The Apocalypse: When There’s No Respawn

Anyone who knows me, knows that I play video games. A lot. There is something powerful about the adrenaline rush a gamer gets while playing a competitive match on Call of Duty, whoring experience points through the dangerous wastelands of Fallout, and running and gunning against hordes of rotting zombies. With each game played, my imagination is constantly growing. Over the years I have enjoyed the horror/survival genre for the adrenaline rush it usually gives me. There is nothing like long dark corridors and the sounds of footsteps echoing in the distance to get your heart racing as you anticipate a nearby zombie only to find that your ammo is low. Or possibly it’s gone.

I’m not quite sure when it happened, but at some point over the years I became obsessed with the apocalypse and not just the zombie apocalypse. Some of my favorite games include the original Resident Evil, Fallout 3, Borderlands, & Resistance: Fall of Man. I read apocalyptic books as well as write my own novels and comics based in an apocalyptic setting. One of my favorite memories from Dragon Con (a yearly sci-fi/pop culture convention in GA) was a discussion panel about how to realistically survive an apocalypse. It was a fascinating and eye-opening experience.

Beauty found even in the wasteland.
Beauty found even in the wasteland.

On several occasions I’ve had conversations with my fellow gamers about the zombie apocalypse. We joke saying things like “Oh yeah, with all the zombie games we play, if an apocalypse happened then you better stick with us if you wanna live.” And “We are zombie killing pros.” When I daydream, it isn’t uncommon for me to dream about what I would do in the event of an actual apocalypse. I like to imagine that if the zombie apocalypse happened that I would be slightly prepared for it, but the reality is that no matter how scary or realistic a game feels, at the end of the day it is still a game. There will probably always be ways to exploit the games mechanics, ridiculous perks, and the comfort of hitting pause to grab a cold can of Mountain Dew. And well…there will always be a respawn. Zombie boss ate your brain? Just re-load your most recent save until you beat him. Get killed by a Chimera in Resistance multiplayer? Just respawn.

As a Georgia native, it's always exciting and terrifying to see my home in the zombie apocalypse.
As a Georgia native, it’s always exciting and terrifying to see my home in the zombie apocalypse.

Watching shows like Jericho and The Walking Dead really become quite a reality check. Picture yourself in world like The Walking Dead or Fallout. Then I want you to think about those worlds without a checkpoint save. Respawn. Whatever. It is a much scarier thought. No power armor, saved checkpoints, quick revive, or even basic communication. No technology sadly means no more video games. It would be hard times in a survival of the fittest. Could we really survive it? Could our experience playing the apocalyptic games even remotely help our chance of survival? Not really, but I would love to play a game that did!

The Sims: Apocalypse Edition. That could be cool even if it wasn’t offering any major realism. No more life of luxury for our spoiled little sims. They should have to learn to survive and rebuild their sim town in the aftermath of something major. Nuclear fallout, zombies, alien invasion, or something like that. Someone call Maxis and EA. Let’s make this happen.

I know some people probably read this and shook their heads at my obsession with the apocalypse, but for all of you nerds out there that nodded your head in agreement, this one is for you! If you nodded your head because you sit around with your friends and plot how you would survive the zombie apocalypse or spend all your free time in wastelands collecting ammo and tin cans… Click the link button below. If I can get just three likes on this article then I will post a list of my top ten favorite apocalyptic worlds. Three likes guys. That is all I am asking for. Show me that I am not alone with my obsession.

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