The Birth of Zombie Gaming

It all started with an N64 game called Perfect Dark. Released in 2000, this was one of the first video games that would let you add AI players, or “bots”, to a match. Instead of playing with 4 of your friends sitting on your couch in your parent’s basement, you could now play in a match with 12 players: 4 human controlled and 8 computer controlled. This changed everything.

More players in each match meant that my friends and I didn’t have to battle each other. Instead of enemies we were now a team. The coolest feature of these bots was that you could set personalities for each player. You could make some scared of you or you could make them super headstrong and always engaging in fights. However, the best personality that you could pick was the “unarmed”. This meant that 4 players armed to the teeth had to fight off what seemed like an endless horde of bots that had to get up close and only attack within arm’s reach. Does that not sound a lot like a zombie? This crazy, homemade game type would provide my allies and myself with hours of zombie battling goodness that would almost always end in them having to call their parents and ask to sleep over so that we could strategize and battle till dawn.

My love for the zompocalypse started from that ability to have players working together against an enemy that outnumbered us. Having to run and hide and survive against all odds. I long for the day the zompocalypse happens because I’ll get to feel like a kid again, working together with others to face that mindless horde once more.

So start converting your lame friends into badass survivalists to help you when SHTF. It might not even be a zombie horde or a band of raiding marauders in the apocalyptic wasteland that challenges you. It could be financial problems or depression or moving a couch up 3 flights of stairs to your new apartment. If you have those allies close by, nothing is unbeatable. As my 8 year old video game addicted, Dorito munching, pop guzzling self could tell you, the only way to survive is to work together.

- Connor "The Hunter" Somerville

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