The television adaptation of “The Walking Dead” premiered on AMC last weekend, and I have totally got zombie fever!
No, wait, put down that shotgun. That’s not what I meant! I just mean that my love of all things undead has been rekindled. First Law Of Mad Science isn’t a zombie story, but I feel like zombies fall under the purview of “weird horror,” which is something we’re going for, so I’m gonna go ahead and blog me some zombies. Plus it’s a slow news day here at the First Law laboratories, so this is what I’ve got.
Anyways, I just found an amazing browser game that mixes the zombie-pocalypse with the classic edutainment software title Oregon Trail. It’s called Organ Trail, and it’s amazing. If you are the least bit nostalgic for that old Apple IIe classroom title (and I know I am), you really should check this bad boy out.
One note of caution, though; you might want to avoid naming your team after people you actually know. It can get sad. Oliver… didn’t exactly make it.
Anyways, I’ve always loved zombies, and I think they really get to the core of supernatural horror. The creatures themselves aren’t all that threatening, as far as movie monsters go; what’s really scary is the world they imply. Supernatural horror is about the fear of discovering that you were wrong in your most basic assumptions about the world; the terror that comes with waking up one day to learn that up is down, black is white, and that the realm of possible things is much larger than you’d imagined.
In zombie stories, the characters find out that the basic assumptions they’d always made about “alive” and “dead” no longer hold true, that the world really operates in a manner far beyond their understanding, and that people they had lunch with yesterday might want to have their brains for lunch today.
In the best zombie stories, the undead themselves are often more sad than frightening; what’s really scary is the existential upheaval that comes with a world in which zombies can exist. It’s the fear that you’ve simply had everything wrong, all along.
And of course zombies can also just be fun. Especially when you combine them with old educational software. This shit is hilarious.