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February 22, 2011
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Thanks so much for the recipe suggestions, guys! I'm going to have to try some of them out on the weekends. :3

Anyway, I was going to make a journal about politics because of a video someone showed me, but I figured I'd do best not to open up that particular can of worms. Instead, I'll just link you to the video, so you can see why I don't want to talk about it! www.youtube.com/watch?v=4KGlBH…

But that's not the point of this journal. What's the point then, you say? Well, see, I need your help...

So let's talk about zombies!

I know, totally serious.

Here's the deal: I want to write a zombie apocalypse story with kind of the same psychological themes found in Retaining Sanity. Psychology. I love it. People are so fascinating. And I love zombies. So put two and two together and I have a new hobby to take up time. But I'm sort of OCD about these things (I want to be a medical researcher, so there's a reason for it) and want to really know as much as I can about the genre before even thinking of making my own little niche in it, so I need some input! What I want to know is pretty much what any zombie apocalypse fan would want to know...what exactly do you think would happen in a real "zombie" apocalypse?

How would it start?

Where would it start?

What would it be (would it be something supernatural, a virus, a parasite, aliens, mind control, voodoo, mad cow disease, rabies, etc.)? How would it work?

How quickly would the world "end?" How quickly would whatever it is making zombies spread?

What would the zombies be like? Would they be "real" zombies? Would there be different types? Would they be fast or slow?

Who would the survivors be?

If there are survivors, what would they do? Where would they go?

...and pretty much anything else you'd like to mention. Anything and everything goes; I've already Googled the subject several times (and come across some pretty awesome and not-so-awesome websites), but I'm always up for more sources. And...now that I've totally scared you off with the insanity that is me, time to go scribble some more.
  • Mood: Joy
  • Reading: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
  • Watching: Doctor Who
  • Playing: Alien Swarm
  • Eating: Red Velvet Cake
  • Drinking: Milk
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:icondezfezable:
Dezfezable Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
oh, forgot to mention: if ya wanna do "RIPPED FROM THE HEADLINES!!" angle you could base your concept on whatever the HELL killed all those birds and fish. because it sure as hell wasn't natural and I doubt whatever was explained away with it really EXPLAINED anything. Adurhurhur.
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:iconchelekat:
CheleKat Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
I've watched enough Doctor Who to know that this is the work of aliens. :B
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:icondezfezable:
Dezfezable Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
you are more than likely right, and clearly we need The Doctor to investigate this further!
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:icondezfezable:
Dezfezable Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
a lot of what you are asking/describing really reminds me of "The Walking Dead" [link] it really touches on the actual SURVIVAL/APOCALYPSE angle of a zombie apocalypse, and the psychological and physical toll it would deal against anyone trying to live in it. Really great comic, and the show is pretty awesome too. ♥

As for your questions? I dunno how to really answer them sans look up actual disasters/devastating environmental/ecological situations that have occurred in real life. Earth quakes, tsunamis, hell even The Black Plague or Spanish Flu outbreak [which killed *more* people, if memory serves.] Or if you want truly global, research Krakatoa. tl/dr version: it was an isalnd that was actually a volcano that built up such immense pressure over so many years it exploded with such force it obliterated the entire island, caused mega tsunamis that devastated nearby islands, and if memory serves, initiated the "mini ice age" that affected the entire world and plunged it into bitter cold. [The year without a summer/"The Year Eighteen Hundred and Froze to Death"] basically approach it as a real ecological disaster that may or may not work itself out within any of our lifetimes. [everything gets worked out eventually... even if it takes hundreds of thousands of years or lon ger... like the SUPER Mass extinction where the earth heated up, boiled the oceans, and killed roughly 95-99% of ALL LIFE ON THE PLANET. And then it got fixed and the dinosaurs took over. Wheee~]

but yeah... I think I just explained The Walking Dead with that. UH-OH. D:
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:iconchelekat:
CheleKat Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Yeah, I'm pretty familiar with The Walking Dead. xD

I've looked at previous flu and sickness outbreaks, but then I realized that the only thing I could really work with is the Swine Flu outbreak--everything else is too out dated, even SARS. Technology has improved and expanded so much what with Facebook, Tumblr, YouTube, and smart phones that something like the Spanish Flu or the Black Plague back then probably wouldn't do as much damage nowadays since security with these things is so tight and news is so easy to get quickly across. Thanks for the reminder about Krakatoa! I remember hearing about it (probably on the Discovery or History channel lol) ages ago, but I totally forgot. Very interesting. Thank you for the summary of it.

