For this study, I applied generic criticism, which looks at how a text subverts and adheres to patterns and formats in its respective genre, to analyze how The Last of Us redefined the survival horror video game genre through its narrative. Although some tropes are present in the game and are necessary to stay tonally consistent to the genre, I argued that much of the focus of the game is shifted from the typical situational horror of the monsters and violence to the overall narrative, effective dialogue, strategic use of cinematic elements, and character development throughout the course of the game. I also found that the game challenges notions of masculinity and femininity and takes inspiration from Bildungsroman, which are coming-of-age novels. I proposed a new genre called “Zombie Drama” which refers to texts that focus on character development in a zombie world backdrop. Next, I deconstructed the visual and auditory aspects of the game and how they contribute to the overall construction of the narrative. Lastly, I covered the filmic influences of The Last of Us and drew connections between the texts and the game.


Atay, Ahmet


Communication Studies


Other Arts and Humanities | Other Film and Media Studies


survival horror, video games, narrative, genre

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis Exemplar



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