Apocalypse: c.1384, "revelation, disclosure," from Church L. apocalypsis "revelation," from Gk. apokalyptein "uncover," from apo- "from" + kalyptein "to cover, conceal" - Online Etymology Dictionary

Fiction is a mirror. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, it reveals the truth that reality obscures. Horror fiction in particular, for through its fictional terrors, we begin to see glimpses of what truly frightens us, the fears we'd prefer to hide.

In the '50s, during the first nuclear age and the rise of global communism, our fears were of malformed monsters and invading aliens, and our fiction reflected those fears. In the '70s, after runaway industrialization taught us to fear our own inventiveness, disaster films led us through the dark night of our terror of a global catastrophe. In the '80s, when we learned that our own blood and lust for life could be our undoing, visions of vampires helped us keep things in perspective. After all, what's HIV and an SEC investigation got against eternal damnation?

We face our fears in fiction so that we may be stronger, more capable of dealing with them should they ever erupt into reality, and so that lesser fears, like getting in a car accident, or being robbed, take on a paler shade of terror and become more manageable. We also fictionalize the imagined outcomes of our worst, darkest fears out of hope that by showing that the world ends not with a bang, but with the accumulation of thousands of nuclear weapons (for example), we may prevent or forestall the very holocausts we fear.

This decade's fictionalized menace would appear to be the zombie. Mindless, crazed, hungering creatures created from our own kin. As the representation of a seemingly unstoppable, never decreasing army of mindless thugs bent on destroying the beauty and culture our society ought to represent, the zombie is the perfect enemy. You never know where they'll come from, where they'll strike or how to take them down. Our Second Amendment guaranteed firearms don't harm them, and free speech can't sway them. We, the most powerful people on Earth, are powerless to stop them. They are the unknowable, the unkillable - the ultimate American terror.

It's no surprise then that Capcom, the storied Japanese game developer, has turned to this most American of hysterias in an attempt to "Westernize" their offerings. Following up their immensely popular, 30-million unit selling Resident Evil games, Capcom turned again to the reliable zombie for their first "true western" title for the quintessentially western console, the Xbox 360. The result? A best-seller.

" "Response to Dead Rising from the trade, press and consumers has been tremendous," said Charles Bellfield, Vice President, Marketing, Capcom Entertainment. "The success of the game is a result of Capcom's recognition of Xbox 360 system's possibilities and starting development early on in order to deliver such a high-quality game."

" "The fact that we've reached the important one million milestone with our first two 360 titles (Dead Rising and Lost Planet - their other "Western" game - Ed.) makes our success that much more phenomenal," said Mark Beaumont, Executive Vice President and Officer, Capcom Entertainment and Capcom Europe. "It speaks volumes for the quality of games Capcom produces, as well as the potential for Japanese publishers and new intellectual properties on the system."

" "Dead Rising delivers a truly unique, exciting gameplay experience and has been an incredible addition to the lineup for Xbox 360," said Jeff Bell, Corporate Vice President of Global Marketing, Interactive Entertainment Business, Microsoft. "Quality titles like this attract additional gamers to the system and exemplify the amazing capabilities that next generation gaming has to offer."

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