The Return of the Genre

Zombie films, adventure games and more. Today's media is full of yesterdays ideas. What's next?

The Return of the Genre

"Just as vampires dominated the last decade of the 20th century, so zombies reign over the first decade of the new millennium. You can tell a lot about people by the way they have their monsters eat them, and the zombie does not dine. It devours, noisily, sloppily, with great haste and, worst of all, with great anger."

The Return of the Genre

"Pretty much anyone who's ever considered how to make the world a better place has spent a little time seriously entertaining the idea of total annihilation. Even God, if the Old Testament is to be believed. After all, if the state of the world - and the people in it - is the problem, then why not wipe the slate clean?"

The Return of the Genre

"How, then, in the years to come, will we remember this decade and the trends that define it? The last eight or so years have been spent in a decadent and meticulous revival of decades past, so what will there be to celebrate? What about the dawn of the new millennium, if anything, will mortify us when the digital photo albums are brought out in 2030?

The Return of the Genre

"We're living in the Age of the Genre. Superhero movies are as thick as maple leaves on the ground after an October thunderstorm. We're getting spear-and-sandal epics, giant, city-destroying monsters, zombies, zombies and more zombies. On the gaming front ... we got cowboys in Call of Juarez, a campy '50s UFO invasion in Destroy All Humans, and kung-fu bad cop Tequila in Stranglehold. And, of course, Dead Rising and Resident Evil 4 gave us yet more zombies. It all begs the question: Is the culture machine's newfound reliance on established genres just a fad, or a taste of things to come?"

The Return of the Genre

"'A game is a game is a game,' writes Gamelab CEO Eric Zimmerman in an e-mail on the topic of tabletop adaptation. 'The fundamental qualities of how games are defined, how they are played, and how they can be designed to create meaningful experiences for players does not vary qualitatively across media in which games manifest. From a game designer's point of view, a board game and a videogame are far more similar than they are different.'"