Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Thomas Crofts

Committee Members

Chelsea Wessels, Matthew Holtmeier


Supermassive Games’s Until Dawn tasks its players with helping eight teenagers survive a night of terror. All eight playable characters may live or die depending on the player’s choices and gameplay proficiency. Despite its intricacies, the game still relies heavily on horror movie tropes, which the characters embody, and they face different treatment based on their gender, race, and sanity. Particularly, the weapons available to them and the scenarios for their deaths and survival contribute to trapping the characters within their given characteristics and forcing them into a role that they cannot ever fully break free from. While the branching narrative style opens up the possibility for the hegemony to be challenged, the characters are so stiffly created that, in spite of the multitudes of choices and paths to go down, all the characters are confined to their archetypes and stereotypes related to their identities regardless of the player’s choices.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.