Not sure what it is lately, but I’d guess that about 60% of the games I’ve played in the last six months are zombie-related. Saints Row aside (which I think could only benefit from a zombie DLC mixed in to its beautiful madness), I’ve played 7 Days to Die, Back for Blood 4, Call of Duty Black Ops 3 (the zombie maps), The Callisto Protocol, Dying Light 2, Evil West, Resident Evil 2, The Evil Within 2, Plants vs. Zombies, Prey, State of Decay 2, and Zombie Army 4. This weekend I dove into Dead Island mostly because the trailer for Dead Island 2 looks bada$$$$$$$$$. But I’ve never much been into the whole zombie apocalypse thang before. Okay, fine, I did watch The Walking Dead, but who didn’t? Suddenly I’m all about the rotten buggers…so why now?
Maybe it’s just the sheer violence of zombie games. I mean it’s more than just a shmup. It’s like whack-a-mole, but with brains flying everywhere.
And there’s no guilt to bashing the face in of something that’s no longer human, right? That’s okay, right? I mean, ngl, but I don’t feel particularly bad murdering anything or anyone in a video game because guess what! It’s not real. Okay, I might feel bad stomping puppies or clubbing baby seals. But the average NPC baddie? Nah. It’s a virtual pressure valve for our basest impulses which no longer have an outlet since we are a polite, civilized society these days (🤣🤣🤣, I know, I can’t believe I typed that with a straight face). But it’s true, these days we fight with words and social media body shaming far more than with actual weapons. But there has to be more to my zombie fixation than just the violence. Cuz you can get that with any number of genres.
Maybe it’s the economy? There’s a study, I’d cite it if I could find it, but I don’t gave the time to dig through the interwebs right now, but there is a study done by actual smart people that states zombie lore does much better when the economy is crap. Well, it doesn’t get much crappier than it’s been lately. $6 for a carton of eggs, are you f@#king kidding me? Doubling electric bills. Corporate profits at an all-time high while worker wages and benefits are shit. The stock market is free falling. The cost of healthcare…don’t get me started on that, we’d be here all day. But even compared to a year ago, the average American is spending more on necessities and utilities and keep less for fun stuff, like…oh, you know, gaming? I think we can agree ye ole economy, not so hot. But why does that make the zombie apocalypse more appealing?
I have a theory, substantiated by nothing, mind you. When we’re all broke AF and struggling to keep the lights on, there’s something comforting and freeing about the collapse of society. It’s broken anyway. What if we could loot and riot and go back to survival of the fittest for real instead of just social Darwinism? And in video games, you’re character is always the fittest, most bada$$-est killing machine ever. Which for me is also freeing because physically, well, I’m about as coordinated as purple shoes with an orange handbag. Yep, if the zombies are chasing us, trust I’m the one getting eaten. Y’all would be fine 😂. But games like State of Decay 2 and Days Gone make me feel like I’m a survivor, that I can beat the MF system. I can amass a fortune in a world gone wild. And bash some zombie heads in to boot.
It also doesn’t hurt that most zombapocalypse games are co-op. Charles and I are forever looking for stuff we can play together, that we’ll both like and more often than not, we come up with a title revolving around the undead. Which only makes sense: fighting a horde alone is just a bad idea. And we like to shoot stuff, lol.
Whatever the reason, I believe fighting the infected and undead has become a staple of my gaming diet. I’m eagerly awaiting the release of Dead Island 2. And my boo was kind enough to buy me the Ragnarok DLC for Zombie Army 4. Hey, if Buffy can be known for dispatching vampires with extreme malice, why can’t I claim the title of Cindy the Zombie Slayer?
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