Being Black in Video Games

Being Black in real life isn’t super easy. Sure you always have company whenever you go shopping, even if you started alone. You’re more likely to have a living will or healthcare proxy (at least you should). Because Black folks are dropping dead like it’s Jim Crow again.
South Park’s new game recently introduced a slider that was labeled “Difficulty” and changed the character’s race. The darker you are the “harder” the difficulty. It’s funny because it’s true.

At least Fractured But Whole lets you be a person of color if you really want to. Or if you just really want to see a person of color as a hero in a video game. Continue reading “Being Black in Video Games”

Likely Apocalypses: Zombie Apocalypse

While a Zombie Apocalypse might not be the most likely, it’s definitely the most well trodden.

Zombies are fictional undead creatures that are created when the dead body of a human being is restored to “life” again. This phenomenon is so interesting that Hollywood has made many movies on it.
In ancient concepts, zombies were created by doing magic on the dead. In modern terms, the meaning has completely changed. Now there is no magic instead the zombies are created by accidents like unusual radiation, mental illness, viruses, scientific accidents etc.
In most zombie theories, people believe that any person that dies, no matter what their cause of the death, will become one of the undead.

  • Zombies eat living things, mainly humans.
  • If a zombie bites someone, it spreads the disease to that person and they are also transformed into a zombie.
  • Some zombie viruses can also be spread by water, sexually or even by air.

Thus, if in some area of the world someone accidentally got affected by a zombie virus, they would spread the virus locally, if not nationally, within a few weeks.
What might the Zombie Apocalypse look like?
The scenario of a zombie apocalypse has been covered by many movies, video games, books, comic books, and TV shows.
The Walking Dead, for example, has covered a lot of things about zombies, how they “live,” survival, and how they might look.
According to the theories, these undead people will try to eat your brain or flesh. They will have messy hair, move like a drunken person, have a decaying flesh, and odors will be so pungent you may actually see them.
In short, they will likely be so gross that you’ll want to vomit and run away.

Is the zombie apocalypse really going to happen?

May be, maybe not. Just be prepared. Some diseases currently in existence are as deadly as any zombie virus: like rabies, human mad cow disease, all variations of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs), etc. These diseases affect the human brain and have high chances of mortality. They are highly painful and can change the behavior of a normal person to an aggressive beast.
Plus, there will be a lunar eclipse across the United States from Oregon to South Carolina on Aug 21, 2017. People believe that radiation from the eclipse could be a reason for corpses to regain mobility as an undead scourge. Make sure you protect your eyes. Wear the eclipse glasses and find some indirect method to see the eclipse to avoid the harmful radiations as much as possible.

What to do for survival?

For survival, you will have to make a plan.

  • You can live only three days without water and 3 weeks without food.
  • Securely store a decent amount of water or make sure you have a way to purify a source.
  • Store enough food for yourself and family for at least a few weeks.
  • Keep everything you need at home and don’t leave unless you are going for something that is more important than your life.
  • Keep your weapons with you all the times.

My Boyfriend is a Monster: I Love Him to Pieces (by Evonne Tsang)

On a whim I picked up a graphic novel from the 80% off shelf at Comicopia with low expectations and a piqued curiosity for something apocalyptic (as always). One of the books I grabbed was My Boyfriend is a Monster: I Love Him to Pieces by Evonne Tsang. This is one in a series of books about girls who love boys lacking some of the qualifications to make them human. Most of these boys are also deadly dangerous and in the case of I love Him to Pieces, deadly contagious. Le Sigh. Dumb bitches live for love.
In I Love Him to Pieces Dicey is a Jock (the only girl on the school baseball team) and Jack Chen (always referred to using his full name) is a nerd. They’re paired up together on a project to raise an egg for health class and end up getting along swimmingly. Jack Chen is awkward and doesn’t have many friends in school. He’s an only child and his parents are always away on business because they’re both scientists. Dicey on the other hand, is popular with a super close relationship with her widowed father and young brother.
Why am I telling you all of this? Because that what the books is about mostly. Page after page of a cutesy, high school relationship in its budding stages. It was well crafted and well drawn and well… if you’re looking for a zombie tale, it’s well boring.
So, against all odds (expect not really at all), Dicey and Jack decide to be a couple and go on a corny date during the school day. They ditch school and take the bus to a park where they hear police and stuff going places… Finally, the zombies!?
Psych, this is where we spend time chatting with their parents and being lame as shit.
So I won’t spoil it but this is like three quarters into the book so it’s not exactly a riveting tale of survival and mayhem.

