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Title:Videogame culture as transnational media: one neoliberalism, many resistances
Author(s):Redmond, Dennis
Director of Research:Valdivia, Angharad N.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Valdivia, Angharad N.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Molina-Guzman, Isabel; Burton, Antoinette M.; Treichler, Paula A.
Department / Program:Inst of Communications Rsch
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):video game
metal gear solid 4
final fantasy 12, xii
hideo kojima
role playing
stealth espionage
digital commons
transnational media
anti-neoliberal resistance
Brazil Russia India China (BRIC nations)
Abstract:This dissertation analyzes two best-selling videogames, Hideo Kojima's Metal Gear Solid 4 (2008) and Square Enix' Final Fantasy 12 (2006), as sites of contestation between commercial media corporations on the one hand, and communities of artists, consumers and non-commercial digital users on the other. I argue that Metal Gear Solid 4 rewrites the stealth espionage thriller into a critique of neoliberalism's financial speculations and neocolonial wars, while Final Fantasy 12 rewrites the fantasy role-playing videogame into a critique of the colonial and neocolonial legacies of fantasy and role-playing fiction. Using the tools of critical communications theory, postcolonial media studies, and digital media scholarship, I argue that these videogames narrate the struggle between neoliberalism (i.e. the ideology of late 20th century market fundamentalism which exerted global hegemony during the thirty years from 1975 to 2005) and a wide range of anti-neoliberal social movements, developmental states (especially those of the BRIC nations, i.e. Brazil, Russia, India and China), and non-commercial networks of digital production, distribution and consumption. I also argue that these videogames frame the politics of transnational media production and transnational audience reception in productive ways. At their best, they offer new ways to critique digital capitalism as well as its shadowy obverse, financialized neocolonialism. I conclude that videogames have become an important space for anti-neoliberal cultural critique and political mobilization, and that videogame narratives offer unique insights into transnational identity-politics, the institutions of the digital commons, and the geopolitics of the emerging multipolar world.
Issue Date:2013-02-03
Rights Information:Copyright 2012 Dennis Redmond
Date Available in IDEALS:2013-02-03
Date Deposited:2012-12

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