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Vampires and ZombiesTranscultural Migrations and Transnational Interpretations$
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Dorothea Fischer-Hornung and Monika Mueller

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781496804747

Published to University Press of Mississippi: May 2017

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496804747.001.0001

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Undead Avatars

Undead Avatars

The Zombie in Horror Video Games

(p.229) Undead Avatars
Vampires and Zombies

Ewan Kirkland

University Press of Mississippi

In contrast to other forms of popular culture, zombies have a historically consistent presence within digital games. Extending research which explores self-reflexivity across the horror genre, this chapter examines ways in which videogame zombies comment upon the nature of the digital form and its player relationship. Central to this analysis is an argument that the videogame avatar, the figure which players control, is itself zombie-like, a dead thing given life through the cybernetic interface of the player. Successful play entails the user becoming machine-like in their engagement with the videogame’s digital apparatus. Exploring games such as Quake, Resident Evil and Forbidden Siren, it is argued that zombies within horror videogames function as a metaphor for uncanny processes at work within the videogame medium itself.

Keywords:   avatar, cybernetic, Forbidden Siren, Resident Evil, videogames

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