Final Thoughts on My Boyfriend is a Monster: I Love Him to Pieces [SPOILERS]

  1. I get why this was 80% off. It’s nothing that would call for high demand. A very ordinary tale on both the romance and zombie fronts.
  2. Jack Chen’s parent’s know exactly what caused the zombie outbreak, and how to cure it and it’s totally a non-issue and all the fucks can go back in the box because there was no need to give them.
  3. The characters are kind of stick figures (not because of the art, which is good) in that they’re just very basic outlines of individuals. Jock and Nerd. Jock carries bat all the time, Nerd knows everything about all the things.
  4. This isn’t a BAD book per se. It’s just not a good book or graphic novel or story… I think a middle school girl might like it. It has that simplistic story telling and happy-go-lucky outlook that’s just not realistic for those of us well versed in the apocalyptic fiction.
  5. For 80% off, I Love Him to Pieces was worth a read. It was easy and light and good looking.

Just Cover You Calves and Ankles

Way too often I see games, movies, tv shows and whatever else where people are trudging through the zombie apocalypse and, surprise, they get bit on the calf or ankle. Duh! Cover your calves and ankles and this problem disappears.
See, when people die they fall down. On the ground. Around that area where your feet are… That area you’re not usually looking in when you’re walking forward. I see some of the best shooters and fighters kicking through knee-high weeds and then ARRGGGH somethings got their leg like a shark attack.
Seriously though, I can’t feel bad for you if you see a bun of zombies crawling and laying around and you don’t think to protect your most vulnerable parts. You don’t even need combat boots or women’s boots (though women have no excuse for not covering their calves and ankles with boots). Rain boots, though your feet will stink in like six minutes, are perfect. Can you bite through rubber? I can’t.
And you know what the first suggestion will be? Cut the leg off! This may or may not work. Sometime it does, sometime it doesn’t (even in the same fictional universe in some cases). But even if it does, you’ll be hobbled and they’ll be whispering about not wanting to take care of you or how you’ll slow everyone down. This is all the best case scenario where you actually survive the bite and amputation. Because there’s the slow descent into infection and death from either the bite or the amateur doctoring.
Your calves and ankles don’t need to be covered with some indestructible, adamantium-type shit. What’s important is, can’t it be easily torn or bitten through? If no, you’re good. Also important, can you comfortably flee from not only shambling corpses but also fully ambulatory, aggressive humans.

TLDR: Cover Your Calves and Ankles

1. Dead people fall down; living people look up. You can’t change this, just deal with it.
2. Getting bit on the leg is a dumb way to die. Even if they try to save you, you’re dead-ish. They’ll laugh when they tell your story as a cautionary tale to children.
3. Most any boot will do because most people can’t bite through boots. (Also, animals are less likely to hurt you if they have an extra layer or leather or  soccer shin guards to get through.)
4. Don’t cover your calves and ankles to the detriment of your mobility. There’s no point in just being safe from the crawlers if you can’t dodge the walkers or out run the humans.

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Dead Rising 2 was free with XBox Gold

