Teaching America via Video Games

This introduction to American studies explains the key principles, myths, and beliefs that constitute America through the most relevant medium of our century—video games. Exploring concepts, ideas, and narratives such as America as a perpetually "unfinished country," God's "chosen people," the Frontier, the Melting Pot, the American Dream, and America's transnational entanglements through video games such as The Oregon Trail, Assassin’s Creed III, the Grand Theft Auto series, Walden, a Game, Far Cry 5, September 12th: A Toy World, the Madden series, and the Call of Duty games, this textbook showcases the cultural work performed by video games. Embedded in the lifeworlds of today's students and accompanied by a companion website and YouTube channel, this book demonstrates how to teach American studies in the twenty-first century

This book is under contract with Amsterdam University Press.

Publications related to this Project

"Playing America: An Introduction to American Culture Through Video Games" (co-authored with Stefan Rabitsch). Gamevironments 11 (2019): 86-102. Available Open Access.

"Dad Rising? Playing the Father in Post-Apocalyptic Survival Horror Games" (co-authored with Klaus Rieser). Gender in Contemporary Horror: Comics, Games and Transmedia, ed. Steven Gerrard, Samantha Hollands, and Robert Shail, 69-80. Bingley: Emerald, 2019.

"The End is Nigh—Bring Forth the Shepard! Mass Effect, the Apocalypse, and the Puritan Imagination" (co-authored with Michael Phillips and Stefan Rabitsch). Playing the Field: Video Games and American Studies, ed. Sascha Pöhlmann, 35-48. Oldenbourg: De Gruyter, 2019.

"Bioshock Infinite and Against the Day as Intermedia Twins: Exploring the American National Project." Beyond the Sea: Navigating Bioshock, ed. Felan Parker & Jessica Aldred, 294-319. Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2018.

"Playing Good Cop ... or Bad Cop? Exploring Hyperreal Urban Spaces in L.A. Noire." A Dark California: Essays on Dystopian Depictions in Popular Culture, ed. Katarzyna Nowak-McNeice & Agata Zarzycka, 37-49. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2017.