Why We Love Zombies

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I absolutely fucking positively recommend the new show The Walking Dead on AMC....ITS FUCKING AWESOME!!!

Alright, but in actuality people like zombie games because it means killing stuff in high abundance.

Actually, I have no idea why zombies are in so much stuff these days. I'm assuming what I just said has something to do with it (at least in video games). Quick question: if you don't like burials or cremation, what would you propose we do with the bodies of friends and relatives? Unlike you, many people actually have loved ones; therefore, they feel the need to not just roll them into a ditch somewhere.

I've got to wonder how a Hindu would react to news of a zombie apocalypse. "No issues here, friend... we've been practicing cremation for hundreds of years."

Also, zombies represent slow, easy targets for firearms, and they spray so delightfully when shot. Or hit with a large blunt object. What's not to like about that?

I agree with your statements. I thought I could add another point, but that would just fall under 1 or 2.

In that context, I would state that Zombies represent, in the terms of horror, an utterly relentless enemy that will never tire or rest until you are dead, and the best that you can hope is an inevitable defeat against an onslaught of endless hunger. Defeat is inevitable.

I can say that the inclusion of zombies could be somewhat lazy though.... Most applications seem to be a "We cant think of anything so lets throw in zombies".

well I guess that makes sense, unless my mind has simply been turned to jello by yahtzee's constant brainwashing...

God I can't stand you. You're just a pathetic artist who refuses to make friends to make youself seem like some anticonformist and give yourself a mild sense of superiority, like you actually matter to this world or even this generation. You'll never amount to anything and not even your family will ever love you. AND STOP PROJECTING!!!

I only half agree with the reasons listed. They have some merit, but I think the main reason people like zombies games is the survival aspect of this genre. Running around, scavenging what you can, making people work together. Zombie games are the most fun co-op games I've played.

BTW whats with the nihilism in this article. It's seems completely forced in this article, like he had to get this off his chest. You would think someone who reviews games for a living would be a little more cheerful.

Truth is depressing :(

God dammit now I'm kinda sad...

Zombies represent the slow mental death we all experience living in modernity. They represent the alienation we feel towards other people, even our own families. They are symbolic of our unthinking, indifferent consumption ultimately consuming ourselves.

"The only thing we do know is that the concept of an afterlife, any afterlife, even the hot fiery ones, holds more appeal than the notion that our consciousness will simply cease to be."

Disagree... You will find a lot of people, including myself, and athiests in particular, find the concept of ceasing to exist much more appealing than going to hell. Personally since I subscribed to this belief, it actually got rid of all fear I had of death at all, and the only thing im worried about now is dying slowly. If anyone genuinely finds nothingness frightening then they do not understand the true meaning of non-existance.

Everything else are good points though :)

Yahtzee, I'm glad we are both alive at the same time.

Hurrah, so it isn't just me who thinks zombies are starting to get boring :D

For games: Zombies are easy enemies. They require little AI and little justification for why they happily walk towards that blazing machinegun instead of running away, hiding or pulling out guns of their own. Even feral animals will get scared and run away or try to sneak up on you. So just by virtue of having a gun and a working trigger finger the player is already superior to the zombies and can feel awesome for it.

True, true, and PAINFULLY True :|

It's a well-known fact that every major civilization in history has believed themselves to be living in, or near to, the End Times. Whether it be biblical Armageddon or nuclear war or climate change, the human race has built an entire industry out of doomsaying. Why? Because it's comforting.

Better still, it's the perfect excuse for squandering each and every resource you can get your grubby hands on. Nobody's going to have a use for them after you're gone.

I know all this is true and whatever the reason it always hurts to rub it in our face that we are as significant as a burger in human history. I'm still gonna play left 4 dead with my 3 friends now.

I don't know if anyone will agree with me on this point, but another aspect of why people like killing zombies is because of the whole "lack of free will" thing. Zombies don't make choices, they are not capable of doing so, because they have only one objective and that is Braaains. and if we get bitten, we become that, we lose our freedom of thought and individuality, we become part of the horde. and i think that mind slavery aspect terrifies people who value their minds. so we kill them, so that we won't become them.
It's a more accurate re-telling of the reason why Americans hate Communism. zombies ARE what cold war era Americans perceived Russians to be.

I think there is another reason to why zombies got so popular particularly as of late. It is "The Zombie Survival Guide" by Max Brooks (and, later "World War Z"). This is a rather good book that took the old, almost comedic stereotype of zombie and made it serious and scary again. It got quite popular just before the zombie shooters started coming out en masse.

