures from which they are produced. Using the 2015 award-winning horror video game Until Dawn as a case study, the author unpacks the construction of hegemonic masculinity and interrogates the impact of traditionally marginalized traits such as race and mental illness against the idealized role of the white, male saviour stereotype using an intersectional content analysis.

The thesis begins with an exploration of the game studies literature around gender and marginalization before transitioning into a consideration of hegemony in horror media, including video games. From there, the author contextualizes R. W. Connell’s conceptualization of hegemonic masculinity and combines it with Kimberlé Crenshaw’s intersectional lens. The literature is encapsulated in a summarization of Until Dawn’s characterization of masculinity, as determined by the theoretical framework provided, as a white (male) saviour archetype.

The author dedicates the three subsequent chapters to analyzing, via content analysis, the game’s key forms of marginalization: gender, race, and mental illness In each chapter, the content of Until Dawn is dissected to determine to what degree each marginalized attribute impacts a character’s ability to meet the game’s metric for hegemonic masculinity. The game content considered includes visuals, dialogue, object access and usability, combat scenarios, and storyline.

Hegemonic masculinity, mental illness, and the appropriation of Indigenous culture must be critically analyzed; this research adds a necessary consideration of several problematic and harmful representations that are often overlooked in current game studies literature.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Communication Studies
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Waldie, Rebecca
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Media Studies
Date:March 2018
Thesis Supervisor(s):Consalvo, Mia
Keywords:Masculinity, Gender, Race, Mental Illness, Cultural Appropriation, Marginalization, Video Games, Content Analysis, Textual Analysis, Intersectionality
ID Code:983664
Deposited By: Rebecca Waldie
Deposited On:11 Jun 2018 01:41
Last Modified:11 Jun 2018 01:41

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