Friday night topic: On the awesomeness of zombies

TR reader Sargent Duck sends in a very relevant suggestion for the Friday Night Topic in light of tonight's L4D2 blog post from Cyril.  Here's the question:

What's with our infatuation of zombies? I know myself I enjoy killing them with a vengeance, wither it be pithing their heads with a crowbar in Half-life 1, cutting them in half in Half Life 2, mowing them down in Left 4 Dead or setting them on fire in Badlands.

Why do you think gamers (and non-gamers in the forms of movies) enjoy zombies so much?

And as a side question, what makes nazi zombies more bad than ordinary zombies? After all, ordinary zombies try to eat your brains, so what do nazi zombies do beside trying to eat your brain?

Ah, yes. Here at TR, we explore the great questions of our time.

I tend to think zombies are fun because they combine the visceral appeal of our basest violent impulses with a special exception to the rules against killing. Heck, the only right thing to do is to lay waste to as many zombies as possible, for the good of all mankind.

But perhaps there is more to zombies' appeal and to the recent surge in their popularity—some deeper cultural impulse that makes them resonate now more than ever? And I really dunno about the Nazi thing. I guess they want to socialize the economy, eat brains, and annex Poland, all at once. Thoughts?

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