The Last of Us

The Last of Us tells the story of two survivors in an post-apocalytpic United States. Human society has nearly been wiped out due to the Cordyceps virus, and nature has reclaimed many of the abondoned spaces. These spaces still show traces of human life – children’s drawings on the walls of office buildings, family photos in ruined living rooms, houses which are no longer homes. The player is invited to critically engage with the contentworld, and the potentially powerful response the game triggers could translate into action in the real world.

The Last of Us extrapolates ecological issues of our contemporary present into a post-apocalyptic future, serving as a warning and reminder that, should these issues continue, we may face a similar catastrophe (Farca&Ladevèze, 2016). The game confronts the player with confining city spaces that remind the player why the post-apocalyptic world happened in the first place: the confinements of overpopulation, technological excess, and a lifestyle completely out of balance with nature. Contrasting these confining city spaces, the game also includes nature spaces that show a life more in balance with nature, presenting them as dynamic enclaves for progress and human dialogue (Farca&Ladevèze, 2016). The Last of Us is an example of ecological fiction and of a critical dysopia that shows the creation of a dystopian situation and proposes potential solutions to it.

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