Wendigo, vampires and Lovecraft: Intertextual monstrosity and cultural otherness in video games | Intellect Skip to content
1981
Making Monsters
  • ISSN: 1753-6421
  • E-ISSN: 1753-643X

Abstract

Civilization has, since its inception, employed mythical or deified entities in place of the unknown. Folklore and mythology are the culmination of such beliefs, providing lessons or logic behind behavioural patterns within the society of the time, with the (Anon. c.2100 BC) producing a narrative precedence that ‘[n]ature is the opposing pole of the human’. However, the roles of such tales, and hence their monsters, have adapted as humans came to understand more of the world around them. Tchaprazov suggests that Stoker’s (Stoker 1897) emphasizes ‘that the Slovaks stand both culturally and geographically opposite to the West’, producing social narratives relating to a cultural ‘Other’. Within this article I explore how monsters, based on regional folklore, within video game adaptations such as (CD Projekt Red 2008) and (4A Games 2014) are depicted as a nature-based ‘other’, especially as opposed to the player-character. Furthermore, I look at the cultural implications of contrasting modern depictions, such as the wendigo within (Supermassive Games 2015) and other transmorphic entities. Finally, I suggest that the intersection of culture and folklore within the ‘brickmaker’s village’ in is a hybridized adaptation which simultaneously adapts Lovecraft’s (Lovecraft 1931) and the Slavic folklore of the vodyanoy, whilst also challenging what Švelch calls a ‘conceptualization of monstrosity’.

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2023-07-10
2024-02-25
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