This chapter explores the narrative and gameplay of The Walking Dead in relation to the Freudian concepts of Eros, Thanatos, play, the uncanny, and sublimation. It argues that the prevalence of zombie narratives in video games may be due to the ways in which the player is pushed towards the expression and experience of both Eros, the life drive, and Thanatos, the death drive, through gameplay.
Video games in this genre often focus on the player in a post-apocalyptic environment, where they are still human, but others around them have transformed into zombies. The remaining humans develop stronger bonds with those who have survived and often consider how they will rebuild society. Players of zombie video games are forced to confront what it means to love, survive, be hunted, and to kill, such as in The Walking Dead, when they are immersed in these games.
Playing games like The Walking Dead may be a form of sublimation for the player, or the displacement of instinctual aims in conformity with higher social values, and ultimately may provide a socially acceptable outlet for the expression and experience of these drives.