Thursday, February 3, 2011


Left 4 Dead, Nazi Zombie mode in Call of Duty, 28 Days Later, the Walking Dead, Zombieland... on and on and on. Today, the media has realized that something about zombies is appealing to so many people What is with this zombie craze that's overtaken America? Necromancy or bringing the dead back to life has always fascinated a significant portion of people. Even while reading Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein," I imagined Frankenstein's monster to be a zombie of some sort.

So then, what particularly is it that is so fascinating about killing hordes of zombies? It's the thrill people get out of the violence and horror. But, I sure as hell don't get the same adrenaline rush shooting buffalo on Big Game Hunting as I do shooting down zombies in Resident Evil or Left 4 Dead. Compare, these 2 youtube videos and you tell me, which you find will probably be more fun (although I love Big Game Hunting too).

At the same time, humans in modern societies are brought up with certain moral systems. Killing and violence, especially other people, is looked down upon because then society would collapse. Zombies represent the closest things to humans, with an even greater upside: they're evil and you shouldn't feel bad about splattering their guts all over the sidewalk with your baseball bat. By bringing together a combination of our fascination with necromancy/magic fantasy and humans' innate attraction to violence, game producers and movie makers have hit gold by making these zombie related productions.


  1. I completely agree with you that zombie games are so prominent due to the fact that zombies are "evil" and there is no reason NOT to kill them. Mindless violence can exist in zombie games, and that is why they're so fun. Every video game company knows this, hence why EVERYONE plays Zombies in COD. And yes, I also agree I would much rather shoot a zombie than a buffalo.

  2. I also agree that people in todays entertainment industries have tapped a gold mine with material involving supernatural beings. I mean the Twilight series, aforementioned "Zombiemania", and Harry Potter, all dominate pop culture. Cabella's is almost set behind because they're known for giving very realistic accounts of hunting (which personal I enjoy) but can't really branch out into this new (or revived) market of supernatural infatuation. However, with increases in technologies in video game play, either shooting a zombie or sniping a 10 point buck, has become all the more realistic.

  3. Aw, you beat me to it Kevin. Certainly, zombies represent the perfect targets for gamers and movie directors to vent their frustrations on in whatever violent way necessary. It is incredibly rewarding to pop a zombie's head off with a shotgun for many reasons. First of all, it's a matter of survival. The heroes that face seemingly endless onslaughts of undead flesh are survivors and in danger. They must fight violently to survive against a menace without pity.
    Second, zombie's are not sentient beings, so people can't relate to them. They are not soldiers fighting for their nation or animals fighting for survival. There are no PETA groups for zombies. Killing undead is a righteous act in itself.
    Finally, zombie fighters are often underdogs (though not always as in Resident Evil). Shawn of the Dead, Left 4 Dead, Zombieland are all based on the premise of unlikely heroes trying to survive with whatever tools are available to them, and trying to save humanity. Their weapons may be unfit for the task when they resort to using lawn mowers and cricket bats, but they can expect to eventually fing fully automatic rifles somewhere along their road to sanctuary.

  4. Don't forget that they reproduce by infecting each other with bites. Stopping the spread of the disease is priority #2. Since everyone else is either dead or a zombie you are usually fighting to restore the human race.

  5. Ah, I was beat to making the zombie post too. Zombies are great as monsters because they can be used to tap into so many innate fears of humanity, like our fear of disease, fear of each other, and of primality. Romero originally used them to represent mindless consumer culture. Because of their relative inability to make an impact as individuals, they rely on sheer, massive numbers to inevitably overwhelm our fortifications. This taps into our insecurities with modern culture- how strong are we when our society and communication collapse, and when our technology fails us? They are also strong where we are weak: they aren't forced to sleep or eat, which are necessities that force us to, eventually, put down our guard.

  6. I definitely think that these video games are endlessly entertaining for many of the reason already described. It taps into our insecurities of modern society and technology and taps into our more primal survival instincts like Andrew said. We have no reason to feel sorry about the zombies we might kill too like Charlie said. These video games definitely tap into these feelings which makes them all the more entertaining to play. I can't help but think how I would fare in a world taken over by zombies, and when I do, instead of being afraid, I'm exhilarated at all the possibilities (as long as I have access to weapons and a safehouse). Of course if it really happened in real life I would definitely be terrified... but it's still fun to think about...


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