In the corner of my office, sitting above the multimedia case in which I sequester my videogames, there is a dry erase board where I write down ideas I’d like to write about on Play Critically. For months I have agonized over the piece you are reading now, and this may be due to that whiteboard where I had scrawled the name “Carver” in black marker. It would be narratologically irresponsible to talk about The Walking Dead: Season Two without writing something about this character, but I couldn’t find the words. The list of ideas grew longer and longer, but I remained roadblocked by Carver’s name at the top. Finally I reached a precipice of despair and erased everything off the board. It’s a writer’s cliche to lament the tyranny of a blank medium, but in this case the tabula rasa proved cathartic. No longer locked into Carver by the oppressive whiteboard, I realized I needed to step back to see his role in a wider context.
Carver is essential to what I will write about today, but he is not the actual topic.