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Guilt from Killing Zombies (?) with NYtimes Daniel Slotnik

May 11, 2012

Earlier today I mentioned education and video games in my ZombieLaw post about zombies in middle school curriculum, and I wondered about the dehumanizing effects. The NYTimes is on the same brilliant wavelength, with Daniel E. Slotnik writing today “When Should You Feel Guilty for Killing Zombies?” in the Learning Network section. Slotnik writes:

Zombies, along with Nazis and aliens, may be the easiest of all video game entities to slaughter without a second thought. Have you ever played a game in which you felt conflicted about the virtual violence you were inflicting

And then he quotes “Putting the Guilt Back in Killing: Game Features Zombies With a Little Soul,” by Chris Suellentrop, who wrote:

“zombies” and “Nazis” are usually interchangeable concepts. Each is presented as a dehumanized enemy that won’t make players feel guilty for all the exultant violence they inflict. The zombie apocalypse neatly removes thorny questions of morality

Perhaps ironically, Slotnik’s previous job at the NYTimes was in the obituary section. Slotnik’s twitter says “On loan to @NYTimesLearning from @NYTObits” so presumably he intends to go back to the graver stuff soon – clearly he’s still got the undead on his mind.

And so I add Slotnik to my collection of NYTimes writers who have mentioned zombies recently: Zombie Paul Krugman, Zombie David Brooks, and now, the Zombie Daniel E. Slotnik:

zombie daniel slotnik

From → Academics, nazi

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