If We Cancel the Apocalypse, What Video Games Will We Play?

Nuclear Grunge Sign - Sepia

Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to attend E3 in Los Angeles (I dare you to read about it here).  While I was there, I noticed a pattern among several upcoming games–they all take place after the world as we know it has been ravaged by nuclear war, zombies or aliens.

I found this interesting, because it’s not just the video game industry that has cashed in on this post-apocalyptic goldmine.  Take a look at the most popular movies, TV shows and books, and you’ll notice this pattern as well.  We’re obsessed with the end of the world.

It’s a phenomenon that isn’t lost on me.  When I watched Night of the Living Dead for the first time, I found myself romanticizing the zombie apocalypse.  And why not? I wouldn’t have to go to school anymore, I could take whatever I wanted and maybe that girl I liked would finally see what a badass I really was after I saved her life by decapitating her zombified father.

It’s not hard to romanticize a world where each survivor is a lone gunman (or gunwoman) that is in complete control of his/her destiny.  It might involve scavenging for food, it might involve plugging someone who was once your friend, but it would be 100% your call.  I get it.  It’s cool.  But it’s also kind of scary.  Are we so sick of the way things are that we’d be willing to have it all flushed down the toilet regardless of the result? Is that why we’re obsessed with the end of the world? Or is it just that cool?

Either way, it’s tough to get around the nightmarish reality of surviving a hostile wasteland teeming with acid-spewing mutants and giant insects.  This is where video games come in.  I will always appreciate the fact that whenever I feel like roaming the skeletal remnants of my hometown in search of adventure, I can pop in my copy of Fallout: New Vegas and get it out of my system.


3 thoughts on “If We Cancel the Apocalypse, What Video Games Will We Play?

  1. Dystopia/post-apocalypse is really big in YA right now too. Legend, The 5th Wave, The Hunger Games, Divergent, Shipbreaker… Lots and lots of this kind of book.

  2. I have to admit I like the apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic genre. It’s a way of doing fantasy without creating an entirely new world. We just demolish the old one. 😀

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