‘Choose, collect, manage, win!’: Neoliberalism, enterprising culture and risk society in video game covers

Mercè Oliva, Óliver Pérez-Latorre, Reinald Besalú
  • Convergence The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies, November 2016, SAGE Publications
  • DOI: 10.1177/1354856516680324

Top selling video game covers convey neoliberal values

What is it about?

This article analyses the covers of the 80 top-selling video games in the United States from 2010 to 2014. Regardless of genre, the covers analysed convey and promote neoliberal values, such as freedom and choice, entrepreneurship, consumption and accumulation of goods, customization, novelty, individualism and meritocracy. This promotion of neoliberal values is combined with an appeal to the concerns of ‘risk society’. Thus, the covers of the top-selling video games play on fears linked to the new context created by the economic crisis while at the same time legitimizing the neoliberal ideal of the ‘enterprising self’ as a model for dealing with it.

Why is it important?

This article contributes to the academic analysis of paratexts and their ideological discourse. No other study has systematically analysed the meanings and values conveyed by video game covers. Moreover, this article aims to identify the relationship between video games and neoliberal values: by highlighting traits, such as novelty, freedom of choice, customization, the accumulation of goods and self- improvement covers connect video games to neoliberal governmentality. Video game covers are one of the sites where neoliberal rationalities of government are legitimized, naturalized and promoted

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1354856516680324

The following have contributed to this page: Mercè Oliva

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