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So, why do we love zombies anyway?

posted by harrisonpink on - last edited - Viewed by 834 users

I've been thinking a lot lately about the public and our love affair with the notion of the zombie. Why do we love them (or love to hate them) so much? I remember reading a study once that correlated the rising popularity of zombies and the rising distrust the public currently had in its government, as well as Big Business(TM).

I don't know if it's true, but I know it's an interesting thing to discuss!

So, why do you think we love zombies?

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  • I guess there's a power fantasy aspect to it. For some people (who may have...less than ideal mental health, to be polite) living in a zombie apocalypse might be their idea of paradise. Conventional zombies can't do anything unless they're standing right next to you, and they move extremely slow to boot. So the threat that destroyed society isn't exactly too threatening.

    Anyway, in your typical zombie apocalypse scenario you're free to kill anyone you see (with no judgment since...well, they're zombies), take whatever you want from stores, and any other survivors (some of who may...be female) would pretty much have no choice but to be around you.

    As you might guess, I'm not a big fan of most zombie stuff, since there's a heavy "WOO ZOMBIES ARE AWESOME" air to it. The Walking Dead is one of the few exceptions, since it shows a zombie outbreak as legitimately bad. And the zombies are the least of the reasons why, of course.

  • Cracked actually did an article about thishttp://www.cracked.com/article/136_5-reasons-you-secretly-want-zombie-apocalypse/

    Basically you can kill people without guilt and can use your video game skillz for once in real life. Plus it goes with the whole 'end of civilization' fantasy where you can take and do whatever you want.

  • There are several things about zombies that i like and makes them stand out from other kind of monsters.

    One is that these monsters are real people and not and external supernatural being. Your neighbors and fellow citizens that you see around you everyday.

    Another one is the inevitable destruction of social structures that comes along with the zombies. You can have other kind of monsters confined to one little place, or situation and outside that everything is normal. With zombies you know shit hit the fan. It's rock bottom for everybody at the same time, and the story stays there, moving around in rock bottom without any kind of safe net.

    Into a more deep thought zombies also show something that most of us don't want to face, that is death. I mean natural death, not the threat of being killed. We all know we re going to die someday but we don't like to think about that, and that after dead we are all gonna be rotten and ugly. The zombie concept puts that idea right in the street and shakes it right in front of you. Because zombies are dead people in wich you can reflect your own mortal destiny. And that's scary!

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    harrisonpink Telltale Staff

    @Grunty said: Cracked actually did an article about thishttp://www.cracked.com/article/136_5-reasons-you-secretly-want-zombie-apocalypse/

    Yeah, I've seen that article, but I think it's more humerous than totally accurate. There's something about being surrounded by a grey swarm of danger that gets stronger as it weakens your forces that is incredibly compelling. If the zombification of the dead was a one-time event, and people wouldn't turn when bitten / killed, I don't know if zombies would have so much appeal.

    Maybe it's an allegory to how we've become mindless consumerist robots doing what we're told to do in a 9-5 world? /FirstYearPsychology :p

  • @harrisonpink said: Maybe it's an allegory to how we've become mindless consumerist robots doing what we're told to do in a 9-5 world? /FirstYearPsychology :p


    That's semi-exactley(!) like what I think! Semi-Seconded.

  • @harrisonpink said: Maybe it's an allegory to how we've become mindless consumerist robots doing what we're told to do in a 9-5 world? /FirstYearPsychology :p

    Cracked has an article on that interpretation too:

    http://www.cracked.com/article_19402_6-mind-blowing-ways-zombies-vampires-explain-america_p2.html

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    harrisonpink Telltale Staff

    @thesporkman said: Cracked has an article on that interpretation too:

    http://www.cracked.com/article_19402_6-mind-blowing-ways-zombies-vampires-explain-america_p2.html

    Well shoot. I guess original thought isn't my strong suit today.

  • @harrisonpink said: Well shoot. I guess original thought isn't my strong suit today.


    ....especially considering that was the entire point of Dawn of the Dead? ;)

    I think the interpretation that zombie fans all secretly want to be roving murderers and [i]rapists(the first time I've seen this assertion was in this thread but sure) is a terrible, outside looking-in sort of assertion. We're fascinated by death, we're fascinated by gore and blood. It makes us face mortality, it gives us really cool gore effects, it allows us to look in the face of mortal danger without having to actually endanger ourselves personally. The way society crumbles in an apocolyptic story, especially with an everpresent danger, what it does to people...zombies create a world in which we can push people to their limits. I saw a short film this weekend called "Spoiled Rotten", in which a mother grows too attached to her zombified child to the point of insanity. That's the sort of character study we're talking about here, characters in extreme environments given dramatic, powerful choices and either rising above or falling behind. It's a world in which it's EASY to be terrible, but that's not an excuse, it's an interesting and dramatic position to put characters in. The idea that fascination with zombie media implies a deep and secret desire to KILL and RAPE and LOOT and BE BETTER implies a complete inability to relate to things in anything but the most narcissistic of ways, which just doesn't seem realistic to me.

  • Well, duh, they’re scary. And we basically watch horror movies not to be scared but to watch our own kind get savagely killed or savagely kill other people or monsters or zombies.

  • [QUOTE=RAnthonyMahan;538142]I guess there's a power fantasy aspect to it. For some people (who may have...less than ideal mental health, to be polite) living in a zombie apocalypse might be their idea of paradise. QUOTE]

    Me =) It'd deffo be interesting to see a world were the more money you have doesant make you the more powerfull, be funny to see how people would react to the situation (Allthough if there was one I'd like to know all my family would be safe and I wouldent have to look after them)

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