And actually...I'm kind of thinking about working in a more typical natural disaster or two (an earthquake and possibly something else) that would possibly directly and definitely indirectly contribute to the zombie outbreak, so this is all very helpful. :)
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:icondezfezable:
Dezfezable Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
haha no problem, though when I mentioned spanish flu/black plague I meant back when they hit originally and the devastation it caused. ^^;; And no prob about Krakatoa, it's an insane event in history and it's definitely fascinating to read up on. :D
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:icondancing-in-firelight:
Dancing-in-Firelight Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
BEGIN RANT-

Not sure if someone else will of has mentioned this already...
But honestly, how would it be spread?
I personally love the infection/sickness take on it, because then you have the opportunity of survivors.
Like, say some people would have some kind of dormant gene that makes them immune to getting this specific kind of sickness, whether it be by bite or airborn disease.
Much similiar to how the swine flu spread about 2 years ago. Most of the population had it at least once, but there were a select few that were exposed, but never got it.
If it were like that, then there would be a very small portion of the population left, like saying someone would get ride of anyone who doesn't have brown hair and green eyes. (Sounds a bit like a neo-holocaust)
Then there's the case of how well the zombies (or infected XD) move. I think it would mostly depend on the wellness of the person before they got sick.
Hahaha, this is sounding A LOT like Left 4 Dead....
But then, if the population were lucky, the medical specialists that survived would be doing everything they could to 'save the world', and not focusing on saving their own lives.
And then you have the few survivors that just go completely insane. Reminds me of 'The Book of Eli' where there were some people that just went plain insane and started inviting others in and eating them.... but that's not where I was going with that.
Some of the survivors would be able to stand the mental strain of killing loved ones and people they don't even know. So they would slowly fall into a mental and emotional decay.
Then you havethe others that CAN deal with it, say some members of the military branches that would be used to that kind of thing.
Then there's another question-
Would the disease only stay in the United States, or could it spread to the rest of the world?
I think, the survivors that don't contract the disease, could possibly be carriers, in the sense that if they went to a non-exposed part of the world, because they are carrying the disease, it would spread to that area. Is that kinda clear?

Anyway, I just wanted to put in a little rant, that may show you that other people may be on your page about this whole thing. ^_^
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:iconchelekat:
CheleKat Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh yes! I've given much thought to the spreading of the zombie "disease" since mine is being based on a virus combined with a parasite--the virus spreads like the normal flu, but if the victim catches the virus first, then they start at stage one sickness, which is just normal sickness. Stage three is when they actually turn into aggressive, rabid creatures due to the virus interacting with a parasite already in their body, and that can only be spread through bodily fluids...yeah okay I've been thinking too much about it.

And yes, the carrier theory is very clear; kind of like Left 4 Dead in the comic, but that's technically true for any disease so very believable.

Thank you for the rant! I loved reading it--if you come up with anything more, let me know! :)
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:icondancing-in-firelight:
Dancing-in-Firelight Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow, I really like the 'stages' idea...
I can just imagine the CDC (which, as a fun fact I discovered yesterday, is right down the road from me) posting a huge poster on every corner about the different stages of these so-called 'zombies'. XD
As soon as I get back into the groove of thinking about the zombies themselves (instead of my survival plan), I'll be sure to let you know about anything cool I can come up with!~ :iconiloveitplz:
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:iconchelekat:
CheleKat Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Haha well, a survival plan will most likely suit you better in the future, BUT it is quite fun to talk about the actual zombies. xD