Apparently some guys at Valve and other studios read it and got inspired to make games about it. And it turns out that the geek audience was ready to accept zombies as viable enemy again - possibly also due to being set up for this by Brook's book. The rest is just the industry-standard story of jumping onto a bandwagon.

Zombies are so fuggin boring.
Get over them you nerds.
If it's a pure zombie game, yeah that's fine (L4D1+2, DR1+2). Or if zombies are integral to the story (Halo) But when every game shoehorns zombies into them just for the sake of appealing to some nerds that's a bit much. RDR and COD:BO for starters.

Yahtzee, are you trying to secretly tell us something? Not like WIKILEAKS which is looking suspiciously like the US leaked it on purpose.

Leak 100 North Korean diplomat talking about his fear of how huge American Penises are.
Leak 101 Pope and St Mother Theresa both talked about bombing the shit out of Iran would be a great idea.

And then even if this obvious fucked up plan fails the still get to close down wikileaks...

Any way...I digress...


I think what Yahtzee means is how he is justifying fucking dead people.

Think of it.

1. Zombies are sexy. They look almost alive and as luscious as ever, dead girl anyone?

2. ZOmbie fucking is GUILT free....mmmm they love it.

3. Represents life after death, therefor redemption, its guilt free fucking, no humans were hurt, no one was unfaithful and you didn't spill your seed over the ground.

4. Humans Love apocolypses as it gives us carte blanche to do all the things we would never normally do. I would never NORMALLY fuck a zombie, but times are hard.

Yes, Yahtzee fucks Zombies and wants you to fuck Zombies too, KIDS you were warned.

May I postulate number 5?

5. The first thing we do is kill all lawyers.

See, the world today sucks. It may suck more or less than it used to, but it does suck. When, historically, didn't it suck? During wars.

Yeah, sure, there was always the chance of getting bitten or blown apart or crushed; but that's there every day. Perhaps not as much, but it's still there.

Yeah, and also there's less stuff. But that's a good thing sometimes. If you're stressing about the exam coming up tomorrow, then the apocalypse will sort that out. Worried between buying games on the Xbox or PS3? Don't. You can't during an Apocalypse.

Your life is one long workday of running from one safe house to the other, but guess what? That's all it is. Gone are the worries of whether Alfie really loves Peggy, what you're going to have for dinner, whether Fox were right to cancel Firefly. And that guy down the street who winked at your girlfriend? He's alongside you blowing holes in the undead. And her. But she's a zombie. And her mother never did like you.

It's a simple, less brutal life. Living on the edge, safe in the knowledge that you're not only the counter culture, but the culture itself.

And anyway, Zombies are pansies. Not as bad as Triffids or something really scary.

This exactly. Screw annoying daily life, make me feel alive!

The appeal of the Zombie idea is to have an enemy that is unrelenting, uncaring and driven only by the most primal urge to feed, and to see these aspects presented in the image of mankind. People stripped of any trace of humanity.

There aren't many games that have yet captured this: L4D, Dead Rising and other horde games make the Zombies easier to kill than they should be. This is why the genre becomes boring - it's just a killing fest with no need for thought or strategy. (Still fun though). I don't tend to associate the current wave of zombie games as horror.

What I'd like to see is the game where zombies still possess the resilience of the human body while being rendered a puppet (be it via disease or magic). The horde would plough on through streams of bullets. Limb shots do next to nothing- no pain or fear in the enemy, only the imperative to advance. Front lines fall but continue to crawl forward while the next ranks climb over them. Only headshots count - The best you can hope is to slow them down while you attempt to gain a strategic advantage.

Im in it for the Guilt Free murderfest ;D

They dead already, whats the harm in making them more dead. Stress relief for the masses.

I don't know about a real life scenario, but I have an idea as to why we love them in games. Since the invention of gunpowder, warfare has never been the same. How skilled or noble can you be when your enemy can pull a trigger and instantly kill you? Hollywood has lessened that impact by giving all baddies Stormtrooper accuracy. That way, the heroes can run and gun all over the place with little chance of actually dying.

The only way to escape guns (since it makes no sense for enemies these days to use anything else, right?) would be to have the game take place centuries ago, or in a universe that guns were not invented in. That way, developers don't need to worry about bad guys you can't see randomly insta-killing you. One reason hack-and-slashers are as popular as they are, I suppose.

The reason I believe zombies in games are so popular is because we, the living, are allowed to use modern guns while our dead friends stand there and get shot. Let's face it: guns are bullshit. Like I said, how many times in history is instant death caused by the pull of a trigger? Guns have devolved combat into long-range potshot contests with high-tech detection sensors, and indoor target practice sessions when the enemy is hiding in buildings. Admit it, combat is boring these days.

