Through analysis of three case study videogames - Left 4 Dead 2, DayZ and Minecraft - and their online player communities, Digital Zombies, Undead Stories develops a framework for understanding how collective gameplay generates experiences of narrative, as well as the narrative dimensions of players' creative activity on social media platforms. Narrative emergence is addressed as a powerful form of player experience in multiplayer games, one which makes individual games' boundaries and meanings fluid and negotiable by players. The phenomenon is also shown to be recursive in nature, shaping individual and collective understandings of videogame texts over time.
Digital Zombies, Undead Stories focuses on games featuring zombies as central antagonists. The recurrent figure of the videogame zombie, which mediates between chaos and rule-driven predictability, serves as both metaphor and mascot for narrative emergence. This book argues that in the zombie genre, emergent experiences are at the heart of narrative experiences for players, and more broadly demonstrates the potential for the phenomenon to be understood as a fundamental part of everyday play experiences across genres.