Earlier this year, physics students from the University of Leicester worked out that it would take only 100 days for zombies to take over planet Earth. With a hypothesis that a member of the undead army has a 90% chance of turning a human and they’d each find at least one person to munch on a day, they predicted how long the population could hold out using an epidemiological model that describes the spread of a disease throughout a population.
A mere 300 humans would remain alive and uninfected at the end of the 100-day period and I wouldn’t mind betting that the majority of these would be gamers. I mean, we’ve had plenty of experience dealing with the apocalypse in video games so what better training? The lovely The Dragon’s Tea Party kindly nominated Later Levels for the Sunshine Blogger award at the end of April, and asked her nominees to share the video game character and three items we’d take into the zombie apocalypse.
Character: Guybrush Threepwood
I know what’s going through your head: “Kim’s a big fan of Monkey Island, so this answer is really predictable.” But think about it: Guybrush is the original zombie slayer! He took on the fearsome LeChuck with nothing more than a bottle of root beer and still came out on top. Some may say his victory was nothing more than an extremely fortuitous accident; but I’d feel much better during an apocalypse with someone with experience of the undead around. Plus there’s the advantage of yelling ‘look behind you, a three-headed monkey!’ whenever you need to quickly escape from a tricky situation.
Item 1: laptop
No self-respecting blogger would be caught in an apocalypse without their laptop. How else are you going to inform the rest of the blogosphere about what’s going on in your corner of the chaos – as well as continue to manage your social media and rack up those views on YouTube? Of course, there’s the small issue of keeping the battery powered after the electricity is cut off. But until then, at least you’d get to binge-watch zombie movies on Netflix in order to pick up additional survival tips.
Item 2: medkit
As Kevin from The Mental Attic rightly pointed out to me last week, every zombie video game features a medkit as one of its items. I’m therefore pretty certain I’d need one in times of an apocalypse although I’m not entirely sure why: I’ve not yet had to face an undead hoard in my life (although some of my work colleagues could possibly be considered as such), but I’m under the impression that even a minor bite would be fatal and not having a medkit would be the least of your worries. Video game logic can’t be wrong though, surely?
Item 3: Ethan
Playing Dad Quest during the Gamely Giving marathon stream last month taught me one very important lesson: your child can be a lethal weapon. Surely this applies to stepchildren too so I’m taking mine into the apocalypse with me. Some may say it’s cruel to drag a nine-year old into such a dire situation but not so; Sundae Month’s title shows is that a child is an indestructible force of nature and able to destroy an object within seconds, particularly when you give them level-up attacks such as ‘shank’. The zombies wouldn’t even stand a chance.
In the original study mentioned at the start of this post, only a small number of the population were left alive over the duration of the zombie apocalypse. But a more hopeful follow-up study revealed that we could prolong the survival of the species by killing off the undead and having babies: we’d become less likely infected over time as we grew used to the risks and more able to deal with them. You’ll be pleased to know the students worked out that, under these conditions, it was feasible for the zombie virus to die out and for humans to survive.
Guybrush Threepwood and the items above might just give us an advantage. Which character and objects would you choose?