Monday, November 13, 2017

Random thoughts about the Zombie Apocalypse

Reading the Walking Dead comic for the first time made me think about the now vast variety of Zombie Apocalypse games that are out there, both role playing games and board games.

(One thing that I also wonder about is how the Zombie Apocalypse took out civilization in the Walking Dead. As both the original Night of the Living Dead and Sean of the Dead point out, after the initial crisis, humans equipped with regular speed, modern technology and the ability to think get zombies under control)

You know, without even trying that hard, I’ve played a number of Zombie-themed games. Although the only specifically Zombie Apocalypse RPG I’ve played has been Zombie Cinema. 

Of course, one of the significant things about the Walking Dead is that it takes the long view. What happens over the long haul after the whole human race gets upset by the dead not only coming back but coming back mean.

Almost all the board games I’ve seen or read about take place right after the apocalypse started. Civilization has been kicked to the curb but we still can scavenge all the fun toys. The human race hasn’t either been wiped out or, more likely, picked itself back up. The framework of an RPG is where you play out the long term result of the apocalypse.

To be fair, the initial outbreak is where a Zombie Apocalypse is the most distinct aspect of it. If we’ve got the zombies under control, there isn’t much mechanical difference between that and, say, medieval Europe. 

And the initial outbreak is where all the fun, wish fulfillment stuff happens. That’s when you get to be free from all your responsibilities and do whatever you want. (Remember, one of the big points of the Zombie Apocalypse is that human beings are the real monsters) 

Frankly, I think that we’d all end up serfs and slaves in the cruel new world. 

I know that there are a bunch of card games and board games based on the Walking Dead but I think that the actual work, from what I’ve seen, really is more like a RPG. The characters slowly learn how to survive and deal with different threats. In other words, level up or die.

While I doubt I’ll be ever be a big zombie fan, I do have to give them this. They make great terrain and they force character development.

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