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Why Is the Zombie Apocalypse Genre so Popular?

Updated on November 24, 2017

Zombies have been part of our pop culture for quite a while but with the more recent events in the world, the zombie apocalypse got a new wave of fans and enthusiasts.

When zombies first appeared in movies, comics and TV shows, they were used as a horror element meant to scare the audience. All they did was to slowly move in your general direction, wanting a little piece of your brain.

As time passed, the zombie genre evolved into something else. They got slower in some cases, posing a threat for an unsuspecting target or when their numbers are great but the biggest difference I observed would be the fact that a question appeared for the humans in these stories: Is it all right to kill a zombie?

A legitimate question, seeing as zombies were humans that got infected by a random virus and now lost their minds and want to eat your brain and flesh. What if there is a cure? What if they can be saved? What if?

The moral dillema stimulated our brains (making them look more appetizing to zombies) and thus we began liking the genre more. Its scary but not so scary and it poses a moral dillema on some of us.

To add more, with the international instability right now, a zombie apocalypse looks like a good apocalypse to have. With everything that is going on in the world and with a massive world wide war looming over us (at least the feeling that a war is coming) makes us crave something that would actually allow us to fight back.


Zombies vs other apocalypse scenarios

This section would be worthy of a rant but I will try to keep it as short as possible but also get my point across so let us delve deeper into this zombie apocalypse.

In case of zombies, you have a fighting chance, you have a pretty good chance of survival if you know what you're doing and you can keep your calm. In this scenario, the enemies are zombies and humans with the rare wild animal but everything considered, you have a pretty good chance at making it out alive. As far as the resources go, you would also have access to unspoiled food cans, water and other goods that would help you survive.

In case of other apocalypse scenarios and right now I'm reffering to the more popular ones like nuclear war, natural disasters or alien attack. In case of one of these scenarios, the survival chance of the regular Joe character are quite slim. Nuclear war is nuclear war, everything gets blown up to tiny tiny pieces. In case of natural disasters you would be at the mercy of nature. As far as an alien attack goes, if they have the technology to travel from far away and land here, if they are not friendly then they would most likely conquer us quickly with us just standing around not being able to do anything.

Everything considered, the zombie apocalypse would be the scenario that gives us a fighting chance and an even bigger survival chance compared with the other scenarios.


Why is the Zombie Apocalypse so attractive?

  • Increased chance of survival
  • Free looting (you can take whatever you want from anywhere)
  • Free travel
  • Killing zombies (some people would actually enjoy this)
  • No present day monotony and responsibilities

These would be the main reasons why this is such a popular apocalypse scenario and why so many movies, comics and games use this exact setting. It allows some of us to live a fantasy in which the only goal is to survive and you actually have a chance of surviving.

You can loot anything you want and take any place to be yours as long as there are not many zombies inside of it. You can travel wherever in this world without having to worry about much, other than zombies. You can also hunt the zombies if that is something that tickles your funny bone. Basically it is an apocalypse scenario that would allow you to get rid of the day to day monotony and it would also allow you to live freely with a high chance of survival as long as you don't go head first into a zombie horde.

Do you like the Zombie genre?

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Let me know what you think!

Let me know if you think there are some other major aspects that play a part in the popularity of the zombie genre. I tried to get my point across as best as I could. I have been a zombie fan for a while, watching zombie movies and playing zombie games. I thouroughly enjoyed my experience through the movies and games and everything that I pointed above would be facts that I noticed upon analyzing why I liked the zombie apocalypse idea so much.

Now for the ending I am leaving you with the trailer for my favorite zombie flick, Shaun of the Dead.


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    • Dean Traylor profile image

      Dean Traylor 7 months ago from Southern California

      Zombie stories are sought after because they represent the fear that society is very fragile and it can fall after an apocalyptic event. (I also feel that some see it as an innate desire to see society fall so they can start over )

      Also, the fear of being "eaten" alive by the conforming masses or becoming a part of it scares a lot of individually minded people (in fact, one of the Romero movies -- the original Dawn of the Dead -- takes place in a mall, in which the zombies walk about while elevator music play. It plays well on that fear).