Friday, April 11, 2014

The Walking Dead Zombie Apocalypse & Escapism [VerusAnimus' Reflection]

The following reflection is inspired by The Walking Dead.  In addition to being a form of escapism for me, I have contemplated on a world where zombie apocalypse is real.

While I enjoy horror movies, nothing stands out like the horror that zombies bring.  A couple of other zombie action-adventure movies I enjoy include the Resident Evil movie series and World War Z.  Additionally, while not a zombie genre movie, I enjoy the psychological horror-adventure presented by the Silent Hill movies.  A few months ago (October, 2013) I started watching The Walking Dead.  Ever since then, I've been attached to the show.

Other than being horror flicks, what do all the movies/shows I mentioned have in common?  While the characters and storyline are definitely important, there's something more.  They all have the thrill of adventure - a journey through a familiar yet unknown world.  There's the need for survival in a world where all odds are against you.  It may seem odd to others but I view the post-apocalyptic scenario as more than just survival.  It's also about adventure, making the best of what you are given.  This is my ideal view; who knows if it would change in a real life scenario.

Anyways, I like to immerse myself into this alternate horror world.  The people around you aren't human anymore.  The dead rise again - and not in a good way.  The places you used to see everyday and found comfort in are no longer inviting.  Wherever I go, I imagine how that area would be in a world overrun by zombies.  I imagine how different things would look.  I look at buildings that could potentially provide shelter and I mentally take stock of how much a group of survivors could live in a particular grocery store.  I imagine about the adventure I (and any survivors I pick up) would have in a post-apocalyptic zombie world.  It's a fun way to pass time.

I can trace my desire for adventure back to my childhood.  The three notable ones that fueled my spirit for adventure (whose symbols I have edited to create the background for my blog) are Pokémon, Bionicle, and Zelda.  When I was younger I would immerse myself in the innocent adventurous world of Pokémon.  I would let my imagination run free with the adventures of LEGO's Bionicles.  To pass my time, I loved adventuring through the The Legend of Zelda  universe while listening to its heroic tunes.  These aren't the only influences on my love for adventure.  The Ender's Series (both the main and parallel stories) as well as many other books and video games have played a role.  There's also the fact that I have always enjoyed traveling across North America.  The sense of adventure has followed me through the years and now it has seeped into the horror-style adventure that zombies bring.

Presently, watching The Walking Dead temporarily takes me away from all the stress and troubles in the real world and places me into a fictional world with its own set of problems.  Sometimes I wonder, if the world were given a choice, which would it prefer?  A new World War or a zombie apocalypse?  I have thought about this.  Neither is desirable.  Both would cause so much pain in their own ways.  Both would damage the world and society in a way that would be difficult (if not impossible) to reverse.  There are too many people living contently with their lives.  It would be selfish to wish for an event that will disrupt the lives of many.

Some may argue that a World War would improve various country's economies, help control the population, and maybe solve some status-quo conflicts around the world.  However, no one ever wins in these sort of conflicts.  Is it worth the destruction and pain to the environment and the generations of humans to come?  Nope.  Is it worth the tension that may build up between countries?  Hardly.  Peace is something everyone should strive for but unfortunately, there are always some people looking to incite hate.  Regardless, war is always undesirable.  It is unfair how the innocent, present and future, are almost always directly or indirectly affected.  Here's to that day when all types of wars, cold or hot, will cease to exist.

A zombie apocalypse would potentially prevent world wars.  If anything, it should unite humanity against a common foe.  However, this isn't bound to happen due to the disruption of all sorts of technology.  While there will be people who strive for good in a world without any order, there are just as many, if not more, evil-hearted people.  The psychological effects of being dropped into a world that was comforting one day and hostile the next can bring out the evil in people.  Is living in a world full of bandits and cannibals just to experience the joy of adventure worth it?  I don't think it's worth disrupting the lives of happy people to wish for something such as a zombie apocalypse.

Nevertheless, given the choice between only those two scenarios, which would better for the world?  I wonder...

To conclude (and back to the original topic), I am the type who enjoys adventure.  The type of fictional adventures I escape into has transformed over the years.  The Walking Dead is the latest and darkest world I have been introduced to.  Although I know that the existence of zombies is scientifically impossible (at least not in the way presented in the show), I still enjoy imagining what Earth and our society would be like if it were real.  While I focus on graduating with a degree in Electrical Engineering, so that I can positively contribute to society and the world, I find it nice to occasionally escape the stresses of reality.  Presently, the world of The Walking Dead has offered me a thrilling, new, adventurous world to escape into every once in a while.  I like it.


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