Date of Award

2020

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Department

Communication

First Advisor

Jeremy D. Johnson

First Committee Member

Graham Carpenter

Second Committee Member

Teresa Bergman

Abstract

Video games and academia have a long history with one another. Academic researchers have continued to debate the extent to which video games can materialize real world effects. In this thesis, I employ procedural rhetoric and feminist scholarship to analyze the rhetorical power of God of War. I focus on the game’s immersive procedures and the performances of masculinity from Kratos, Atreus, and Baldur. These three characters all perform different masculinities, and their interactions with one another inform the game’s portrayal of masculinity and fatherhood. By engaging in violence and depicting nuanced performances of masculinity, God of War positions the player to recognize harmful hegemonic masculine norms and their effects on men and their relationships. This is rhetorically significant, as God of War’s interrogation of hegemonic masculinity encourages players to interrogate hegemonic masculine norms in the material world.

Pages

103

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