Retracing Positive Images of the Black: The Racial Reading of The Walking Dead Through its Adaptations


In contemporary culture, video games, like other media, have played an impactful role towards players’ societal perceptions and influenced their impressions and understandings of social groups. Despite the increase of African Americans figures in video games, these characters are usually portrayed in negative, racially stereotypical ways. This paper offers an analysis of the representations of black characters in Telltale’s The Walking Dead. It explores the text through Sanders’ adaptation and appropriation which allows new perspectives on a character who is marginalised and disenfranchised by the original work. The study shows that the video game adaptation of The Walking Dead retraces the positive images of black men by emphasising the father-and-daughter relationships between Lee and Clementine, thus, puts a new light into the gaming industry. This aspect of the game, when compared to the television series of the same name, challenges the white hegemony of parenthood, contrasts the empathetic paternal characteristics of the African America protagonist to the intolerable and unstable ones of the white male character.

Author Information
Patra Jumsai Na Ayudhya, Thammasat University, Thailand

Paper Information
Conference: ACAH2021
Stream: Media Arts Practices: Television

This paper is part of the ACAH2021 Conference Proceedings (View)
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