Fantasies of Full Employment
DOI link for Fantasies of Full Employment
Fantasies of Full Employment book
In this paper, with reference to the Telltale 2012 Walking Dead videogame and its focus on the “consequences,” or productivity, of play choices, and drawing on a cultural materialist theoretical position that underscores how economics and culture are mutually implicated in the ways we work and play, I argue that zombies and survivor-players work out the possibilities of how we imagine violent labor today, and what we hope and fear it might become tomorrow. The dialectical relationship between the zombie and the survivor-player is, among other things, productive, a feature of their generic association that is often obscured by the elements of horror and violence that characterize their relationship. I argue it is the productivity of the zombie and the survivor that is their enduring attraction, and suggest that we may construct a utopian understanding, in line with Fredric Jameson’s theorization of the relationship between utopia and full employment, out of this iconically dystopian genre.