Moral Ambiguity and the Zombie Scapegoat in Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare

Wilde, Poppy (2023) Moral Ambiguity and the Zombie Scapegoat in Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare. In: Red Dead Redemption: History, Myth, and Violence in the Video Game West. University of Oklahoma. ISBN 9780806191850

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Red Dead Redemption celebrates the White male hero of the Western in a classical twist of anti-heroism, as the protagonist John Marston becomes our bad-guy-gone-good-but-still-badass. The story allows the character to occupy various positions on the spectrum between outlaw and government-hired protagonist. The player of RDR therefore has more ambiguity in the classic choice of good vs. evil, creating instead a “tentative moralism” in Marston .1 In this chapter I explore this theme of morality in RDR’s downloadable content (DLC) expansion, Undead Nightmare (UN), which operates as a separate story from the main RDR game and can therefore be played in isolation. UN is tentatively positioned within the timeline of the main story – encompassing events that supposedly took place during the few months that Marston is at home tending to his farm and teaching his son Jack, before Marston’s inevitable (and inevitably heroic) demise at the end of the main RDR game.

Item Type: Book Section
1 March 2023Published
Subjects: CAH24 - media, journalism and communications > CAH24-01 - media, journalism and communications > CAH24-01-05 - media studies
Divisions: Faculty of Arts, Design and Media > College of English and Media
Depositing User: Gemma Tonks
Date Deposited: 24 Nov 2023 16:10
Last Modified: 24 Nov 2023 16:10

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