Zombies are the new Nazis, says Strain

Enjoy your new "guilt-free meat-puppet".

Guild Wars creator and Undead Labs founder Jeff Strain has told Eurogamer that zombies are to videogames what Nazis, communists and terrorists once were: "a guilt-free meat-puppet" to blow chunks out of with wild abandon.

"The reason zombies are so powerful and transcend fantasy is because right now they are the modern, societal guilt-free meat-puppet," said Strain in an interview.

"We've been through the Nazi phase, we've been through the communist phase, we've been through the terrorist phase. Those were all at various times in history fair game in the gaming culture. Right now zombies are fulfilling that need for us.

"That no-rules, no-guilt mentality is something that people really resonate with," he added.

Strain's preoccupation with zombies has resulted in the formation of Undead Labs, a developer focusing solely on the creation of a mature, massively-multiplayer online zombie game for consoles.

"I wouldn't say I believe zombies are more popular than elves. Zombies have a larger penetration in society but there's no question that fantasy has been an enduring and very powerful genre," he explained. "My concern about making a fantasy game at this point is that it's been done; it's been done a hundred times. We've told those stories, we've explored those universes, we've spun variations off of core Tolkien canon so many times.

"What's happening is that the more we try to come up with new fantasy universes, the more we're having to be esoteric about how they work and what the mechanics are. The great thing about the zombie universe for an MMO is that it's largely unexplored territory."

The project, called MMOZ for now, won't be released before 2012, but Strain wants all zombie-enthused developers to shamble his way.

Moan your way over to our brain-laden interview with Jeff Strain for the concepts, ideals and goals of his ambitious MMOZ.

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About the author

Robert Purchese

Robert Purchese

Senior Staff Writer

Bertie is senior staff writer and Eurogamer's Poland-and-dragons correspondent. He's part of the furniture here, a friendly chair, and reports on all kinds of things, the stranger the better.


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