Heh, didn’t mean for a double swtor posting this week, but I wanted to get this out there before the rakghoul invasion event ended. Pretty cool stuff though! Reminds me of the lich plague in wowcrafts just before WOTLK came out. But what’s the deal with zombies anyways? They seemed to have gained quite a bit of momentum in the last few decades. Hell, I challenge you to name a single FPS game that doesn’t have some sort of zombie level or zombie DLC from the last few years! Ok, don’t take me up on that offer cause I’m sure you lot can name plenty… my readers are a little too on the ball, lol! But you get my point. There seems to be an invasion of zombie invasions!!! I guess psychologically, we like things that go wrong. That whole schadenfreude thing. Disaster movies are a huge seller!! I think deep down we like to see a little adversity for us to overcome. I don’t see the human race ever just “settling down” and sipping sweet tea on their porches. They’d sooner set fire to the planet for something to do before ever reaching a state of utopia.
So with that, I think zombies are a hot commodity right now because they offer that fictitious extinction level event we’ve been craving so dearly, but with just enough real world deniability to ease our minds that it’s not real. Meaning, they’re a creepy bad guy that’s more believable than vampires or godzillas, yet not as plausible as a mile long meteor… so it’s ok! Well… kinda… we’ll get back to that. Continuing with why they are so intriguing, I think it also comes back to the Uncanny Valley effect! Zombies ARE the things that all other UC phenomenon are measured against! They ARE uncanny valley! That’s the reason why those creepy robots with latex stretched over their “faces” freak you out so much… because the “animated dead” concept strikes us in an exceedingly uneasy way. It can terrify us, make us sick, or just give you the willies. For whatever reason, our brains don’t like it. Which, of course, makes them an excellent antagonist for any story!
As for that deniability thing, well… I really wouldn’t put too much stock in it. Of all the mythical “monster” creatures, the zombie is probably the closest to being something real. No, I’m not saying you should start sawing off your shotguns just yet, but since we’ve come so far with our knowledge of medicine and infectious diseases, we can say with a good degree of certainty that the zombie effect is real and can be problematic. Ok, first off, the closest we human folks have to anything like it is rabies; which there’s been like, what, 1 death from? However, the way it spreads and causes massive malfunctions in the brain making the infected creatures extremely aggressive and powerful, and the ease by which it’s transmitted, rabies is a great candidate for the zombie apocalypse. Viral and bacterial strains evolve and adapt all the time, making more and more lethal versions, crossing boundaries of species as well, which doesn’t bode well for us peeps… cause you know, a frothy mouthed raccoon with a bad attitude is one thing, but an actual human with a mind like ours can be a dangerous thing to have under the influence of a powerful disease. However, I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for the zombies to start shambling into your living rooms… It’s just a theory, plausible and possible as it may be, the likelihood of an outbreak of a strain like that is astonishingly low… we have much more to fear from the germs coming out of China because of improperly handled livestock than we do of a zombie rabies strain.
And there are actually things out there right now that are basic “zombiesque” pathogens… well… sort of. There’s this really cool fungi out in the depths of Brazil that latches on to the brains of ants, controlling their bodies to go to a nice little spot that’s perfect for the parasite to release its spores and continue the cycle. An amazing use of parasitism, especially with our modern goggles on, because we just see “zombie fungus”! Still, when you apply this sort of idea to a “reanimation” type case, we don’t really have anything that compares to that aspect… so no undead walking around. But with stuff like parasites and viruses, we can get a pretty close interpretation of the zombie effect.
Food for thought! … heh!