I have already talked about AMC’s Walking Dead on my blog. But there is more to The Walking Dead fandom than watching the show. For starters, there is the series of graphic novels that the show is based on. But there is also The Walking Dead game, an episodic RPG/Point and Click game by Telltale Games. This is a great game, with anxiety producing game play, interesting graphics, and of course, zombie bashing. But the real reason I love this game, and the reason many, many people love this game, is the character of Clementine. (see the twitter hashtag, #forclementine.)
Although you play the game as a man named Lee, you meet Clementine (a young 8 year old girl) during the first minutes of the game. And seeing as she has recently lost her parents, you take her under your wing and quickly become her guardian. Clementine is smart, she is funny, she is sweet and most surprisingly, unlike other child sidekicks (see Short Round), she is not annoying. But more importantly, she acts as the embodiment of “moral code” in the game. As Jessica Lugo points out in her post “In Appreciation of The Walking Dead: Clementine,”
Clem makes you want to do better in the game. She makes you want to be a good person. And she makes you want to take care of her. In other words, she makes you a parent, and for me, that meant mother.
I am quite young, and have no children of my own as of yet, and so although I do not know quite what it is to be a mother, I do have a brother quite younger than myself who I had a big hand in raising. And Clementine makes me feel about her the way I feel about my brother (although obviously for a shorter, quicker amount of time and in a more virtual way). Playing The Walking Dead brings out my “motherly” instinct, and even though I am playing as Lee, because it is an RPG game, Lee becomes feminized, because I am playing him through my lens. It is a weird sensation, but one I enjoy immensely. Who would have thought a game about the zombie apocalypse would make me feel like a mom?
Patrica Hernandez The Walking Dead’s Brave Little Girl Taught me How to Trust