This book explores the central role of the zombie in contemporary popular culture as they appear in video games. Moving beyond traditional explanations of their enduring appeal – that they embody an aesthetic that combines horror with a mindless target; that lower age ratings for zombie games widen the market; or that Artificial Intelligence routines for zombies are easier to develop – the book provides a multidisciplinary and comprehensive look at this cultural phenomenon.

Drawing on detailed case studies from across the genre, contributors from a variety of backgrounds offer insights into how the study of zombies in the context of video games informs an analysis of their impact on contemporary popular culture. Issues such as gender, politics, intellectual property law, queer theory, narrative storytelling and worldbuilding, videogame techniques and technology, and man’s relation to monsters are closely examined in their relation to zombie video games.

Breaking new ground in the study of video games and popular culture, this volume will be of interest to researchers in a broad range of areas including media, popular culture, video games, and media psychology.

chapter 4|15 pages

The Zombification of Skyrim

chapter 5|13 pages

Fantasies of Full Employment

Zombies, Video Games, and Violent Labour

chapter 7|13 pages

Zombie Video Games, Eros, and Thanatos

Expressing and Exploring the Life and Death Drives Through Video Gameplay

chapter 8|14 pages

Through the Eyes of the Other

The Relationship Between Man and Monster in Siren: Blood Curse

chapter 15|16 pages

Zombies Ate Democracy

The Myth of a Systemic Political Failure in Video Games

chapter 16|14 pages

Queering the Zombie

chapter 17|13 pages

The Law of the Playful [Un]Dead

The Influences of Intellectual Property Law on Zombie Video Games