If there’s one thing modern day entertainment has taught us to prepare for, it’s the zombie apocalypse. The abundance of content based around legions of the undead has become one of the most popular staples for Hollywood, video game developers, writers and pretty much anyone else who brings creative content to a wider audience. Whether you’re referring to the vintage Romero-style shamblers – the “traditional” zombie – or the hilariously mutated, psychotic creations bred in worlds such as Left 4 Dead, almost everyone has encountered some form of zombie attack media in their lifetime. An extremely common and reoccurring subject of discussion among Gamers is quite simply: “what would you do in a zombie attack?”.
The majority respond with bravado and cries of “chainsaw!” or “bunker!” or the more maniacal “nuke them from orbit!” We ask, what would really happen if one day in the near future, the world dissolved into a hellish landscape suddenly plagued by hordes of groaning, brain munching, undead nasties? not as simple as Dead Rising?
Eat to Survive?
Is it safe to say the average Gamer would fare well in preparing for the impending onslaught of undead horror? Probably not. The greater world envisions the traditional, stereotypical Gamer as a reclusive shut-in; a hermit by all standards. They draw up the image of a rotund, straggly human, surrounded by discarded energy drinks and half eaten packets of savory snacks. Take this on board and try to visualize a Gamer’s exposure to the preparation required for survival.
The one thing the majority of zombie games has taught us is that you can get by just swimmingly on the most obscure snacks and beverages. Ravaged by a wild, screaming mutant – just chug down that super-sized carton of OJ! Multiple gunshot wounds? A chocolate bar should do it! There are certain games that have taught us that merely by combining different colored herbs, we can make potent medicine. However, we’re not going to entirely condone using that mysterious green herb to make yourself feel better…
Yes, this is the expected behavior for the Gamer – load up on sugary snacks, caffeinated drinks and you’ll get by just fine. It’s also a healthy assumption that spontaneous medical kits will pop up in the most unexpected of places so on the off chance the snacks do run out, they’ll be right as rain.
Well Armed for a Zombie Attack!
Let’s face it, if you’re not tooled up when those shambling monsters start knocking at your door, you’re in for a very short zombie attack. Depending on the ‘type’ of zombie you’re interacting with, you’ll need to adjust your arsenal to suit. Thankfully, the Gamer has plenty of experience where weaponry and battles are concerned. Right?
Another lesson lovingly taught by the games is that – for the most part – weapons are available by the dozen; they’re littered haphazardly all over the place and usually come in brand new condition! In the case of titles such as Left 4 Dead, you’ll regularly come across snazzy little rooms loaded to the rafters with firearms, melee weapons, and stacks of ammunition. So, nothing to worry about, of course. In fact, the Gamer wouldn’t even need these little havens as they come equipped with the ability to create incredible, glorious weapons out of the most obscure items imaginable. Cast your memory back to Dead Rising and one of the most beloved weapons you can build… the laser sword. Simply collect up some gems and a flashlight and BOOM – you’ve got a searing blade ready to slash through waves of nasties!
Our Gamer would happily remember the combinations that worked oh-so-well in this game or that game and would waste no time whatsoever in gathering up glue and duct tape and setting to work on a masterpiece. In any case, one could see this as either a positive or a negative. Even a monkey will write Shakespeare given enough time; maybe our Gamer will create a slaughter-weapon fit for the likes of Frank West. We doubt it, though.
Now, every game is usually preceded by a tutorial stage in which the player will be taught the ins and outs of the engine and how to handle whatever may be thrown at them. In effect, they’re long ready to handle a zombie attack, having blasted through training session after training session.
Let’s lay down a scenario – you need to cross a vast bridge but it’s bursting at the seams with the undead. They’re literally falling off of the sides due to the bulging, crushing crowds thronging against each other. It’s absolutely imperative that you get across but you are fresh out of ideas. Luckily, the Gamer is there to assist and they shan’t let anyone down! They’ve got two different approaches up their sleeve – both of which are total aces and wouldn’t ever fail, surely. First, they charge in headstrong, brandishing the largest weapon they have at their disposal, swinging wildly and for the fences. This is definitely the ideal option as they’ve just chugged down an energy drink and as a result, have booming stamina. Besides, the more they kill, the easier it becomes!
The second option is to jump into that nearby SUV – it’s okay, they almost always have the keys left in them! Once behind the wheel, they jam their foot down on the gas pedal and proceed to bundle through the hordes. This always proved to be effective on Dead Rising – if any stragglers cling on to the car they can just fling open the doors to throw them off!
Yes, that’s the options with the Gamer in tow. As you can see – definite success on the horizon.
In it for the Long Run
By some miracle, the Gamer has managed to survive the initial outbreak unscathed and has amassed a group of likewise individuals looking to cut out a living in the harsh, merciless world. The Gamer takes point – he’s played State of Decay and knows what needs to be done. The first item on the agenda is finding a base of operations and hunkering down. That shouldn’t be a problem as construction materials and the tools required to put them together are in an abundance all over the place – he’s seen it in-game.
Next, you need a supply train – a steady income of consumables to keep your merry band of survivors going. Again, this shouldn’t be a problem as there will definitely be a bounty of goodies out there for the taking and remember – all those vehicles with the keys generously left inside offer transport for said supplies. Utilizing all of this stock back at the home base wouldn’t be any problem for the Gamer as everyone on the team would obviously have a pre-determined role based on their past life. They’ll assumedly have a doctor, a mechanic, a chef and a soldier at least to cover all of the traditional roles. This will go swimmingly.
So, What to do in a Zombie Attack?
The Gamer, sadly, would be as useful as a chocolate teapot in a zombie attack what with their predisposition in assuming everything will be readily available and for the taking. The dreams of crafting enormous, over-the-top weaponry would win out over conventional, effective weapons and their survival kits would be dire at best. There would most likely be more of a focus on attaining a higher kill count than there would be gaining an equally as high survivor count. Safety in numbers is important!
However, let’s not be too harsh as we come to a close as not every Gamer is the same person. After all – a loot-loving Gamer would be a boon to have on the team as they’d make sure to rifle through every container in a location, digging up the best goodies. A Gamer would undoubtedly know to aim for the head or to kill it with fire and it’s a fair bet to assume they’d ensure the last thing possible to happen to them would be to get bitten. One might say they’d even have an advantage when it came to reading maps, identifying mutant beasties and the like.
Overall, we’ll end with this point: if you wake up tomorrow and find yourself buried in the zombie attack and walk through the doors of that supermarket… Please don’t choose to follow the guy clutching the four-pack of Monster and boxes of Oreos.