Have video games prepared you enough for the apocalypse?

Many people have now probably experienced playing some form of zombie apocalyptic/end of the world gameplay. But how much of its gameplay could actually save you if it happened in real life?

Reporter: Ryan Yeo | Sub-Editor: Emre Gunes

Benjamin Thompson, from The Microbiology Society, debated the science and logistics behind a theoretical zombie-like epidemic with a panel of experts. They discussed how the government would respond and the likelihood of survival.

In The Last of Us, the world has been hit by a Cordyceps fungus infection that grows in the brain and turns people into zombie-like states. You play as a surviving male, who lost his own daughter in the outbreak, and his journey on delivering a young female, who is immune to the disease, to a hospital for further research.

When asked if there was a possibility for a cure for such a disease, Thompson stated that it would take “two years at best, but it’s more likely to be about 20 years”. He explained further that any cures would lack quick development due to the lack of vaccine factories being in operation during that time.


The Last of Us was praised for portraying a more accurate representation of a zombie outbreak, specifically the difficulty in finding resources | Source: Ryan Yeo

When questioned of how accurate such a terrible event occurring is, he said that the game portrayed the nature of our fragile society “with quite a lot of truth”. Simply hours after the outbreak in the game, people’s fears overthrow the strength of police trying to maintain calm and order.

In terms of survival, the safest place would be to “stay indoors and barricade yourself”. But considering you’ll eventually run out of supplies, you wouldn’t last long. Debunking the age-old solution of sealing yourself in a supermarket, Thompson explains: “These types of zombies don’t venture far from where they were infected, so the highest concentration of infected individuals will be in built up areas such as towns and supermarkets.”

However, he did shed some positivity on the situation. “With this particular theoretical infection, it’s spread by bites or heavy concentration of spores, due to its fungal nature. After the initial outbreak, people would be more aware and the government would implement better procedures that would see life still continuing somewhat normally, instead of the free-for-all scenarios you see in the likes of The Walking Dead.

However some people had different views entirely about the supposed end-times.

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