Zombie Awareness Month provides an opportunity to educate yourself.
In celebration of this annual event hosted by the Zombie Research Society, I kicked off May by sharing my thoughts on the enduring popularity of the undead. Whether their presence causes excitement, humour or fear, they’re generally more welcome than any other type of enemy.
On Tuesday, Eric from Eric Hagmann Music and I joined forces to take a journey through the realm of the living dead for a collaboration. The title that secured the top spot on my list of favourite zombie video games was an obvious choice for me, but hopefully there were a few surprises as well. Head over to check out Eric’s post and discover which releases made his selection.
In 2017, the University of Leicester conducted a study which revealed it would take only 100 days for the undead to take over the planet. Assuming a 90% chance of infecting someone and the ability for a zombie to find at least one person to munch on each day, researchers predicted that a mere 300 humans would remain alive and uninfected at the end of the period.
I’d place a big bet on all those survivors being gamers. Releases like those included on my list have taught us how to properly prepare and what to do once the inevitable apocalypse finally arrives. It would then be up to us to deal with the undead, wait for the zombie virus to die off, and establish a fair and just government to ensure everyone is cared for. For any non-gamers out there who want to be on the winning team, I suggest paying close attention to the following important lessons.
Don’t rely on the UK government
Did you know that the Pentagon has a military response plan to protect humanity from the walking dead? There’s no way the UK government is that prepared. Based on recent behaviour, it’s obvious what they would do: deny the apocalypse until increased zombie sightings force them to come clean about what’s going on, then order a series of knee-jerk reactions in horror of scientists while maintaining that everything is under control. It’s probably best if we don’t rely on them to resolve the situation.
Ignore the mainstream media
It’s wisest not to listen to the mainstream media either. Regardless of the undead threat level, you can guarantee that reporters everywhere will overhype every little development to maximise their audience. Since many people believe everything they read in newspapers, the result will be widespread terror, panic-buying of toilet paper, and the breakdown of society. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t stay informed; just choose your sources carefully and stick to reading updates from the bloggers you trust.
Pack a survival kit
If your local area becomes overrun and you need to make a quick escape, don’t leave home without a survival kit. Grab some fresh water, cans of food, a knife, string and a first-aid kit. Treat your rucksack as though it were a point-and-click inventory system so you’re prepared for anything. A 2018 survey found that nearly 25% of the British population have a plan to survive the zombie apocalypse, and one in six have considered putting together a bug-out bag to sustain them through the first 72 hours.
Don’t go it alone
Although many video games have shown that it’s often riskier travelling with others, there’s a lot to be said for not going alone. Being part of a group increases the skills and knowledge available to you and potentially improves decision-making. There’s also someone to back you up in case of injury and help keep loneliness at bay. Just make sure they’re likeminded people whom you know you can rely on, and only consider leaving on your own as a last resort.
Get out of the city
The most crucial tip we’ve learned from zombie stories is to leave the city as quickly as possible because the odds are stacked against you from the start. Urban areas will end up having the densest populations of the undead due to the large number of people living there, and they won’t be habitable once the supporting technology disappears. Head for isolation, stop by a camping shop for supplies along the way, and don’t rely on smartphone maps because you’ll lose signal once the power grids go down.
Find weapons as soon as possible
Video games have taught us that the most effective weapon against the living dead is a bullet straight to the head. However, obtaining guns can be challenging depending on your location in the world. So what should you consider using instead? Remember that anything can be a weapon if used correctly. Take inspiration from releases such as Days Gone: a baseball bat with nails, a table leg with nails, chemical fertilizer with nails – basically any object combined with nails.
Track down food and water
Your bug-out bag may sustain you for the first few days, but it won’t keep you alive for long. Assign members of your group to scavenge for food and bottled water in supermarkets and petrol stations as you leave town, while others keep watch. Once you find a suitable place to ride out the apocalypse, gather the largest stash of supplies you can and hunker down. You won’t be able to get your hands on any KFC for a while so ensure you’re not worrying about where your next meal will come from.
Build a sturdy barricade
Once you’ve established your new base, consider reinforcing it with a strong barricade to keep those pesky zombies out while you sleep at night. You’ll need heavy items for this to be effective, so you’ll be grateful for those extra pairs of hands if you took the advice above about not traveling alone. Quickly board up windows and glass fronts to prevent them from being smashed open, and avoid staying above the ground floor without an escape route in case the building is overrun.
Create an infection plan
How will you respond if any member of your group becomes infected? This is something you need to discuss as early as possible and get everyone to agree upon, because tough decisions will need to be made for the good of the group. Will you selflessly search for a cure, attempt amputation of the infected limb, restrain them before they turn, or immediately end their existence? Be prepared for a late night and a few arguments – you’ll be glad you saved that coffee from your bug-out bag.
Remember that the zombies will keep coming
If zombie video games have taught us a single useful lesson, it’s that the living dead will never stop coming. The sooner you come to terms with that, the quicker you can focus on surviving and ensuring you’re one of the last 300 humans! Take the advice given in today’s post to heart, get as far away from civilization as possible, and find a safe place to spend your remaining days in peace. Just remember to pack a console and power supply before you leave home.
Thanks to video games, we’re better educated than ever about surviving a zombie apocalypse. If there’s any advice I’ve missed, please feel free to leave it in the comments below so we can have a comprehensive survival guide in case the world ends.