Zombies Are Dead
I hate to be the one to hammer the final nail in the coffin, but I’m rather afraid that zombies may have had their day. They have filled us with so much joy over the last few decades of gaming brilliance, but they have now been a victim of their own success. Once upon a time they were one of the all time great antagonists of the age, right up there with Nazis and Aliens. However, having been brought into the mainstream they could finally have lost their lustre.
The turning point, as is so often the case, is a new ad campaign that uses zombies at it’s heart. Virgin Trains is depicting those who use all other forms of transportation (including planes oddly enough, I seem to remember Virgin having those too) as the walking dead compared to the living, breathing and happy commuters on Virgin’s train service. There’s some humour there and some very nice artwork from Polish graphic artist Marek Oleksicki, but could there be any better proof of zombies going mainstream than them schilling for a train company in your sunday paper?
It’s not just print either I should say. This morning I heard a similarly themed advert on a commercial radio station. What has the world come to when the undead can be used with such frivolous disregard for their terrifying origins? Alas, I think the videogame industry must take some of the blame for all this. Our revelry in the world of the shambling, rotting masses has demystified them. We had Nazi Zombies for crying out loud! We’re the one’s who have made them mainstream and as a result they have little to no impact anymore.
It pains me to say it, but for me zombies are dead. We can no longer pretend that they scare us or strike at our worst fears. They are purely comical to us now, fit only for hitting over the head with frying pans and dancing with to Queen. This my friends is a sad day for the walking dead.