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It’s Not Just the Zombies That are Braindead:
The Walking Dead Video Game

[1]2,556 words

Telltale’s The Walking Dead is an episodic video game series boasting an original, interactive story that takes place in the same universe as the show and comic. There are four seasons of five episodes each, emphasizing narrative over game play. The first season was met with positive reviews and industry awards, and sold several million copies (many more watched it on YouTube). I found it to be less onion-skinned than expected, and its writing frequently insulting. Nevertheless, the company snagged popular tie-ins with mega franchises like Batman [2] and Game of Thrones [3] on the strengths of this first season.

Despite its often gratuitous profanity, violence, and gore, the zombie genre as it exists today can be seen as nothing more than a politically correct replacement of the Western. The sparse living conditions and constant threat of bandits and zombies parodies the difficulty of life on the frontier. Being twice removed from history, its cast needn’t be predominantly white, and thereby needn’t remind modern audiences that Europeans sacrificed so much to settle the land they now occupy. The “racist” depictions of Indian savages are swapped for the undead to avoid offending modern attitudes toward protected classes. Thus, the zombie genre subverts the Western’s dramatic formula with modern liberal values, and Telltale’s The Walking Dead is no exception.

The first season focuses primarily on the relationship between Lee, a black college professor convicted of murdering a man he caught in bed with his wife, and Clementine, an eight-year-old light-skinned black girl whose parents are away on vacation. Lee taught history, so we can assume it was probably an Afrocentric course titled something like “Wakanda Forever [4].” For her part, Clementine looks more like a Latino or Asian girl than a black one. Their destinies intertwine the day of the zombie outbreak when the cop car transporting Lee to prison hits a “walker” and veers off to the side of the road. Lee frees himself from the wreckage and escapes some walkers into Clementine’s backyard, where she’s hiding in her treehouse from the zombified babysitter.

Virtually all of the villains and characters with abrasive or annoying personalities are white, while the virtuous or amicable characters are mostly non-white. Lee, Glenn (an Asian man), Omid (a Persian man), and Christa (a black woman) are all generally cool and collected. It’s the white characters who tend to be at one another’s throats. The game takes place in Georgia, which is around sixty percent white and thirty percent black, so this is one case where more diversity could make sense, but then there’d probably be some black villains – and we can’t have negative portrayals of black people, can we?

White people suck

Without getting caught up in plot details, let’s summarize most of the white cast. Lily and her father Larry are (Jewish?) control freaks who rub all the other characters the wrong way. Lily has assumed control of the group, thus emasculating all of the men, but is constantly complaining. Larry always has a sour look on his face and verbally attacks Lee, even referring to him as “boy.” Carley, an attractive white woman, takes a shining to Lee despite knowing he’s a murderer. She tells him his past doesn’t matter in the post-apocalypse and that his willingness to murder might even come in handy (thankfully, the game stops short of showing them kiss).

Kenny and Lee are fast friends, but after Ken’s wife Katjaa and his son perish, he develops a drinking problem and becomes an asshole. At one point, he does nothing while a white woman is chased and eaten by zombies, even though he was armed with a rifle and could have saved her life. Kenny Jr., a wide-eyed boy, and Ben, a sullen highschool student, are worthless characters who seem intentionally annoying. Neither does anything important other than dying for some empty melodrama, with most of their time spent acting like a retard or breaking promises, respectively. Katjaa is only notable for being one of the few blameless white characters. In contrast, we’ve got Glenn, an Asian fellow who wants to save a white woman he can hear crying inside a motel room surrounded by zombies.

In episode four, Lee runs into Molly, a risible female power fantasy who can take care of herself, thank you very much. Despite her wiry frame, she uses a pickaxe to climb the sides of buildings like she’s Spider-Man [5] and effortlessly lifts Lee up onto rooftops like she’s the Hulk [6]. Later, we learn that she was exchanging sex with a resident doctor for medication for her sister – who’s presumably dead, as we never meet her – so she’s not quite as empowered as she lets on. We also meet Vernon, an elderly (Jewish?) doctor who’s caring for an interracial group of old cancer patients in a fallout shelter. He and his distrustful assistant Brie, an overweight white woman, agree to help the group procure supplies to fix a boat. After Brie dies, Vernon becomes a turncoat and steals the group’s boat, on which they had pinned their hopes for survival.

