n Image & Text : a Journal for Design - When boys turn into women : a critical reading of postfeminist masculinity in the last of us

Volume 27, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1020-1491



Video games play a significant role in promulgating dualistic gender roles and prescribing sexual identities. Situated within the broad theoretical framework of post-feminism, this explorative study analyses the distinctive articulation of masculinity in the post-apocalyptic video game, (2013 Naughty Dog). While it has been argued that video games are still firmly rooted in a distinctively patriarchal version of hegemonic masculinity and its attendant association with competition, domination, and aggression, we investigate the emergence of a different representation of a male protagonist as morally complex, intuitive, and emotional. In an attempt to gain a better understanding of this transformed representation of masculinity, we explore the ways in which disillusionment with patriarchal masculine values becomes evident in the post-apocalyptic setting of . We investigate the implications of this transformation of traditional heroic masculinity in video games for the negotiation of male identities in this sphere of visual culture.

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