screenlg4Microsoft started giving out games to Gold subscribers twice monthly and one of the games in August was Dead Rising 2. Well that sounds like all my favorite things: zombies, action, video games, and FREE.
I downloaded the game and booted up. I was immediately confused. Apparently all this shit went down with a zombie apocalypse and and then it was solved (mostly). People built strong walls and made a serum for people who get bitten so they don’t turn.
My character was this dude who people knew of and has a patchy history and a dead wife. He in this entertainment competition whee he rides a motorbike and does tricks and fights captive zombies. This is kind of the into and tutorial.
screenlg1SUDDENLY, all hell breaks loose and there are zombies everywhere. Ohnoes. Now I have to beat my way through the throngs of zombies and rescue my child who’s waiting patiently backstage. Gah, I hate having to escort children and stuff.
So you have weapons that you pick up wherever like a guitar or an axe or a broom. The more you use a weapon the more it wears until it actually breaks. You’re charged with grabbing your baby and making you way out of the arena to safety. Apparently I was also supposed to be saving some other people along the way… oops. I’m so bad at additional objectives.
I get outside and run around a bit until I find a safe place because there are just fallout shelter kind of places scattered around just in case something like this happens. I don’t know if it was a cut scene or what but they’re totally blamng me for the invasion in the arena. People totally think I’m a terrorist. Rude. I’m under the impression I had nothing to do with it.
screenlg9
After a lot of back and forth the people running the shelter are like, “Ew your daughter is bitten. Leave her outside.” And I’m like, don;t worry about it. I’ve got
medicine even though I totally don’t.
Now I have to go find medicine. Guy runs through the the shelter until he finds a secret exit that leads to the mall. In a backroom of the mall the is a place to craft weapons (if you find a key) and  a place to  get into the real mall.
In the mall you have to fight your way to the pharmacy and  get the medicine in time to get back to  the daughter. Ugh, timed missions are the worst. Especially when  you’re allowed to detour and try on clothes in the  stores. Yes, you can play dress up and use random objects as weapons. I personally liked the skateboard.
screenlg6Dead Rising 2 felt a little chaotic to me. There were almost too many options. I could run around killing zombies or trying on clothes or doing the mission or exploring the places or playing the slot machines (Yeah, those were there too.)
Normally, I love having options and feeling like a game has an open world but this felt falsely open. If you did too much of one thing then the other things pop up and kept you forcefully on track. Also, I don’t know if it’s because Dead Rising 2 is older but I felt the controls were clunky and not as accurate or responsive as they should be. In a hordes of zombies situation I don’t want to deal with clunky controls!
It was hard to tell if it was a serious game (there’s a dying little girl I’m responsible for) or just a silly game (I can wear costumes and use toys as weapons….
I got frustrated and bored and because it was free I didn’t feel like I was wasting anything by letting it collect virtual dust. Dead Rising 2 was good enough for the price but not good enough for me to  play through. Le sigh.

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Resource Roundup [6/21]

America, as always, has its priorities in order when it comes to politicians. Canada is under water. Great Britain is using geretratics to fight zombies.

America

Are you fat enough to survive the zombie apocalypse?

Howard Schneider takes an odd look at politicians to determine if they’re fat enough to survive the apocalypse…

Governor of New Jersey at a town hall in Hills...
Governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie, at a town hall in Hillsborough, NJ 3/2/11 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If they’re super-fit and fat-free, are they better off when the dead rise?
Or would New Jersey’s Republican governor, Chris Christie — the self-proclaimed “healthiest fat guy you’ve ever seen” — fare better in a food-deprived environment with his stored surplus energy?
Might our female politicians — say, a comfortable-in-the-wild Sarah Palin or Iraq veteran Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) — tap their survival skills, as well as women’s generally higher body-fat percentages, and take control?
What about President Obama? Thin, yes, but not in that amped-up way that makes you think he’d fall apart if he had to hunker down for a couple of days without a GNC JackedPack.

[via The Washington Post]
 

Canada

Flooding hits Alberta province, forces 75,000 people from their homes in Calgary

Oh no. Pray for Char and the moose and the other Canadians — even Chad and Avril–, it looks like the earth is rearing up to wash away the plague that is humanity (specifically Canadians)…

[via CNN.com]
 

Great Britain

Official Trailer for Cockneys vs Zombies (Coming to the US August 2nd 2013)

Who’d win in a fight, a zombie or your granddad? What about a race? These are the deep questions that will be answered in the upcoming Cockneys vs Zombies.

COCKNEY
A native of the East End of London, born within hearing of the ringing of the Bow Bells
ZOMBIE
A supernatural power or spell that according to voodoo belief can enter into and reanimate a corpse
SYNOPSIS
The Bow Bells Care Home is under threat and the McGuire’s – Andy, Terry, and Katy – need to find some way to keep their grandfather and his friends in the East End, where they belong. But, when you’re robbing a bank, zombie invasions makes things a lot harder. And let’s face it, they need all the help they can get when their bank-robbing experts turn out to be Mental Mickey and Davey Tuppance. As contractors to an East London building site unlock a 350-year old vault full of seriously hungry zombies, the East End has suddenly gone to hell and the Cockney way of life is under threat. Equipped with all the guns and ammo they can carry, it’s up to the gang to save the hostages, their grandfather, and East London from zombie Armageddon.