White people be crazy

Now for the villains. In episode two, we meet the adult St. John brothers and their mother, who seem to be normal, rural, white Southerners living at their pastoral dairy farm. While out dislodging zombies from their electric fence, Mark is injured by some bandits attacking the farm. Lee and one of the St. Johns go out looking for the bandits, and the latter murders an innocent white woman because she was about to reveal something about him. Meanwhile, the St. Johns were supposed to be treating Mark’s injury, but instead they chop off his legs and serve them for dinner. There’s even a print of Judith beheading Holofernes [7] upstairs, suggesting they’ve always been cannibals. When their ploy is inevitably discovered, they take the group hostage, planning to kill all but one – who will be kept sedated as they’re slowly consumed – but our heroes escape.

White people resorting to cannibalism seems to be a common motif in zombie fiction as it flips the genre’s premise on its head. Actual cases of European cannibalism occurring during widespread famines, such as the Irish potato famine, are rare. One thing you probably won’t see in zombie fiction is black cannibalism, despite well-documented contemporary cases in Rwanda [8], Sierra Leone [9], Liberia [10], Uganda [11], Congo [12], South Africa [13], South Sudan [14], and so on, because that would be deemed racist. In any event, the episode’s twist can be seen from a mile away.

In episode three, we learn that the camp’s medical supplies have been going missing, and Lee is put in charge of solving the mystery. Someone in the camp has been extorted by the bandits who attacked the St. Johns’ dairy farm. When Lee confiscates the latest drop, the bandits break in and take hostages. There’s at least one black man in their posse, but the rest appear to be white, including their leader, whose piercing blue eyes are seen under his balaclava. The standoff ends with all of the bandits shot and killed, but with the camp’s defenses overrun by zombies, our heroes must go on the road. At this point, Lily loses her shit and murders Carley (or Doug), even though they were innocent. We later learn it was worthless Ben who had been extorted.

Drug addiction in a post-apocalyptic world may be useful for realistic character motivation, but it’s rather disrespectful given the ongoing opioid epidemic in America that is on course to cost more American lives than the Second World War did. The predominantly white victims of the Jewish Sackler family’s multibillion dollar scheme [15] are remarkably similar to those of China’s “lost century,” when the Jew David Sassoon began the opium trade [16] there (which was subsequently blamed on the British). The game doesn’t spend any time humanizing the drug-addicted men in the bandit gang, because then we might feel sympathy for them.

Reaching Savannah in episode four, Lee and the remainder of the cast learn that a group of survivors called the Crawfords have fortified an area of town. The perimeter is lined with zombies impaled on sharpened poles in the manner of Vlad Țepeș, and we’re told they live according to “survival of the fittest.” The episode’s writer, Gary Whitta, gets in as many Nazi and anti-white references as he reasonably can: Crawford is said to weed out vulnerabilities by expelling or killing the young, the old, and the infirm, reasoning that they’d drag down “their little master race,” with one character highlighting how unchristian it is of them. Inside the compound, we find that everyone has become a walker, but they clearly deserved it, because they’ve hung a Confederate flag and signs saying “looters will be shot on sight.” Later, Lee finds video recordings of a white doctor pressuring a white woman into having an abortion (of Ob-Gyns willing to perform abortions, Jewish doctors are by far the likeliest [17]) and Molly’s secret.

In the final episode, Clementine has been abducted by “the stranger,” a deranged white man who’s been grooming her over her two-way radio. He’s been eavesdropping on everything Lee (the player) has done and intends to punish him for it, because Lee’s group ransacked his seemingly abandoned car for supplies in episode two. The scenario acts as a gimmick to bring all of the player’s decisions up to that point back to the surface in what’s supposed to be a “wow” moment, but it’s too far-fetched and falls flat. The premise is made even more ridiculous because Clementine refused to steal from the man’s car, and the player, as Lee, may have joined her protest!

