Lake of Despair – Thomas Örn Karlsson

Lies for the “Greater Good” – The Story of Horizon Zero Dawn

Jessica Ruth Austin

Anglia Ruskin University

Abstract | Since the advent of mass media, governments and academics have researched ways to manipulate information received by the general public. Reasons for this have ranged from propaganda to altruism, and debates have raged as to whether people have a ‘right’ to the truth and to the ethical implications of lying. This article investigates the way that lying for supposedly altruistic reasons is used in the narrative of the video game Horizon Zero Dawn (Guerrilla Games, 2017). Horizon Zero Dawn is the story of a young girl named Aloy who lives in a post-apocalyptic world in which humans were decimated by the robots they had created hundreds of years before. This article analyses the way in which, within the narrative, governments and corporations implemented their plan to ensure humanity’s survival, and their justifications to lie to the general public about the lengths this plan would go to. This article examines how their justification for lying usurped the robots’ claim to inherit the Earth and the ethics behind it.

Keywords | video games; Horizon Zero Dawn; ethics; posthuman; propaganda; alternative facts.