Masculinity, Frontier and Manifest Destiny in Red Dead Redemption (2010) and Red Dead Redemption 2 (2018)

Authors: Stephan Pietsch*, Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography
Topics: Digital Geographies
Keywords: VideoGameGeography
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/11/2021
Start / End Time: 9:35 AM / 10:50 AM
Room: Virtual 25
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Video games as mass media are an important part of popular culture (BEIL 2013: 1). Not only since the Library of Congress declared video games to be cultural goods in 2007 (MARR 2010: 101), researchers from different disciplines have dealt with this. To contribute to this fascinating perspective of Game Studies, my presentation will show that the game series Red Dead Redemption produces a specific historical image of the Great Wild West which creates a masculine space where only the strongest man can survive. This, in turn, has specific relevance for the way in which people believe in the American foundation myths today. In order to deconstruct the world of Red Dead Redemption and get a better understanding for the way how video games may influence the way we perceive and deal with history, I will use the concepts of Frontier, Masculinity and Manifest Destiny to analyze the time-space related imagination of this digital Western world.

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