The Zombie Rights Campaign Blog

‘Dark Ascension’ Continues Unfortunate Trend in Magic: The Gathering

We’ve been looking at the recent Magic: the Gathering expansions into the world of gothic horror and lamenting the cruel mistreatment of the Zombie Community represented by these cards. Not to sound melodramatic, but it can be more than a little dispiriting when the lengthy and completely unjust persecution of an entire people (or, arguably, several peoples) is used as ‘flavor’ and a backdrop for a card game, no matter how popular or entertaining it might be.

This is even more the case when the game is advertised playing upon the worst and ugliest of these stereotypes, as ‘Innistrad’ was.

Now a couple of little birdies (ok, Twitter follower and Google alert) have informed us that the next expansion, also set in the gothic horror world of Innistrad, will be even worse for Zombie Rights, and that is truly unfortunate.

It didn’t take much investigation to prove these allegations; Wizards of the Coast is being rather forthcoming, one might say boastful, of their Anti-Zombie attitude:

The Innistrad set introduced us to a world of gothic horror where humans lived in a tenuous balance with darker forces like vampires, werewolves, and zombies. Now the Dark Ascension set returns you to that world, but this time, the monsters are winning, and the humans have been forced to bar the gates of their settlements in defense.

Oh good, the ‘darker forces’ have to be kept outside the gates of *human* settlements, in the name of defense no less. Honestly, this is almost a parody of paranoid small-mindedness; all we really need is the Innistrad humans to set up a few detention centers, maybe implement some kind of high fantasy amalgamation of the TSA and the Inquisition to hunt for sings of Zombiism, or perhaps get a good Werewolf Red Scare going.

Wait, why am I helping them?

Ahem.

At any rate, further concrete proof of this bad attitude and casual bigotry is readily available on the Wizards website as well:

Zombie Apocalypse? Really? Gah.(image remains property of Wizards of the Coast; quite frankly, we don’t want it, and wish we hadn’t had to show it to you, our loyal readers)

Longtime ZRC readers will know that the ‘Zombie Apocalypse’ myth is both one of our pet peeves and most serious examples of misinformation to counter. Zombies, or so the layperson is led to believe, cannot be coexisted with in peace, because their mere existence somehow presages the ‘Apocalypse’. This in turn justifies, in impressionable minds, all sorts of barbarity against the Undead.

Which we resent on their behalf.

In fact, the ZRC has proposed an alternate term for the ‘Zombie Apocalypse’ that we feel better suits the realities, mostly positive, of the mass reanimation of the recently dead, namely the ‘Global Reanimation Block Party’. Sure, like any large social event, there will be challenges, especially logistical, but if you just keep an open mind and try to stay flexible we’re sure everything will work out in the end.

It’s not just decent human behavior and a sense of fair play and empathy, but, let’s face it, also catering to a valuable emerging demographic. If Wizards of the Coast really wants to miss out on selling to the Undead American market, well.. others will happily take their place. Zombie money is the same color as anyone else’s.

And sometimes it even matches their Zombie skin tone.

Food for thought, game makers at Wizards of the Coast. Food for thought.

Update: Added a couple of links I’d previously forgotten.


About The Author

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

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