And oh the CDC. Just don't get sick near them.
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:icondancing-in-firelight:
Dancing-in-Firelight Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Hahaha, indeed.
In afraid of the CDC... I have some weird feeling that the CDC and FEMA would end up trying to control the situation, much like CEDA did in Left 4 Dead, and fail miserably.
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:iconchelekat:
CheleKat Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh man, one of my biggest fears is the government's methods of controlling something like a zombie outbreak. >.>
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:icondancing-in-firelight:
Dancing-in-Firelight Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
because everyone knows that they'll fail at it, let alone make it worse. -_-'
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:iconthatguy4720:
Thatguy4720 Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2011
You started this. Now Begin Long Comment

I don't think a zombie would be able to run. It's a simple matter of brain and muscle decay. Death screws up your body pretty bad. The only way that zombies could run is by supernatural means or if they aren't REALLY zombies, but infected. And the only way that the virus could infect a large enough body of people would be if it had an incubation period that was long enough that it could be misunderstood to be less than it is. It would also need to be transmitted through close contact, or even proximity, much like a bad cold.
But honestly, I don't think about that too much. I feel like if there were running "zombies," we'd pretty much be royally screwed, so I think about the shambling apocalypse. I concern myself by thinking of how humanity would be in such a situation.
I was in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina. I've seen first-hand how terrible people can be when there is no law: looting, rape, murder - and not necessarily in that order. That was just a natural disaster. No rotting sacks of infected flesh roaming the streets, seeking a way to spread the infection further; just other people. Now if you throw the zombies in there, you've got... what was the scientific term for it? Oh yes, a shitstorm.
Most people will lose their humanity without even becoming zombies. In my belief, that is actually somewhat necessary in order to cope with the changes inherent in a zombie apocalypse. Your mind will shut off its rational responses to irrational situations. You won't think to yourself that you just "hacked a small child, who was trying to bite your face off, in half." You don't think about it until you are safe, and the realization of what you have done can have adverse effects on your mental health. Honestly, I would likely be in that category of people who have "become numb to the voices." Meaning I could easily ignore pleas for help, and would have no problem killing zombies and people who have been bitten (though at the moment, this one seems like it would be a problem), but would do almost anything in the name of self-preservation. Personally, I don't think I need to rape people to survive, so... I won't be doing that, but murder and looting? You have to keep an open mind. After all, isn't killing someone who just got bitten still considered murder?

The people who survive are those whose minds are stable and/or are used to killing others, like soldiers. Guns would have to be last resort weapons because there are no magical infinite ammo pistols or stacks of assorted ammo that you could scavenge from. Not only this, but guns are loud... and loud means more zombies come. However you don't want to get too close with a melee weapon or else... well, yeah. Generally, survivors would just want to avoid the zombies, as even a splash of blood in the face might infect you.

A small group is absolutely necessary, because you can't see everything around you at once, but traveling with family members would make it much more difficult than you would expect. Granny got bitten, but doesn't want to worry her grandchildren, so she says nothing. Then she turns and bites their parents, who in turn infect their children. Game over.

Maybe I'm just a pessimist, but I think humanity would, as a whole, go insane. Sure, there would be a few idealists out there who would try to help everyone as much as they can; but you'd be hard pressed to find em.

IF you want to talk about it more (and I totally could) we could do so in some chat room or on steam or something if you have steam. Cuz honestly, now that I'm on the topic, I don't want to stop talking about it. But I will, for your sake.

End Long Comment
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:iconchelekat:
CheleKat Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Ahaha your comment was freakin' awesome. xD I love long comments, they're exactly what I'm asking for! And I do have Steam, but I would prefer comments on here because it's easier for my brain to keep track of things (disorganized person here lol). D:

Great points here, especially the mental attributes--I personally think I'd also be one of the people who could get by pretty easily with having to kill other people. My profession has kind of gotten me used to death and morbidity quite a bit; it doesn't bother me that much anymore. Sad but true. :| I agree with you that in a zombie apocalypse, I honestly don't see the zombies as being the major thing to worry about--I'd be too damn scared of other people.

Also, great point about the guns--I think that's what bothered me about Left 4 Dead, that a pipe bomb could gather a horde in no time flat, but a bunch of guns going off don't do squat until an event has been instigated.