[via Hulu]
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But what will I drink in the post-apocalypse?

Apologies again for falling off the planet these past couple weeks. Things have been happening that have affected my ability to write (well, more like my ability to stay awake long enough to write). I’ll probably tell y’all about it someday. Maybe.
Anyway. Back to the apocalypse. I’m convinced we’re going to put ourselves in some sort of apocalyptic situation sooner rather than later (I’m rather fond of the we’ll-blow-ourselves-up theory), so I’m starting to focus on all the little trivial things more than I used to.
For example! What will we drink during the apocalypse and the post-apocalypse? Worst case scenarios usually revolve around a lack of water. But, you know, human beings need liquids and all that to survive. So without water, what will we drink?
What about beer? We talk a lot about rum and moisturizer, so it’s not too farfetched to think that some of us would drink beer. (Um, right?)
Specifically, this beer:

zombie apocalypse beer
Beer my husband drank at his dad’s house. No, for real. This beer exists. Right now.

Of course, this beer would be AWESOME during an actual zombie apocalypse, but it’ll probably still be okay during the robot apocalypse or the evil space pirate monkey apocalypse. Or a Borg invasion.
Well, okay, maybe not the Borg. But you know what I mean.
On another note, does anyone know if there’s a zombie apocalypse rum available? Because that would be full of awesome.

Zombie I Scream (iOS)

I saw an episode of Doomsday Preppers the other day where the family didn’t believe in weapons. One of the guys says, “If bandits come I’ll invite them in and either poison them or cut their throats in their sleep.”
HUWAT!? Yes. I like you. Also, I’ve found the perfect game for you. Zombie I Scream by Thefty Jack LLC.
No, Zombie I Scream isn’t about grinding zombies up and turning them into ice cream. It’s about a non-violent solution to a violent problem.
Much like the colonists gave smallpox blankets to the Native Americans the player in Zombie I Scream will give unsuspecting zombies ice cream cones specially designed to end their lives. FUN!
It actually looks really cute and it’s rare that someone finds a new approach to a fairly straight forward genre on a limited interface.
Zombie I Scream (like many of the original colonists) is set in Boston and features many of the city’s famous locations as levels.
Continue reading “Zombie I Scream (iOS)”

Fight the Bite, Part 3: The second class

The first part of this post series, my interview with The Forge instructor and Fight the Bite organizer Tim, was published on Monday. Part 2, about the first class of the workshop, was published on Wednesday. This post is the last of the three-part series.
Note: this is a sponsored post. While In Case of Survival was not paid for this series of posts, I did receive a significant discount on the class because of it.
Also note: this post is long. Go grab a coffee. I’ll wait. Back? Good. Let’s begin.
In the first class, we learned basic defensive skills, how to properly punch someone in the face, how to fall properly, and how to avoid getting eaten by the boss-level pet zombies. Congrats! You’re on your way to surviving the zombie apocalypse.
Continue reading “Fight the Bite, Part 3: The second class”

Fight the Bite, Part 2: The First Class

The first part of this post series, my interview with The Forge instructor and Fight the Bite organizer Tim, was published on Monday.
Note: this is a sponsored post; while In Case of Survival was not paid for this series of posts, I did receive a significant discount on the class because of it.
Also note: this post is long, yo.
On October 22, I attended the first part of the two-part Fight the Bite zombie apocalypse survival/self-defense workshop. The classes are put on by The Forge Western Martial Arts and held at Dynamic MMA in Calgary.
If you’re wondering if I willingly went to a class where I get my ass kicked, the answer would be yes. But! It’s for a good cause! No, not for ICoS. I mean, yes, it’s good that I’m writing these posts, but it’s also good because if a zombie ever comes after me, I know what to do to get away and, you know, run like hell out of there.
You may be wondering how I know I can get away from a zombie. I mean, in theory I shouldn’t know that unless there were actual zombies around, and aside from a few bath salt-induced zombiefication, there aren’t any. Right? Well, yeah. In theory. But lucky for us students, The Forge happened to have some pet zombies on hand, so it was all good.
Let me back up and start from the beginning. After all, the pet zombies didn’t come out of their cages until we’d learned a couple things.
Continue reading “Fight the Bite, Part 2: The First Class”