30 Nov 2011

How Beer Prevents the Zombie Apocalypse

I’ve been thinking recently about zombies and beer. You might think that the two are unrelated to each other, but I think there’s more about it than you’d think at first glance. You see, I think that we can avoid the upcoming zombie apocalypse through the careful and in-depth study of beer. Allow me a moment to explain.

There’s a lot said about the upcoming zombie apocalypse, and I’m fast coming to the conclusion that most people have it wrong. There won’t be a mysterious plague or infectious bite that will spread from person to person. There won’t be a secret mutagenic compound that will be leaked into the water supply. I don’t even think we’ll have rage-infested simians to deal with.

No, I reckon that the zombie apocalypse will be brought on by the devolution of our own intellect. By continually offloading our need to think, to make decisions, to experiment, we’ll become our own zombies. Devioid of any ability or desire to reason or argue, our precious grey matter will start to atrophy until the cranium containing it begins to collapse inward. Our thoughts and opinions will be based on what we’re told to have.

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How would beer protect us from such a devastating end? Simple.

When you start out on life’s journey of alcohol discovery, there’ll be the legendary First Beer. This milestone isn’t really known for it’s taste, but it’s a name that you’re able to say without getting embarrassed. Once you’ve gone through the rite of passage known as “yay, alcohol!” you drink around. Try different things. Some suggested by others, some you just want to have a go with. And so you drink beer, and you think about beer, and you work out what you like the taste of.

At least, that’s the idea.

If you’ve never asked yourself what it is about beer that you like, or why you like those things, you’re not being honest with your beer. You owe it to beerage to challenge yourself, push the envelope until you find that foamy brown elixir that presses all the right sensory buttons.

If you’re not a beer fan, there’s probably another beverage that you prefer. In which case, work out what you don’t like and why you don’t like those things. It’s just the same principle but in reverse.

Why do it? Because life’s too short to spend it all being miserable and drinking beer that’s got more than a passing resemblance to watered down goat urine, instead of finding your own particular Good Stuff and Enjoying It.

The great thing is, it’s not just beer that this works with. You can also apply it to non-beverage related art forms, such as video games. Simply question your own tastes, work out what you like and dislike about them, then look at why you like or dislike those things. It makes you more likely to focus on the types of gaming that you actually enjoy. Plus as a side benefit it helps to prevent the approaching Zombie Apocalypse.

That said, there is a dark cloud on the horizon that threatens to engulf us all. It works against everything I’ve mentioned, and left unchecked will hasten our demise at the hands of the invading swathes of zombies. It’s name: Rampant Fanboyism.

For these people, thoughts and opinions do not matter. They like what they like because they are told that they like it, and any attempt to challenge their opinion is met with a broken braying of more noise than substance. They are the antithesis of constructive debate, of self-analysis and of freedom to decide in our own mind. For the Rampant Fanboy there is only one opinion to have: the ones they’ve bequeathed themselves to.

Why is this a big deal? If we can express what we like and why, we’re more likely to get games that grow on those concepts. If we just continue buying the same thing because of the name on the box then we encourage franchise rot – churning out the same formula just because it worked last time. Rampant fanboyism doesn’t do the fans, the games or the developers any favours.

So there you have it. Better games, more beer and preventing the zombie apocalypse. I think that’s a manifesto we can all sign up to.

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