The Surge illustrates how beautifully the good intentions of corporations pave the way to Hell

The Surge from Maximum Games and Focus Home Interactive has it all: A teaser that opens with a corporate spokesman explaining how their company is going to no only save the world but also the people- by MAKING THEM BETTER,  glitchy feedback, space, robots, a desperation that can only lead to the most dangerous kind of progress.

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Bandits Will be Bandits | The Last of Us

Cowards! The lot of them. Bandits and Highway Men are constantly trying to play on the sympathies of  those of us who don’t lack morals. They did it in The Book of Eli and They’re doing it again in The Last of Us.
Naughty Dog has been slow releasing information and videos about their upcoming post-apocalyptic video game. This time it’s a video!
The cinematic trailer shows a scene from a day in the life of Ellie and Joel… being ambushed by bandits on the road to who-knows-where.
Video description:

Joel and Ellie won’t have an easy road ahead of them. Their path across the US will intersect with other survivors, some of whom won’t be friendly. In this scene set to the somber chords of Hank Williams, Sr., Joel and Ellie continue their journey west in a battered pickup truck. As they drive towards the next destination on their route, and hopefully a place to find critical resources, the pair encounters a group of hunters. What happens next is something you have to witness to understand.
The Last of Us is genre-defining experience blending survival and action elements to tell a character driven story about a population decimated by a modern plague. Cities are abandoned and being reclaimed by nature. Remaining survivors are killing each other for food, weapons and whatever they can find. Joel, a ruthless survivor, and Ellie, a young teenage girl who’s braver and wiser beyond her years, must work together to survive their journey across what remains of the United States.
Developed by Naughty Dog, The Last of Us is being made exclusively for the PS3 system.

Video:

[More about The Last of Us]

Dealing with post-apocalyptic people you don't like

There are always going to be people you don’t like. Sometimes it’s that annoying dude at work who always sucks up to the boss; sometimes it’s your annoying Great-aunt Edna. Sometimes it’s both. Regardless, they’re people who annoy you. Now, in the pre-apocalypse, it doesn’t matter; not in the grand scheme of things.
Oh sure, that suck-up is irritating and will probably get that promotion you’ve been aiming for, and sure Great-aunt Edna always gives you that annoying and embarrassing kiss that leaves the lipstick stain on your cheek. But ultimately, you don’t have to rely on either of them to survive.
Unfortunately, in the post-apocalypse, you will. You’re going to have to work with people who annoy you then just as you do now–only “work” will have a different connotation.
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What Are Women Worth at The End of The World?

Many of the depictions of apocalyptic life we see are over the top and hyper-fictionalized.  In the few more realistic versions, there is a disquieting, reoccurring theme: women are weak and they can be broken, owned, and kept.
We see forced prostitution, the normalization of rape and capture for fun and profit, and maybe worse yet, women who stand up and act like people–especially strong people– are considered anomalous. If a woman speaks up, hunts, protects the group, or displays any skill outside of making babies, tears or meals she’s wowing the audience or they’re rolling their eyes.
The fact that a strong woman or girl invested in her survival is a novelty should be a red flag. If the apocalypse happened tomorrow, would the women you value today be seen as valuable people or just usable commodities?
Part of survival training needs to be not only developing the ability to stay alive but also the fortitude to fight for that life and your right to live it well and freely. I’ve mentioned before that part of a successful apocalyptic life, especially for women, will likely involve killing some jackholes who think they’re maleness affords them privileges to you femaleness. Continue reading “What Are Women Worth at The End of The World?”

Must read: Days with the Undead.

By now you know I love blog serials. Like, a lot. I tell you to read them at every available oppurtunity. And why not? They’re basically free novels that you read chapter by chapter. What’s wrong with that?
Well, I’ve found another good one, and if you don’t read it I’ll chuck you out of my survival compound to die in the wastes. So there’s that going for it.
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The Pros and Cons of Post-Apocalyptic Cults

I spent (and am still spending) the week at a giant national training mandated, organized, and run by my job. As I sat in theback of the auditorium and listened to people chant and cheer and say motivational things to one another and generally embrace the corporate culture, my mind began to wander.
What if motivational culture, structure, schedules, and tradition we all that some people brought with them through to the post-apocalyptic world. These things are what make many difficult situations tolerable. There is a shared language and bonding in the quirkiness and need for these tools.
However, if the situation did not call for these tools and the person on stage was not a motivational speaker but a tyrannical misanthrope, we’d have ourselves a cult [1. I have a very active imagination…].
I wondered what this would look like if that hypothetical tyrant on stage was speaking, not to employees, but to survivors. What would it look like, or even feel like if this was how every morning started before your rations were handed over. Many of your needs would be covered, from food to socialization and your survival would be based on community membership. The leader doesn’t even need to be a tyrant [2. but it’s more fun to think he is], Your leaders could simply be false prophets, motivational speakers, sales folk, a resourceful marketing team, a boy band, a cheer squad, or some other individual or small group with both charisma and a respect-demanding demeanor. Continue reading “The Pros and Cons of Post-Apocalyptic Cults”

Apocalypse dating

A couple of months ago, I wrote about falling in love during and after the apocalypse. Generally, falling in love involves meeting people and, you know, dating. So, unless your post-apocalyptic society has decided that arranged marriages are the best thing for love since Cupid invented online dating sites, you’re going to have to enter the dating world.
Unfortunately, there’s a chance the Internet will no longer exist—or will no longer exist in its current form. Either way, those handy online dating sites will likely not be around to help you meet The One. Which means you’ll have to go old school: meeting people and dating in person.
Shocking, I know. Also possibly terrifying. And potentially awkward.
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Post-apocalyptic babyproofing

The last time my toddler tried to climb the oven door to see the fun things that were happening on the stove, I had this crazy picture flash into my head. It was of my toddler climbing the ruins of a building somewhere in post-apocalyptic Earth and then falling off, only to be impaled by some random ruins below (or eaten by zombies that happened to be wandering by).
I realized a few things after this mental image popped into my head:
1. My daughter follows this climb-fall cycle far too often.
2. I have an overactive imagination.
3. What the hell are parents going to do for babyproofing post-apocalypse?
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