Cult films like Zombie Wars and Song of the Dead, video games like The Last of Us and Left 4 Dead, and TV Shows like The Walking Dead—what do they all have in common aside from zombies? They all tell us that a zombie apocalypse is something terrible.
Yet, why do we still like, or even love zombie apocalypse-related media?
A Stanford literary scholar named Angela Vidergar may have an answer, and it’s pretty unexpected. Speaking to LiveScience.com, Vidergar remarked that people love zombie themes because they use them to emotionally cope with the possibility of an apocalypse, or even to work out the ethical and philosophical thought that was dismantled during WWII.
Vidergar claimed that the way people saw mass destruction before the war was drastically changed when the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. She said that these events set off a belief that a mass-scale apocalypse is very much possible, rendering a positivist utopian future impossible.
Another version, however, is offered by Wake Forest University professor and Huffington Post contributor Eric Wilson. He claims that humans are simply looking to quench their worldly, yet deadly desires for violence, which is instinctively hardwired into our genetic code (think the gladiatorial battles of ancient Rome).