“Outlaws to the End” – A Study of the Social and Political Reality of Rockstar Games’ West

Juho Tuominen, Olli Sotamaa

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This article examines the relevance and applicability of ideology criticism to the study of video games. The aim is to highlight the sophistication and detail of the experiences video games render for a player. As video games have become highly popular and mainstream, we consider that it is crucial to study the political and ideological realities they offer. In this article we commit a close reading of Rockstar Games’ Red Dead Redemption series from an Althusserian perspective and discover that critical analysis yields interesting insights of the social order designed for the game world. To form a better understanding of ideological underpinnings of these designed systems of play, we also inspect the material conditions under which they were created. We find that ideological and political analysis of a blockbuster game contributes to a better understanding of ways in which games operate and what kind of social and political realities they offer.
Original languageEnglish
JournalWider Screen
Publication statusPublished - 11 Aug 2021
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • computer games
  • ideology critique
  • game industry
  • rockstar games

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1


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