The Last Of Us Analysis

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Consciousness in Ludonarrative: Morality of the Postmodern Self in The Last of Us
Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us is a video game that presents a narrative about the story of Joel which challenges the moral values of the self through his seemingly unethical actions in a postmodern environment. Historically, video games were used mainly for either entertainment or training purposes (Smith). The improvements in technology in the 1970s allowed for the commercialization of video games which led to the creation of the video game industry. The driving force of the industry was the profit gained from entertaining the masses. Initially, narratives were not part of video games. They were only incorporated into video games later when technology was even more advanced. This led to the formation of ludonarratives - a combination of ludology, or gameplay, with narrative elements. However, due to its main function of entertaining the masses which led to its popularity in
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It effectively criticizes the postmodern culture, by presenting a world laden with problems due to the characteristics of postmodernity. It raises questions about morality and underscores the lack of solutions for these moral issues due to the lack of a governing body and a rational order. In the game, aside from small areas in the world under the army’s control, the rest of the world is no longer bound by laws and regulations. A social contract, where a “persons' moral and/or political obligations are dependent upon a contract or agreement” (Friend), is not compulsory for one to live in this world. The players control Joel, the protagonist, most of the time. He is tasked with the mission to bring Ellie, a fourteen-year-old girl who is immune to the virus, to the doctors who are researching for a
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