Post-apocalyptic heaven

Now I’m not a psychiatrist, but I read a leaflet once, and the psychology of man in a western decadent society has become very interesting. There was a time when the idea of all this wealth and privilege disappearing was the worst horror we could imagine but it seems to me that we are almost gleeful of the prospect now. Documentaries about global warming take on an almost fantasy-like ideal of a quiet world no longer run by computers and satellites where the surviving few must return to working the earth. The zombie apocalypse gives us a scenario where we no longer have hundreds of petty problems and worries each day, just one big problem, free from any grey moral choices. Blow their heads off! End of.

Playing Fallout 3 I’m amazed by the size of the environments and the attention to detail as you wonder through a fallen capital city. A burnt out pram, a rusted boat, the skeleton of a drive-in cinema all evoke the sense of loss and yet instead of feeling bad about that I see my surroundings as a wonderful playground.

I think we are plagued as a species by greed. While there is something to be had, we want it. We want careers and money and houses and clothes and TVs because they are obtainable. We aren’t, most of us, willing to give these up for a quieter, more meaningful life under our own volition… but the idea of them being taken away from us and being left just with our own wits is very appealing. I don’t think I’m quite ready for the real life apocalypse but I’m glad I have an outlet like Fallout 3 for my strange desire to live through the end of the world.







14 responses to “Post-apocalyptic heaven”

  1. Michael avatar

    Fascinating, truly fascinating. However, not everyone is so materialistic as you (may) think… to have it all, to want it all, is something I imagine exhausts people, blinds them to what is important. Maybe.

    Psychology and psychiatry are related disciplines, yes, but psychiatry is more concerned with the medical side of things.

    I realise none of that, strictly speaking, has anything to do with Fallout 3 but, first, I haven’t played much of it yet and, second, it is me!

    Carry on.

  2. John.B avatar

    I’d say Oblivion satisfies that quiet life, quiet world sanctuary. The ammo problems and repeated battles as you wander and explore for me makes the world anything but relaxing!

  3. MrCuddleswick avatar

    The apocalypse would certainly solve a lot of my problems. Student loans would probably still be on my case though.

  4. Duncan Aird avatar
    Duncan Aird

    What people fail to see is the advantages of an apocalypse:

    – No more Metal Gear Solid cutscenes.
    – My student “beans on toast” diet becoming a luxury.
    – Indiana Jones 5 getting cancelled.

    The list goes on…

  5. Lorna avatar

    I’m with JohhB, I prefered Oblivion for many reasons, the main one being that I could actually follow the sodding map, unlike the PipBoy one. Navigation in a game that size is pretty damn important, as is not constantly running out of ammo and getting killed by something as embarrassing as an ant – albeit a big fire hurling one ๐Ÿ™

    Does look beutiful though in the perverse way that only destruction sometimes can.

  6. lordstar avatar

    the apoclypse looks a is a lot better on my big screen hd and true 5.1 sound thats for sure.

  7. John.B avatar

    “as is not constantly running out of ammo and getting killed by something as embarrassing as an ant”

    Remind me to buy you a drink if I ever meet you, finally somebody who agrees with me on this!

  8. Kirsten avatar

    Yeah but that’s not my point! I know we all like the idea of living in the past, in some medieval fantasy countrified place but it’s the fact that we’d go as far as to actually fantasies about the world ending just for a quiet life. I mean don’t you think that’s kinda nuts?

  9. John.B avatar

    Well…it makes me think you are nuts ๐Ÿ˜› The constant struggle for ammo, battling bloody bloatflies and feasting on dogs I’ve slaughtered means that post apocalyptia isn’t my idea of a quiet life and as such isn’t a game I view as a giant playground. I love it, and I love the whole feel of the series but it’s not an escapist quiet game for me per se.

  10. Lorna avatar

    @JohnB ๐Ÿ˜€ Excellent, I’ll take you up on that one day.

    @Kirsten It is odd but very understandable ๐Ÿ™‚ …who hasn’t wanted the world to end so that they can live in a department store and nest in the duvet section with the contents of the vending machines…or pop to Buckingham Palace to rummage through the Queen’s stuff before helping yourself to a nice Goya from the National Gallery ๐Ÿ™‚ We have created such a hectic strefful world around ourselves that we can no longer escape from, this ‘purging’ so we can start again is understandable.

  11. Michael avatar

    Jeez, you’d think the way you lot were talking there was nothing but city everywhere! I’ve never dreamt of the world (or, rather, civilisation) ending as a good thing; I imagine it’d be a teeny bit chaotic.

    Goya? Wow, isn’t his stuff generally downbeat? Or maybe I’m just thinking of, um, that one I can’t mind the name of! Tch…

  12. MrCuddleswick avatar

    I preferred fallout 3 because oblivion got very samey to me-once you’d seen one dungeon you’d pretty much seen them all. Because fallout 3 was set in an apocalypse maybe it was easier to give personality to every area. Perhaps that’s why fallout 3 was so appealing to me-and also dead rising for pretty much the same reason-if everyone else is gone, you can explore and see things you couldn’t before.

  13. Lorna avatar

    Pretyy much Michael but I couldn’t remember which gallery the Haywain (or is it wane) was in and I forgot about Van Gogh’s Starry Night ๐Ÿ˜€

    Anyway, you saying you wouldn’t help yourself to a Harley and drive to the nearest Toy’s R Us or M&S Food for a rummage? ๐Ÿ˜€

  14. Michael avatar

    Haywain; I have a reproduction of that! Well, *I* don’t but there’s been one in my family since I was tiny.

    I don’t know Lorna. Maybe I would! Or a horse… now that’s style (plus it wouldn’t need fuel bar food)! ๐Ÿ˜€

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