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Like flying piranha or sentient automobiles with a grudge, an apocalypse is something humanity doesn't want gate-crashing the cosmic party. Famine. Pestilence. War. Death. These are just four types of disaster commonly associated with an apocalypse and each one is guaranteed to kill the mood at any social gathering or LAN party. More catastrophically, they can also kill a significant proportion of the World's people population. Especially Death. Make no mistake - apocalypses are no fun.
Above: An artist's impression of an apocalypse
What does all this have to do with video games? We're getting to that. First, here's a little background apocalypse information. If you've played Darksiders, feel free to skip the next bit as you'll probably know most of it anyway.
Originally, in the olden days before the Magnavox Odyssey, the Book of Revelation painted a bleak word-picture of an apocalyptic scenario. A Biblically melodramatic showdown to end all showdowns between good and evil. Sort of like wrestling, but with people actually getting hurt for real.
Above: Using wrestling as a metaphor for the Book of Revelation
However, those New Testament types made it cryptic and confusing and no-one could really be sure what the Book of Revelation was saying exactly. Sort of like playing Killer 7, but without the elderly, schizophrenic wheelchair-bound assassin. The general lesson was that apocalypses are bad and should be avoided at all costs.
Above: Using Killer7 as a metaphor for nobody understanding the Book of Revelation
Over the next 1000 or so years, the apocalypse concept endured as one of the more popular bits of The Bible. As writing skills improved, many new, more imaginative and not so dreary types of apocalypse were invented. Nuclear. Zombie. Robot. Monster. Alien. Giant asteroid and so on. These modern types of apocalypse were popularised by books and films and video games. And that's what apocalypses have to do with video games.
While the event of an apocalypse would certainly throw a significantly proportioned metaphorical spanner in the works of humankind, as gamers we would statistically stand a better chance of survival than other types of people. Observe this made-up evidence:
We have years of simulated apocalypse and post-apocalypse training experience on our side. And that gives us an advantage. However, there are rules and not all apocalypses are gamer-friendly. What you are about to read is a cursory appraisal of five different varieties of apocalypse and whether they would be a) good for gamers, or b) bad for gamers.
Would a landscape gardener know what to do when confronted by a vicious, giant mutated mole rat on the nuclear badlands? No. They would attempt to distract the beast by installing a cascading water sphere and arranging small piles of expensive pebbles. Despite creating a calming environment, this would ultimately be ineffective. A gamer on the other hand would know that a simple way to disable a vicious, giant mutated mole rat would be to punch it in the eyes.
However, the first step to surviving a nuclear apocalypse is surviving the immense destructive force of the initial thermonuclear explosion. This can be achieved easily enough by taking refuge under a piece of furniture. PC players can duck under their desks and an overturned gaming chair makes a great temporary shelter.
If it's one of those really expensive ones, the gaming chair can be used at a later date as a throne or some other symbolic seat of power when you become leader of your own Children of the Atom style cult or religion.
But what if you're caught outside when the bomb drops? No problem. Attach a PSP or DS to your face to shield your eyes from the blast to prevent blindness.
You can also use PictoChat to communicate with other nearby gamers without the need for an internet connection.
Conclusion: The Nuclear-type apocalypse would be GOOD for gamers.
Next: Additional apocalypse mayhem!