unit nine

GI. Joe and Grand Theft Auto: Violence, Power, and Propaganda



case study guidelines


CASE STUDY:Grand Theft Auto (1st person shooter games)

1) You will begin preparing your case study research by first reading all the assigned materials for that class day. These are the texts everyone in class will read in advance of your session. These reading will introduce you to some important concepts, terms, and ideas.

2) You will want to preview the videos we will be screening in class, esp. Game Over, which addresses some of the intellectual issues of analyzing video games. The Killing Screens will be very useful as it talks about critically interpreting violent images. You will want to situate your analysis in terms of not only violence but issues of power, gender, race, and class. Both videotapes have excellent online study guides at the MEF website. Use these for basic concepts.

3) Your cases study should research the social issues involved in first person shooter video games. You will want a critical overview on their popularity, their structure, and the debates over these cultural practices. You may want to study the game Grand Theft Auto and research the many commentaries on this product.. There are many websites on this issue and numerous articles. You might find yourself enlightened by Michael Moore's award-winning documentary Bowling for Columbine. Remember, the issue is not merely/only to "dismiss" such games but to conceptualize violence in more sophisticated ways. Talk about how violent representations are constructed, how they function, how they relate to questions of power, and why they are problematic.