Over the course of the first season, several white men pull Lee aside to suggest he is incapable of taking proper care of Clementine, and either offer to take her off his hands, sternly warn him that he’d better take good care of her, or give him some unwanted advice. Lee rebuffs them every time, because it would be uncharacteristic for a single black man like him to abandon a child or need parental advice, right? The season culminates with the stranger’s attempt to adopt Clementine, but Lee attacks him and then Clementine shoots him, suggesting that black men make better guardians than white ones. This is ironic, given that studies report that between forty and sixty percent of African-American girls are sexually assaulted before age eighteen [18], and many are likely the victim of their mothers’ boyfriends.

The Walking Dead: 400 Days

400 Days bridges the gap between seasons one and two, with five mini-episodes ranging between ten and twenty minutes in length. Each one introduces a new character, and they often contain anti-white underpinnings. At the end, a black woman named Tavia approaches a camp where most of the new characters ended up to encourage them to join her group, some of whom reappear in season two.

Russell’s a black high school graduate who bravely withdrew from a group that had been killing other survivors for their stuff. He crosses paths with Nate, an assholish white guy who asks him if there’s any other “bros wearing hoodies” that he should know about (a reference to the racially divisive Trayvon Martin case). Pulling up to a gas station, someone begins firing upon them, and Nate convinces Russell to storm it with him. They hold an old white man at gunpoint, who calls Russell a “spook” and accuses Nate of injuring his wife in an earlier raid. Russell decides that Nate is a bad card and leaves, only to hear Nate executing them in cold blood. Should we feel bad? The old man did use a racial epithet.

Bonnie is a white woman recovering from a drug addiction, and she’s in a budding romance with an older white man named Leland. He’s married, but hypocritically scolds his wife Dee for blaspheming God. When the group gets chased over a stolen backpack and is separated, Bonnie confuses Dee for one of their pursuers and brains her. Dee reveals she is resentful of Bonnie’s relationship with her husband, but dies from her injury, and then Bonnie and Leland make their escape.

Vince is an Asian guy convicted of murder who’s on a bus headed for prison, mirroring Lee’s predicament as one of the few flawed minorities. He’s chained at the ankle to a white guy who stole millions in a pyramid scheme, as well as a white (Hispanic?) guy who’s a statutory rapist. When a black criminal strangles another on the opposite aisle, the bumbling white guard blows the aggressor’s head off with a shotgun. The strangled prisoner turns into a zombie and kills the cop, forcing the others to escape. Vince has to blow off the foot of one of the two white prisoners to unravel the chain, in what is supposed to be some sort of moral quandary – but we just met these guys. For once, we’ve got three negative portrayals of non-whites, but they’re balanced out by three flawed white men in the same scene.

Off to a bad start

Much of season one’s anti-white propaganda is likely the work of co-writer and co-director Jacob Rodkin (whose name suggests Russian-Jewish heritage). He left the company before the second season, but his involvement explains why Kenny’s wife is Russian (she’s supposedly Belgian, but whatever), and the numerous references to the number six, which is a magical number to Jews [19]: Lee was a college prof for six years; Larry has sixty cents in his pocket, which comes in handy; Lee is caught unawares that Clementine’s ninth birthday took place six days earlier; Russell thinks he has sixty miles left to walk; and Nate asks Russell if he’d rate the girl in his former group a strong six.

Our decisions make little impact on the plot, which is the death knell of interactive fiction. At the end of the first episode, we must choose between saving Carley or a white guy named Doug, but as mentioned, whoever we save is inevitably killed by Lily in episode three. The player’s pick could’ve been the victim of the cannibals in the second episode (thereby giving the earlier decision a shocking payoff), but that would require twice as much work. Instead, the writers introduce a new character in that episode who gets eaten, and there’s no way to save him. This sets a standard that follows in later seasons, where any character who can die as a result of your decisions will die sooner or later, presumably to save production time and money.

Putting aside the anti-white crap, season one is marred by obnoxious writing. Carley used to be a reporter for the local television station, so you’d assume she’s of average intelligence, right? Well, given the state of the media, maybe not. She’s shown to be proficient with a nine millimeter pistol, yet she’s stumped by a “broken” radio that just needs some batteries! When Lee points this out, she asks him to find some, as she “wouldn’t know where to start” (they can be found on a nearby shelf at eye level). It’s just a small detail contrived to give the player something extra to do, but it exemplifies the writers’ willingness to insult our intelligence, which they do habitually. Given all of the above, it’s a mystery how this first season was so well received by fans and critics.