Editor's Note: The Day After

The Day After

Celebrating the end of the world, within games and without them.

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Nice article, I find that apocalyptic themed media gives me this feeling of insignificance, can't say I'm that fond of it.

Also is not being able to read most of the text on articles without highlighting it an intended effect?

Other than that, it's pretty cool.

Yes, this current apocalypse is freaking me out somewhat.

Then again, we've survived in the past. Still, I'm not having children or anything, so all I can hope for is that whatever shit's a brewing happens outside my lifetime.

I've always like apocalypse in media though. One of my favourite films is the absolutely horribly accurate depiction of nuclear armageddon, The War Game, and it's even more horrifying semi-sequel Threads. Not to mention things like Fallout, Full Throttle, Metro 2033, Left 4 Dead, the list goes on.

There's something about that sense of total desperation that really helps add weight to a narrative.

All I can hope is that I don't end up living that narrative.

Still, I've got my rifle and provisions.

Nice article.

I liked the article, and the part about why we immortalize and exhibit post-apocalyptic scenarios in media was so true.

But at the same time, I don't think it actually nearly prepares us as much. Those post-apocalyptic games are still made by developers, developers who - in addition to being able to show their creativity, and work doing what they love to do - still want to make money. And, as such, their creation needs to be fun. A post-apocalyptic wasteland (like, for example, what's in the Fallout series), is reasonably well-made, but at the same time, it's full of people, and things to do that it doesn't really paint the whole place in a very negative light.

People have fun playing it, have fun being in it, and enjoy being there. If the apocalypse ever hits, it will be much, much worse than that, at least as far as videogames are concerned. A lot of the post-apocalyptic movies, and books (like The Road) show really well the desperation and hopelessness one experiences during such an experience.

PA is, undoubtedly, my favourite for of dystopia and fiction as a whole. I'm a big believer in the apocalypse and feel it is something that all people should be aware of and take into consideration. I get a little frustrated when people dismiss it as merely fiction... We shouldn't forget that we're mortal, man.

Either way, I reckon even in humanity fades, the Earth will continue.

I feel when it comes to horrific, a BBC film called "Threads" was one of the most,...shocking, I haad ever seen.

The gritty realism in it, waas so...nerve touching, even today despite been made in the 80's

Best Editors Note I've read. A lot of gaming magazine editor's notes are just a comment about where games are going, or where they're not going. I loved the actual analysis and the not totally game-relatedness of the article and I hope more of your notes have this high quality.

Remind me not to 'bust a deal' at least until the site's layout goes back to normal...

Interesting shoutout to Revelation, sure, while it has some dark verses and doom laden chapters it has truths that never fail to warm my heart.

"After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands" Revelation 7 v 9

Like that one, describes the extent of the Christian church which at the time was only just getting a grip outside of the Middle East. Now, Christianity fufills exactly what the above says. 900,000 new Christians in China in the last year alone for example.

Can we please get rid of the black text on black background already. Love the articles but having to highlight in order to read them is something of a pain in the proverbial ***.

After looking into it further I found that there is only black text on black background due to use of AdBlock Plus. For those wishing to keep adblock plus active add the following exception "http://cdn.themis-media.com/media/global/images/cskins/*"

Interesting editorial note there Mr. Pitts.

Apocalypse =/= Doomsday?

What I believe is at the heart of our veneration and fascination with the apocalypse is the concept of the sublime, or in its modern iteration, the uncanny. The sublime, in its 19th century guise as described by for instance Burke, can essentially be defined as an expression of the most basic of human emotions: fear of death. Any sublime thing, be it a spewing volcanoe or a towering mountain, a ship lost beneath the waves or a field of battle, will resonate with our deepest instincts of self preservation. That is why we gravitate, helplessly, towards scenes of ultimate horror, such as the apocalypse and the post-apocalypse, simply because it summons such emotions in us. Burke added a moral element to the sublime: by subjecting ourselves to it (be it in reality, or in a painting or through some other work of art), we steeled ourselves in a way that was not possible when merely subjected to the beautiful - the antipode of the sublime.

In more modern days, the psychoanalytical concept of the unheimlich, the uncanny, might be a more fitting descriptor of why we are so fascinated with the POST-apocalypse. In the post-apocalypse, all the things we took for granted (society, law and order, but also space itself - cities, countryside, roads) will have been irrevocably changed into something which is nearly-familiar yet at the same time completely different, and therefore uncannily terrifying. Ruined cities, ruined people, a civilization in tatters - what's not to be fascinated with?

In a wider sense, as some of the articles have postulated, the 'apocalypse' can be given such a wide definition that it fits in almost any narrative (maybe Proust is post-apocalyptic, for instance - ' la recherche du temps perdu' is ripe for a post-apocalyptic re-rendering la 'Pride and Prejudice and Zombies'). But even in its narrower definition it's a trope used almost universally, especially in an interactive medium such as a game - it doesn't take much to evoke a post-apocalyptic wasteland, with the uncanny and the nostalgic mingling freely to create that indelible, sublime exhilaration that comes from knowing this might be your future too.

Oh, and good post!

I feel like the obsession is more a statement that many of us are making that we, in a sense, deserve the apocalypse. Or perhaps we desire a civilization reset. Things aren't fair? A return to Hobbes' state of nature where things are so equal that even the weakest can kill the strongest? There is a certain appeal to that.

We live lives devoid of purpose or meaning. Sebastian Junger comments on this quite eloquently in his book 'War'. The surprising thing is not that the men fighting in Afghanistan go to war, but rather that they miss it when they return. There is purpose in war, meaning, something that our society lacks.

I dunno.

Russ Pitts:
Editor's Note: The Day After

Celebrating the end of the world, within games and without them.

Read Full Article

I'm having trouble with the new site design for this week. My background is pitch black and now I can't read any articles because the black text on black background doesn't work. I'm using Firefox which I think might be part of the issue, though its never been a problem before. I tested the site on Safari and it seems to be working fine. Am I the only one with the FF issue?

I'd very much like to be able to use the site this week please...

 

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