And...the zombie cause for my zombies so far is an unstable virus. Lol yay viruses. xD And it certainly has a long incubation period so it can be mistaken for another strain of the flu. And I believe it interacts with a parasite that is found within the majority of the human population or something. I don't know. But yes.

Thanks much for the input! Keep up with the long comments if you would like, I do like reading them. :3
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:iconthatguy4720:
Thatguy4720 Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2011
Oh boy... now you've done it. You've given me free license to megacomment all over this thing.

Much like in your fanfic, Retaining Sanity, survivors could survive on their own, but it would have an extremely detrimental effect on their mental condition. Even to the point of schizophrenia due to loneliness. Humans are social creatures, so we crave SOME sort of social interaction on even the lowest level.

In fact, a thought that just occurred to me is that cases of schizophrenia would pop up all over the place. Through personal experience, I can tell you that your mind can create separate personalities in order to preserve your original mental state. I'm not sure if this is a clinical truth, but this is an observation I have made. It preserves your original sanity by convincing you that you aren't the one doing these terrible things or seeing these horrifying events. I have a friend who I believe suffers from this after a series of traumatic events in his childhood (I also should say at this point, that this is entirely based off of observation. I haven't done any research into this or anything; and as a high school student, I'm not sure how much this input can be taken to heart.)
I have not had anything happen to me to create this symptom, though I can tell you that there have been times when I felt I was not entirely in control of my own actions. Often times, unfortunately and admittedly, this involved violence on a large scale. This could be another response to a zombie apocalypse, due to the sheer amount of violence and gore inherent with zombies.

Even those with the strongest of minds might be affected by the apocalypse. A general feeling of mistrust among other humans would become inherent to everybody, leading people to preemptively kill others out of simple suspicion. This is part of the reason why I, personally, would go somewhere in the middle of nowhere where there is low population density. Like the woods in Mississippi. There is plenty of wildlife to keep a small group alive and small population density would mean extremely low chance of running into zombies.

Strange as it sounds, I think I would go totally medieval mode in a zombie apocalypse. I'm gonna use a machete(since it requires little sharpening) and a riot shield (which I already own cuz I bought it from a police surplus store shutupI'mnormal).

However, there is another way in which I believe my mind would be capable of breaking; and that way is shown in my L4D fanfic (which I will not finish due to lack of motivation). The character, Errol, starts off perfectly sane, however after he is left behind during an attempted rescue, he loses it. He takes on the philosophy that he is already a dead man, so he might as well have as much fun as possible while he can. This involves running from insanely large crowds of infected and special infected, and going on infected killing sprees. I think this is the other way I could go if I do not keep my sanity in an apocalypse.

In fact, multiple times I have thought of having a huge rave in the middle of the zombie apocalypse, killing zombies with strobe lights and lasers and such while a hard bass beats. Obviously, this is an extremely suicidal way of dealing with a zombie apocalypse, but I think it would be fun until the whole death and maybe even un-death... thing... yeah, better keep a pistol with a bullet in the chamber.

I can't say this is how most people would react, since as far as I can tell, I am VERY different from most of society these days. In fact, I would even go so far as I hate society and the people who make up society... but hey, that's part of what makes me me. I can put on a great front for most people who think they "know me."
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:iconchelekat:
CheleKat Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Wooo megacomment! =D And if it's about zombies, I'll read it.

Great point with the schizophrenia thing. That's something I'm going to try to work in a bit more with the main character of my zombie story. It makes great sense! It certainly wouldn't apply to everyone, but it would happen to a few people; good enough observation for me!

And this sort of insight into how people work is exactly what I'm looking for; people are such interesting creatures. Always so different in personalities, but in the end with a zombie apocalypse, there's really only a few ways for them to truly end up. Thanks (and still keep going if you feel like it)! :)
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:iconkohtalon:
Kohtalon Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2011
as Barcodded was saying about the survival guide; jump on top of World War Z, an Oral history of the zombie war (same author). The survival guide is just that but Wolrd War Z is the real, raw stuff and touches on everything imaginable (drawing off real life scenarios and events). I think it's the closest to reality a Zompocolypse has ever gotten (aside from the zombie type as infeted is more likely than undead). It's also much closer to what you're into, the psychology.

