Rotting, Blistered, Staggering Bodies and the Last of Ethnicity
What is common to the scenarios of such dystopian spaces as The last of us video game, or the various iterations of The walking dead, is that human beings have been transformed into bodies not just disintegrating, but bodies without ethnicity. In various interpretations of The walking dead, the hordes of shuffling undead represent migrants, refugees, ethnic others who have come to overwhelm our lives and relationships with their abject otherness. This reading would dispute such an interpretation, seeing in the infected and infecting the absence of those supposedly ethnic markers through which central aspects of subject formation become legible. Moreover, this absence appears to be paralleled among the non-infected as well. The relevance of ethnicity becomes eviscerated, so to speak, when faced with bodily presences for whom ethnic markers have rotted off and ethnically-identified behaviours have vanished. This article accordingly examines how in the vision of The last of us and The walking dead the spread of the body as absent subject will play out in such a way that ethnicity will be stripped from all of us.
KeywordsVideo games Television Race Diversity The walking dead The last of us
- Braindead. Wellington, New Zealand: Dir. Peter Jackson.Google Scholar
- Brooks, M. (2006). World war Z. London: Gerald Duckworth.Google Scholar
- Butler, O. (1979). Kindred. New York, NY: Doubleday.Google Scholar
- Fear the walking dead. (2015–). New York, NY: AMC.Google Scholar
- iZombie. (2015–). Burbank, CA: CW Network.Google Scholar
- Karpyshyn, D. (2007). Mass effect: Revelation. London, UK: Orbit.Google Scholar
- Kelley, R. (2010, October 27). The social significance of zombies. Newsweek. Retrieved from http://www.newsweek.com/social-significance-zombies-221328.
- Kilgore, D., & Samantrai, R. (2010). A memorial to Octavia E. Butler. Science Fiction Studies, 37, 353–361.Google Scholar
- Kirkman, R., Moore, T., Adlard, C. & Rathburn, C. (2003–2019). The walking dead (32 Vols). Berkeley, CA: Image Comics.Google Scholar
- Lauro, S. (2015). The transatlantic zombie: Slavery, rebellion, and living death. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.Google Scholar
- Luckhurst, R. (2015). Zombies: A cultural history. London, UK: Reaktion.Google Scholar
- Malkowski, J., & Russworm, T. (Eds.). (2017). Gaming representation: Race, gender, and sexuality in video games. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.Google Scholar
- Matheson, R. (1954). I am legend. New York, NY: Walker & Co.Google Scholar
- Miller, T., & Kraidy, M. (2016). Global media studies. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press.Google Scholar
- Murray, S. (2017). On video games: The visual politics of race, gender and space. London, UK: I B Tauris.Google Scholar
- Nama, A. (2008). Black space: Imagining race in science fiction film. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press.Google Scholar
- Newton, M. (2016, February 18). The thrill of it all. Rev. of Roger Luckhurst’s Zombies: A cultural history. London review of books (pp. 27–28).Google Scholar
- Night of the living dead. (1968). Los Angeles, CA: Dir. George Romero.Google Scholar
- Scott A., & Zinoman J. (2017, July 17). In George Romero’s zombie films, the living were a horror show, too. New York Times. Retrieved from www.nytimes.com/2017/07/17/movies/in-george-romeros-zombie-films-the-living-were-a-horror-show-too.html.
- Shaw, A. (2017). Diversity without defense: Reframing arguments for diversity in games. Kinephanos: Journal of Media Studies and Popular Culture, July, 54–76.Google Scholar
- Sloterdijk, P. (2011). Spheres (Vol. 1): Bubbles (Trans. Wieland Hoban). Los Angeles, CA: Semiotext(e).Google Scholar
- Slotkin, R. (1973). Regeneration through violence: The mythology of the American frontier 1600–1860. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press.Google Scholar
- Stubbs the zombie in “Rebel without a pulse.” (2005). Chicago, IL: Wideload Games.Google Scholar
- The last of us. (2013). Santa Monica, CA: Naughty Dog.Google Scholar
- The last of us: Left behind. (2014). Santa Monica, CA: Naughty Dog.Google Scholar
- The walking dead. (2010–). New York, NY: AMC.Google Scholar
- The walking dead. (2012–). San Rafael, CA: Telltale Games.Google Scholar
- Wehner, M. (2013, April 8). Devs had to demand female focus testers for The last of us. The escapist. Retrieved from http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/123139-Devs-Had-to-Demand-Female-Focus-Testers-for-The-Last-of-Us.
- World war Z. (2013). Santa Monica, CA: Dir. Marc Forster.Google Scholar