Not with zombies! WE can use guns, but they stand there looking stupid and becoming more dead with each shot. It's a great release from normal life because we can kill untold numbers of enemies while using guns. They can't use guns, so we get to feel the satisfaction of killing things that look like people without the fear of dying from guns ourselves.

In games, of course...

Along with this and Extra Credits, The Escapist really is turning into the thinking man's gaming site.

Didnt you write a book about a zombie?

I have been tired of zombies for a while. They need to bring back dinosaurs. Red Dead Raptor would be awesome.

and this

We've done the Zombie walk here in the US. I live in Michigan and I've seen it done all over.

Didnt you write a book about a zombie?

I have been tired of zombies for a while. They need to bring back dinosaurs. Red Dead Raptor would be awesome.

and this

Yeah, I bought that book, but at least it is magic zombies with a memory.


Didnt you write a book about a zombie?

I have been tired of zombies for a while. They need to bring back dinosaurs. Red Dead Raptor would be awesome.

and this

Yeah, I bought that book, but at least it is magic zombies with a memory.

'tis a good book is it not?
Im reading it for the second time.

" I guarantee you, in a zombie apocalypse scenario, relationships within the human strongholds will be considerably more courteous than they are now. We'll reserve our hate for those rotting punks outside."

Check out World War Z and The Walking Dead comic.

Some of these points make sense, though others are decidedly defeatist and manic-depressive. But the one that grabbed my attention the most was no.3, because it's one I myself have ruminated on. In a nutshell, I think Yahtzee's got the right idea, but not for the right reasons.

Or let me put it another way, not for the same reasons I think zombies represent life after death. The way I see it, zombies don't represent life after death just because in some forms of media they're depicted as continuing to perform certain ingrained habits they picked up in life and continue to follow by reflex.

Zombies represent life after death because if there is no such thing as a soul or an afterlife, then all we are as beings are organic machines. If being animated through one means or another is all it takes to be designated as "alive" then there would really be no difference between us and zombies than the kinds of actions we perform. Pre-zombie people would talk, walk, sleep, eat, screw, etc. while zombies would walk (well stagger, unless they're the Dawn of The Dead remake types), eat and maybe run for elected government offices.

But when we look at zombies, we see a severe, unavoidable difference between ourselves and them. We feel, we express emotions, we do things beyond simply what's necessary to remain functional. The shambling corpse gnawing on the postman's severed arm doesn't. In spite of the fact that both a living person and a zombie are both functioning and animated in some way, there's a noticeable, obvious absence of SOMETHING in the zombie. Something that makes it less of a person than a living human being, even less than an animal. What's missing? Is it maybe the soul? And if so, where did it go?

These are the sorts of things that zombies hint at through their very existence in media and fiction; the idea that there's more to a person than just their bodily functions.

I was expecting your theories to be similar to what MovieBob said in his Zombieland review, but you had more points than him.

Still, I never really cared for zombies myself. I don't find them the least bit appealing.

I think another reason for why gamers and nerds like zombies so much is that it appears to be an excuse for why we play video games so much. A lot of people think that just because they can ward off a zombie swarm in Left 4 Dead, they can do it in real life. What they don't know is how to turn a safety off, reload, put a round in the chamber without hurting themselves, or even withstand the kick of firing an actual gun.

I don't think the popularity of zombies means anything as depressing as all humans want to kill off most other humans. I think it's just a generalized instinct to kill /something/ every so often. Maybe it's a guy stealing your food or trying to stab you in the face, but more likely a tiger trying to eat your wife or a deer that, well, gotta eat. So, humans probably have a general "you're probably gonna have to kill something at some point" instinct, and there's just nothing left that can scratch it guilt-free but zombies.

Enemy soldiers? Either fighting for their families or here tricked into fighting you. Aliens? Probably want to be your friends if they haven't just nuked you from orbit anyway. Monsters? Always misunderstood and hated for their appearance. Anything sentient that does genuinely want you dead, there's some situation where you can live in peace and you should work toward that. Random animals? Even there you've got stuff like "animal cruelty" and "maybe it'll go extinct" and "piles of corpses aren't very hygienic" going against you.

But zombies? They don't have offspring or evolve in any way. They can't be reasoned with. They don't feel pain, fear, or regret. All they want is to kill you and/or people you like. And even if you slaughter a stadium full and leave the bodies wherever, at least you're not increasing the number of rotting corpses hanging around, so forget the tedium of cleanup too.

Aww, did Yahtzee make himself sad at the end?

Yeah, I like zombies, but the games are getting a bit boring. Some guy way back in the list made a good point, there hasn't been a good game with dinosaurs in it for a long time, someone needs to do something about that.

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