Stock up on your Zombie movies (i'm sure you already have) and remember that the zombies are typically not the plot, they are the plot tools. Like, Zombieland is about family (true family, not blood family), Wolrd War Z is a political/social commentary on how self destructive we are as a species, (keeping with comedy movies because I'm really too tired right now to think beyond them) Shaun of the Dead is about living your life while you have it.... I'm rambling about what you already know. Sorry. :| I am so tired

Look up diseases and such and also how the whole death process works. Also, these could be good for killing plotholes; [link] and [link] why Zompocalypses are possible and how they could fail (the last one is variable because it focuses on the undead as opposed to infected).

I'm sorry if I made no sense here. I'm really sleepy for some reason... If I'm not dead in tomorrow or the day after I'll throw some more nonsense at you because I've got tons more where this came from! XDD Good luck with research. :)
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:iconchelekat:
CheleKat Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Ah yes, this author I've seen pop around quite a bit in zombie discussions, and I can see why now that I've taken a closer look at his books. xD I'll have to look more into it.

Quite familiar with the zombie movies, gotta love them. More difficult to see into a person's mind, though, and yet they do leave lasting impressions since part of my brain tends to favor images more than words. :B

And you've made great sense, thanks! Especially for that last link, that's exactly what I'm looking for...what doesn't make sense in the zombie apocalypse theory. Thank you! :3
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:iconakiwitch:
akiwitch Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Well, you should probably make your zombies fast. I would say a supernatural start but that's because Ican'twriteastorywithoutsomethingsupernaturalinit I mean because...unicorns. By the way you should read Zombies vs. Unicorns.

Supernatural zombies are the only ones I can see not having the um...rotting to bits and not being able to move problem. Or the problem of being a mindless, shuffling mess that can't get past basic obstacles, like a stack of sand bags.

Plus being able to only transfer the disease through biting? Not very efficient...

...I haven't thought about this too much. Really.
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:iconadelinavixen:
AdelinaVixen Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2011  Student General Artist
RWAAAAARRRRR!!! ZOMBEEEHS!! :iconzombieplz:

*ahem* Moving on.

Branching off on this idea, I think it would be cool if some zombies were super fast (like "Blink" fast XD), and if others were slower. I don't think all the zombies should be absolutely mindless though, either. Some should be stronger, and maybe some could be more human-like and have a craving for... brains?

'Cause that's totally not cliche. :icontongueplz:
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:iconakiwitch:
akiwitch Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Ooh variety would be really interesting.

BRAAAAINS.
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:iconchelekat:
CheleKat Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Unicorns.

They're kind of evil.

Supernatural zombies...hmm, I don't know, I never really saw them as scary because my medical brain wonders too much about medical stuff. :| True points, though, I'll have to think about it. And yes, biting is...kind of a slow spread lol. Thanks! xD
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:iconakiwitch:
akiwitch Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Unicorns are awesome.

Fast, super strong, non-rotting zombies are terrifying. XD
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:iconchelekat:
CheleKat Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Mmm now I'm thinking about zombie unicorns.
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:iconakiwitch:
akiwitch Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Zombie unicorns would be awesome. Zombies riding unicorn zombies? Also zombie bears. there goes the world. XD
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:iconchelekat:
CheleKat Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow...yeah so anything can be zombified, but indeed, some things are more creepy zombified than others.
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:iconakiwitch:
akiwitch Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
zombie bears and zombie sharks are the most terrifying thing I can think of.
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:iconchelekat:
CheleKat Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
I'm kind of scared of zombie spiders. <.<
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(1 Reply)
:iconbarcoded88:
Barcoded88 Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2011  Student Traditional Artist
Have you read the Zombie survival guide? I'm dead serious when I say that I can't go past any building without assessing it's worth during a zombie incursion. This book will change how you think about it and it offers a possible why it could start and spread. If you haven't read it, then totally do, it would be a good jump point on info I think.
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:iconchelekat:
CheleKat Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
I've heard about that book and that author! I've looked at parts of it here and there, but it definitely seems to be something I should probably look deeper into. Thanks! :)
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