This picture has been making the rounds on the internet. The artist is Jason Chan, and I have been to the his website and he has many fine works showing off his talents.
I was drawn to this one for a number of reasons. First I am a huge zombie apocalypse fan. Ever since I first saw the George Romero 1968 classic Night of the Living Dead, I was hooked. More recently video games have been slaking my thirst for the genre. Many nights I can be found in the darkened basement of our suburban house playing a games where the odds clearly should not be in our favor, but we play and win anyway. My tastes have run the gambit from Doom 3 and it’s otherworldly demonic version of zombie goodness, to the incredible Valve title Left 4 Dead.
I honestly don’t know how many times I have been perched on the edge of my computer chair in the middle of fighting for my life only to have my wife sneak up behind me and lay her hands on me at just the perfect moment. The ensuing unmanly shriek of terror, and fight or flight response (typically flight in my case) was only dispelled by the roaring laughter of my wife claiming victory in this spousal attack. I only wish I could say it doesn’t happen very often. Now my oldest daughter is starting to get in on the act. I swear I will probably die of heart failure before the next big zombie title comes out.
I digress though. The picture above makes me wonder. Could we make a game or a mod that would envision what the painting is showing here? Is it too taboo to think of a game where it is children like my own having to fight it out for their very lives? Most of the time in Hollywood with this genre they tend to infuse it with comedy so as to not cross some “undead” line. Even in L4D you don’t see any children on the rampage. Now maybe whatever created the zombie menace wiped out all children (or dare I say it they were eaten first being easier targets to down?), or maybe more simply they are not included for any number of reasons that are too numerous to mention in this article.
Perhaps the biggest consideration for not having children afflicted in these games and movies is the simple notion that on some level there is still hope, and that these catastrophes are not so realistically presented as to make us really worry that it could happen someday. On many levels, I really hope that the genre isn’t tweaked into too much of a realistic version. It’s scary enough as it is.