The Zombie Rights Campaign Blog

Left 4 Dead 2: Experiments in Online Zombie Relations

The ZRC downloaded the Left 4 Dead 2 demo a few days ago, knowing that it will be the big ‘zombie’ game of Fall 2009, to evaluate its content for anti-zombie prejudices.

Preliminary impressions are that this is perhaps the worst anti-Zombie game ever made. Not only does it indulge players in heinous, extreme amounts of anti-Zombie violence, gore and visceral combat, it also encourages them to co-operate with other online gamers in small squads, training them to work as a team with the single-minded goal of exterminating all the undead from New Orleans.

This is an outrage. Left 4 Dead 2 is nothing more than a slick, heavily polished Zombie Murder Simulator that seems geared to recruiting and training an entire generational army of Zombie-bashing zealots! Never once are players presented with an option to discuss their differences with the Differently Animated, or to settle things with a Camp David summit, or even to co-exist peacefully in integrated Living/Undead communities. I was hoping perhaps for a little nationbuilding mini-game, perhaps along the lines of Sim City, where you can sit down and plan a vibrant re-animated New Orleans with amenities for the Undead as well as the Living, but NO SIR.

Just piles of guns, grenades, drugs and murderously savage zombie stereotyping.

On a side note, there seems to be a new kind of Hollywood Zombie on display in Left 4 Dead 2, or perhaps the whole series, we missed the first game, regrettably: the climbing zombie. For some reason, ‘zombies’ in this game climb like Spiderman.

Or perhaps Zombie Spiderman.

Weird. I mean, sure, some Zombies might like to climb the sides of buildings, but it’s not a generally accepted trait.

We will continue this investigation, and perhaps seek interviews with other players via voice chat, to cover this story as it unfolds.

–John J Sears


About The Author

The role of 'Administrator' will be played tonight by John Sears, currently serving as President of The Zombie Rights Campaign.

Comments

2 Responses to “Left 4 Dead 2: Experiments in Online Zombie Relations”

  1. Rogahar says:

    [Be warned: Plot spoiler thingy involved]

    It may interest you then, Mr Sears, to know that Left 4 Dead 2 is not, in fact, an anti-zombie game!

    The flesh-hungry hordes portrayed certainly bare many traits that may be deemed ‘zombie-like’, but they are, in fact, living and breathing humans, infected with a pathogenic rabies-like virus that drives them beyond the borders of sanity and into a simple pack mentality; the abominations it reduces them to are but a pale, shadowy imitation of actual zombie-hood, not dead enough to be Undead, but not human enough to be Alive.

    They bear no closer resemblance to the average rights-seeking zombie, like yourselves, than Boy George bears to the average gay man, or Laurence Tureaud as B.A. Baracus bears to the average African-American man!

    Indeed, perhaps the creators of L4D2 did, in fact, take note of your concerns pre-emptively when they created their first game in quite pointedly making the creatures NOT zombies, but simply deranged, brain-addled (and sometimes hideously mutated) humans – perhaps intending, instead, to expose how very Inhuman many people truly are inside, and it only takes one little pathogenic mutagen to reveal it!

  2. John Sears says:

    Well, technically the same could be said for 28 Days Later and its sequel, where the crazed rage virus victims were not undead either.

    We believe in a big-tent approach here at the ZRC. Though we’re primarily geared toward the undead, other more recently emerged groups of Pseudo-Undead, like the Rage virus victims or Left 4 Dead’s zombie-flu sufferers, also need advocates. In my time playing the game I’ve seen many acts of barbarism against these poor people, and even seen the so-called protagonists turn on one another out of spite or malice. Left 4 Dead 2 bears less resemblence to a classic ‘Zombie Apocalypse’ than it does to a war against anything you can plausibly call a ‘Zombie’, as the NPCs do, in fact, call their victims.

    War is hell for Zombies too.

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