The Playful Undead and Video Games: Critical Analyses of Zombies and Gameplay, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Playful Undead and Video Games

Critical Analyses of Zombies and Gameplay, 1st Edition

Edited by Stephen J. Webley, Peter Zackariasson


280 pages | 6 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Hardback: 9781138895461
pub: 2019-08-01
SAVE ~$30.00
Available for pre-order

FREE Standard Shipping!


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.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Zombies zombies everywhere, what is one to think?

Stephen Webley

  1. Zombies, again? A qualitative analysis of the zombie antagonist’s appeal in game design

    Matthew Barr

  2. Resurrecting "Obsolete" Video Game Techniques from Alone in the Dark and Resident Evil

    Matt Barton

  3. The Undead Past in the Present – Historical Anxiety and the Nazi Zombie

    Adam Chapman

  4. The Zombification of Skyrim

    Penny de Byl

  5. Fantasies of Full Employment: Zombies, Video Games, and Violent Labor

    Michael Epp

  6. Resident Evil and Infectious Fear

    Christina Fawcett and Alan McGreevy

  7. Zombie video games, Eros, and Thanatos: Expressing and exploring the life and death drives through video gameplay

    Vanessa Haddad

  8. Through the Eyes of the Other: The Relationship between Man and Monster in Siren: Blood Curse

    Madelon Hoedt

  9. Dead Rising and the Gameworld Zombie

    Kristine Jørgensen

  10. Proliferation, Blockages, and Paths of Escape in Resident Evil and Call of Duty
  11. Brandon Kempner

  12. Zombies, Play, and Uncertainty in Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare

    Mitchell Lilly

  13. "A Jill Sandwich" – Gender Representation in Zombie Videogames

    Esther Maccalum-Stewart

  14. It’s Never About Zombies – Post-apocalyptic World-building, Interactive Storytelling, and The Walking Dead

    Ksenia Olkusz, Sven Dwulecki and Krzysztof M. Maj

  15. The Pace and Range of Video Game Zombies

    Bernard Perron

  16. Zombies Ate Democracy: The myth of a systemic political failure in video games

    Eugen Pfister

  17. Queering the Zombie

    Tanja Sihvonen

  18. The Law of the Playful [Un]Dead: The Influences of Intellectual Property

    Timothy A. Wiseman

  19. "The Romeroesque" – Playing with Ethics & Ideology in Zombie Games, from Indie to Mainstream and Around Again

    Stephen Webley


About the Editors

Stephen Webley is Director of The Military and Civil Simulation Technology Research & Enterprise Institute at Staffordshire University, UK

Peter Zackariasson is Associate Professor in the School of Business, Economics and Law at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden

About the Series

Routledge Advances in Game Studies

Games studies is now firmly established as a popular, important and significant area of study in the academic world. Bringing together theories and thought from a wide range of disciplines, this series features cutting-edge research addressing the major issues in game studies today.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
GAMES / Video & Electronic
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Popular Culture
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Media Studies