For those who aren’t a fan of this once-amazing series, The Walking Dead Game has always been lauded for its character diversity (with a wide range of different nationalities and racial backgrounds represented, well-written female characters and characters of…
ITS ALMOST like they kill off a lot of characters to show the horror of a zombie apocalypse or something. Its also almost like a video game company can’t control the decisions of their players, or the statements of their players.
Please. If you were attached to this character, if you cared about this character and saw their death as a tragic event then that is /sort of the point here/. Calling “you should be very careful with our disabled characters and make sure they live to the end or else UR ABLEIST” is out of the ball park on stupid. Now I’m not going to play it that I’m a rabid fan of this game or something because I’m not, its the rampant killing off of characters that turned me off in the first place.
BUT IF YOU WENT INTO IT after axe upon axe of characters went down not expecting them to kill a mentally unstable character so they wouldn’t offend anyone I think you’re playing the wrong game. This game is about death, its about people making stupid, ableist, racist decisions when panicked, and its about reflecting those decisions onto the player and making them sit down and just WONDER. Come on now.
Yes, the games involve the deaths of many different types of characters, but also the point of most of the scenarios are to try and fight for what little humanity you have left. They did not kill off this character to bring light to the fact that something like leaving a disabled girl for dead is terrible, and may likely happen in a zombie situation. It’s not even really about the fact that the character came to such an unfortunate end, because within the series that is not uncommon. There was no lesson to be learned in her death.
The PROBLEM with this is the delight, joy, and satisfaction of one of the CREATORS of the game has in killing her off. He “hates” her only because she is disabled, and that is incredibly ableist. He is REALLY FUCKING HAPPY to be able to kill off this hispanic disabled young girl, and not for any particular reason other than because that is who they made her to be. And the fact that he said there are plenty more people in the company who were delighted at the chance to get rid of her. My problem does not lie with the fact that they decided to have her character die, it’s the creators reactions and opinions in the interview.
For those who aren’t a fan of this once-amazing series, The Walking Dead Game has always been lauded for its character diversity (with a wide range of different nationalities and racial backgrounds represented, well-written female characters and characters of all ages and body types featured prominently throughout the game).
In Season 2 we encountered Sarah, a Hispanic 15-year-old girl who is neurodivergent and has trouble coping with the horrors of the new world around her.
Now of course, being a female character and being disabled, she was immediately despised by the majority of the fandom. Slurs were tossed around, people frequently referred to her as “a liability”, and there were frequent posts made on Telltale’s forums, Facebook, Youtube, and elsewhere wishing her dead and hoping for a chance to kill her. This was nothing new - we had seen much of this before, with other female characters in the franchise. However, the ableism was rampant, and people would write essays about how she was “bringing the group down” and why her death would be a “good” thing for the other characters.
(spoilers) Her death came after the player was told several times by a pragmatic character that Sarah was dragging the group down, that she was a weakness, and that she “clearly” didn’t want to live (despite the fact that she screams and cries for help the entire time she’s being eaten). Instead of subverting that character’s pragmatism and showing that people with disabilities can still survive an apocalypse, she is killed even if the player chooses to save her (in a horrible manner, where she is partially crushed under a fallen balcony and then devoured alive by walkers as she screams for help). Her death served to further the already-prevalent fandom belief that disabled people are unnecessary weights holding survivors back, and makes total apocalyptic pragmatism look like a justified belief.
Of course, that made us (Sarah fans) angry and upset, especially considering many of us are ourselves neurodivergent (and several autistic teenage fans headcanoned her as being autistic) and the belief that characters like us are just liabilities is extremely hurtful. But that’s not what’s spurring me to make this post today.
This is absolutely appalling and I urge people to tweet at @Telltalegames to tell them how absolutely unacceptable this kind of ableist behaviour is.
The Walking Dead games are some of my favourite games ever because they brought so much humanity to even the characters that could be very easily disliked. It’s incredibly disheartening and alienating to know there are people on staff that think this way about neurodivergent and disabled people. I don’t even think I’ll bother buying Episode 5 or paying any attention the Season 3.
3 homicides in the same month, all very similar to one another. the police department is sure they have a serial murderer on the loose, but they have no leads. soon enough they receive a threatening letter. “i know i„ killde all thos e poeple but.. nwo it s all over the nwes and people are angyr at me and i camt stop„„ cryign im so soryr im sorry ok„ i didmt mean to caues such a fuss„„„,” the case is dropped. he was so sorry. look at all those misspelled words.